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Taming video distribution complexity for DTC providers

The range of distribution options available to direct-to-consumer providers is becoming increasingly complicated. Zype is adding new functionality to ease the burden.

To maximize the performance of a direct-to-consumer (DTC) business, providers must take advantage of every distribution channel at their disposal. Along with delivering through an owned-and-operated (OnO) service portal, DTC providers need to leverage social media, syndication partners, and service aggregators.

The very large providers can afford to maintain a large video ops team to handle the technology and business of multichannel distribution. However, smaller providers simply can’t afford to cover all the bases. Zype, the video content management company, is seeking to help them with an expanded set of integrated services.

Live delivery to multiple sites

Texan Live high school sports Zype

Texan Live uses Zype to delivery high school sports

Live content is a major focus of many video services today. There are also multiple live distribution services through which a video provider can deliver their service. In addition to a DTC provider’s OnO service, there are also social platforms like Facebook Live, Twitch, YouTube Live, and Periscope.

Ed Laczynski, CEO and co-founder at Zype says the company has improved its Live platform to make it easy to distribute to the live social services simultaneously with an OnO site. The first time a provider adds a new platform they must provide API keys to establish an authenticated connection. Once done, a VSP can distribute to the site with one click.

Using social platforms for simultaneous live distribution can help with monetization. Mr. Laczynski says one client distributes a low-quality live feed through social sites and encourages viewers to come to its OnO site to buy a high-quality feed.

Increase distribution platforms

Increasing distribution partners is one of the best ways a DTC provider can boost the chances of the service discovery by the audience. Unfortunately, the approach can lead to a very complex video workflow. For example, many SVOD providers partner with Amazon Channels. The relationship is a fruitful one, often helping the provider to double the number of subscribers. However, Amazon requires providers to upload all content and metadata to its systems. In other words, the DTC provider must maintain a separate video workflow for Amazon.

Zype is enhancing its distribution support to ease the burden on DTC providers. A customer can store all its mezzanine files* and metadata with Zype and export them all in a format the right format for upload to their Amazon Channels account. The company has even deeper integration with Xumo, a video aggregation site with 3.5 million monthly active users. Mr. Laczynski says a Zype customer can publish to Xumo with one click.

Support multiple pricing models

One of the most challenging things for smaller DTC providers is managing different prices among multiple distribution channels. For example, a provider allowing customers to subscribe through iTunes must pay a very high commission to Apple. Few video providers can absorb such a large expense without raising prices.

To handle these situations, a DTC provider needs to charge different prices for the same video depending on the distribution partner. Zype has enhanced its Marketplace Connect to handle a situation like this. According to Mr. Laczynski, the company’s solution acts as a middleware between the different marketplaces. A DTC provider can select separate price points for different distribution partners, and Zype takes care of the rest.

Zype has added other enhancements to the video workflow, including Zype-to-go-Market and Share This for simplified social distribution. Zype is also making a free white paper available called VidOps Framework to help video operations teams work better together to optimize workflows and improve business outcomes.

Why it matters

To improve business performance, direct-to-consumer video providers must deliver content through many distribution partners.

The approach creates complicated video lifecycles which smaller provider struggle to manage.

New tools are coming to market to help tame the complexities of online video distribution.


*a mezzanine file is a very high-quality version of a video which can be used to create all the other versions required.

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