Ooyala Teams with WheelsTV to Test "POV Reviews" on eBay Motors

--Google Reported to Be in Discussions to Acquire Brightcove
--ITV.com Switches from Silverlight to Flash to Power Online Video


UPDATE: After we went to press, Ooyala contacted [itvt] to let us know that
the launch of "POV Reviews," which was expected to take place today, has
been temporarily delayed.


Broadband video platform provider, Ooyala (note: the company claims to have over 140 global media and enterprise customers, including Warner Bros., Electronic Arts and Sybase), said Wednesday that it is teaming with WheelsTV, a producer and distributor of automobile test drive videos, on a market test of a "POV (Pre-Owned Vehicle) Reviews" service on eBay's eBay Motors online marketplace. The company says that WheelsTV created the new, video-based consumer shopping service in response to "a significant need by pre-owned vehicle shoppers for a video-centric shopping and research solution that would save significant time, make the process more enjoyable and lead to a better vehicle ownership experience." According to WheelsTV, each five-minute POV Review saves consumers over five hours of research by providing comprehensive road tests, walk-arounds, and critical car shopping data on reliability, safety and fuel economy. The reviews, which are produced in cooperation with JD Power and Associates, feature graphics of JDPower.com's Power Circle Ratings of each featured vehicle's overall dependability, performance and quality. They also include mileage estimates from the Environmental Protection Agency and crash-test footage from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration.

The POV Reviews, which are accessed by selecting make and model on the eBay Motors homepage, are delivered using video technology from Ooyala, which claims that its adaptive bit-rate video delivery capability provides a high-quality, buffer-free experience. The company says its player gathers advanced analytics from the videos, including information on each video's overall performance and on which parts of the video are most interesting to viewers. According to the company, the service is launching with reviews covering over 200 makes/models/years, and additional videos will be added to its content-line-up each month. "Video is the most efficient and persuasive way to communicate information," Ooyala CEO, Jay Fulcher, said in a prepared statement. "POV Reviews by WheelsTV harness the power of video to improve and accelerate the decision making process for the consumer. The industry-leading analytics provided with the Ooyala platform will help eBay Motors and WheelsTV optimize their video content and intelligently connect buyers with their targeted interest in a specific automobile."

In other broadband video news:

  • Mark Glaser, executive editor of PBS's "MediaShift," stated via Twitter Wednesday that Google is in talks to acquire broadband video publishing services provider, Brightcove. "Source with knowledge of deal tells me video service Brightcove in talks with Google about buyout in $500m to $700m range," Glaser wrote, adding in a subsequent tweet that "Brightcove deal for Google would give YouTube entree into paid video service with many traditional media co. clients." Neither company is commenting on Glaser's report. However, Frost & Sullivan analyst, Dan Rayburn, reported Wednesday afternoon that he "received a call from one of the parties involved in the Google/Brightcove rumor who would not talk on record but confirmed...that the rumor that Google is buying Brightcove is in fact false." Rayburn said that he could not disclose which of the two companies his source works at. Glaser subsequently tweeted that "For the record, I never said Google was buying Brightcove. I said a source told me they were in buyout discussions. Not a done deal."
  • ITV.com, the online arm of UK commercial terrestrial broadcaster, ITV, has abandoned Microsoft Silverlight in favor of Adobe Flash to power its streaming video offerings. News of the switch was revealed in a tweet from ITV.com on Tuesday: "As you've probably gathered, we're now using Flash on our site rather than Silverlight," the tweet stated. The UK's other terrestrial broadcasters, the BBC, Channel 4 and Five, all use Flash to power their online streaming services. Adobe claims that Flash enjoys a 98% penetration rate, and the fact that Silverlight's penetration rate is significantly lower (resulting in numerous consumer complaints in ITV's online forums about having to download Silverlight before being able to watch the broadcaster's broadband video content) is believed to have been the main factor in ITV.com's decision.


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