This week Overlay.TV announced the general availability of its platform, which allows users to add a layer of custom-designed, clickable content over any embeddable online video. The Ottawa-based company has also introduced a monetization model supported through a pretty hefty affiliate retailer program.
Overlay.TV already has some impressive entertainment companies using the service to promote its artists. But what can, say, a B2B technology company do with this? I asked Ben Watson, vice president of marketing for Overlay.TV.
"Businesses can shoot a simple video and use Overlay.tv to create derivitive work," Watson said.
I get it. It seems to me that there's a great opportunity for businesses to reduce their training and internal video production costs by creating an "overlay" versus creating a series of separate training videos.
For example, a product marketing department can shoot a simple video that shows product features and functionality. Once the video is completed, the product manager can send it to other teams (sales, corporate communications, channel/partner marketing) and they can add an overlay to the video that is appropriate for their audiences. PR teams can then upload the video to the corporate newsroom. Channel marketing teams can use the video to train their reseller partners. Sales can use it for internal events and training activities.
"This stops you from trying to do a one-size-fits-all video and the content is more reusable," Watson said.
A quick example of the overlays that can be done:
Also, with more businesses moving to microblogging to engage customers and partners, the overlay creators can also incorporate their Twitter feeds into the video through a widget. The same can be done with a real-time chat feature. I think of this as much better tool for training than static old WebEx.
Overlay.TV has a professional services team that can help businesses create videos along this line, as well as:
Custom platform licensing arrangements
Player skins and customization (i.e. brand the player as your own)
Widget/tools creation and customization
SDK and Web application development support
High-definition video asset management and hosting
Providing professional services is a key requirement for any technology vendor that wants to penetrate an enterprise company. As is security, which Watson says has been a priority, and another reason why his team is very careful to consider who can and cannot access the Overlay.TV API key.
Overlay.TV -- if it doesn't yet get it -- is certainly on the road to getting it. Too many social media/video/networking companies don't take the needs of the B2B into consideration upfront. This is a nice change, indeed.