Ooyala has announced Ooyala Social, a new HD-quality Social TV experience that lets Facebook users share video with their friends and family, live chat while viewing, discover new content, and watch video across multiple screens. Ooyala is hoping broadcasters, distributors, and Hollywood studios will use the new product to make premium on-demand and live video widely available on Facebook.
Ooyala Social supports a number of business models, including rentals, subscriptions, purchases, and advertising. The solution also allows group-activated screenings, making it possible for content owners to unlock specific content if a target number of people log into Facebook to watch. Last but not least, it has tools that enable media companies to grow audiences, boost viewer engagement, and add new revenue streams.
Ooyala lists the following features of Ooyola Social features for Facebook users:
Discover – Ooyala Social makes it easier for viewers to find relevant content based on their social circles.
Share – Users can share what they're watching and what they Like with their friends or "loan" a show for later viewing. Viewers can also chat together through a movie or show.
Watch – Viewers can watch seamless video on every kind of screen and device, from tablets, to mobiles, to connected TVs. Ooyala Social also makes it possible to watch content together as a virtual group and gives content owners to the ability to "lock" their content until a preset number of viewers log in to watch simultaneously or buy a movie.
Purchase – Users can buy with Facebook Credits, PayPal, a credit card or even their mobile phone number. Content may be rented, subscribed to, or purchased outright.
Ooyala Social authenticates via Facebook Connect and lets users watch content on tablets, mobile devices, and connected TVs with a pause/resume feature across devices. If the company name sounds familiar, that's because Miramax leveraged its technology to start offering movies on Facebook.
"Facebook is becoming an increasingly important distribution channel for media companies," Bismarck Lepe, Ooyala co-founder and president of products, said in a statement. "Because of its 750 million monthly unique users, it offers a compelling complement to distributing video online via YouTube. We expect more and more companies to follow the lead of Warner Brothers, Miramax and Netflix as they build direct to consumer video distribution models on Facebook. With Ooyala Social, we're combining the power of social with HD-quality video. Users can easily share content, make recommendations to their network, and watch video simultaneously with friends. We've also integrated Facebook Credits as a payment system for publishers who are looking to launch a video store on Facebook and Facebook Connect so once a Facebook user has paid for content, they can take that experience everywhere."