If you have ever been to the Kaltura office in New York, you know that from our conference room window we see Union Square and the place where the Virgin Megastore once stood. Today, what used to be a massive music store with dozens of listening stations (and a special section for Japanese imports!) is now a very big bank.
Virgin Megastores was joined yesterday by Blockbuster, which announced it would shut down all of its remaining video rental stores. The company, now owned by Dish, will continue operating its online video streaming service.
In 1999, Blockbuster was valued at $4.8 billion and around that time Virgin had about 23 music stores and revenue of $280 million annually. No doubt, much has changed.
Coincidently, yesterday we at Kaltura announced our latest product – Kaltura MediaGo™. “An out of the box Netflix” that offers a turn-key solution to have your own content store up and running very quickly.
MediaGo is another stage in the natural evolution of television, film, music, education and enterprise culture. Driven by powerful cloud services, low storage costs and proliferation of connected devices – many media companies, telecom service providers, content rights holders and independent producers can now monetize their content easily and cost-effectively. This is usually referred to as over-the-top delivery (OTT), but what it really means is that technology is now leveling the playing field not only for disruptors like Netflix and iTunes but for any business entity that owns quality content.
Beyond OTT, MediaGo also captures the strongest trends in the online video platform space. Since 2006 Kaltura has been a pioneer in online video with its open and flexible approach that allowed news and entertainment companies to utilize our strong API offering to create their own customized video experience. However, in recent months, as we have been tracking the news and entertainment markets, we noticed a strong need for an out-of-the-box content store that is easy to manage by the content providers and very intuitive for the consumers to use.
MediaGo is designed to do just that. Basically, all that the content providers need to do is to add content (and set their price). For the user, subscription is easy and navigating the site feels intuitive and familiar. From a technology perspective, what’s still powering all of this under the hood is the same strong Kaltura API set. These include our industry leading video player, HD adaptive streaming, fast upload, DRM support, geo-blocking, custom metadata, content recommendation, analytics, easy site customization and of course the entire e-billing and user management aspects.
We believe that the business opportunity here is huge and we will keep writing about it in the coming weeks and months. But before I conclude, let me go back to my favorite place in New York circa 2003.
As much as I loved spending endless hours in the Virgin Megastore at Union Square I know today that it wasn’t perfect. Why? Well, because it was a mega store. Sure, it had all the content I loved but it also offered massive amount of stuff I didn’t care for (sorry Gremlins dolls in Santa Suits). And much of this mega store experience still exists. YouTube is a mega store, iTunes is a mega store and Amazon is… probably the ultimate example. These stores are not going away, but that doesn’t mean your viewers are not looking for a new, more focused, personal and entertaining video experience.
– Kaltura Introduces MediaGo, Its ‘Netflix-In-A-Box’ Portal For Media Companies (Techcrunch)
– Kaltura Now Offers Easy OTT Subscription Based Video Platform (ReelSEO)