Datazoom builds “data delivery network” to support video analytics

Summary:

Video quality and service availability go hand in hand with improving financial performance for online video service providers. Datazoom is a startup that wants to make it easier for these companies to leverage data to improve operations and profitability. The underlying platform has significant potential that extends beyond video analytics into a variety of markets, including IoT.

Key Takeaways

  • Datazoom has funding for a service that aims to make integration of analytics tools easier for online video service providers.
  • Datazoom’s “data delivery network” has potential applications beyond OTT services. The company could move into gaming and IoT applications where latency impacts the ability to gather and analyze large amounts of data, for example.

Company background:

Datazoom was co-founded by CEO Diane Strutner and Jason Thiebeault. Strutner was previously the VP of Global Sales and Business Development at NicePeopleAtWork (NPAW), a provider of a video analytics platform. Thiebeault currently serves as executive director of the Streaming Video Alliance. Michael Skariah, formerly director of engineering at Ooyala, serves as the company’s CTO. The company closed a pre-seed round of $700,000, led by Brooklyn Bridge Ventures.

Details:

As it turns out, the integration process and the merger of data from dozens of disparate sources is a problem that is hard to solve for these companies. To solve the problem, Datazoom has built a data ingest and management platform. Datazoom’s Adaptive Video Logistics platform serves as an abstraction layer pulling data from this customizable SDK into the data ingest platform, enabling service providers to aggregate and time-align data from multiple sources in real-time.

Customers can choose which data needs to be signaled back to a data hub (meaning no wait for a response to an HTTPS request), and make changes or updates to the data collection or collection frequency at any time. Ordinarily, each SDK used for data collection adds significant (minutes) of latency; Datazoom says its method helps the analytics process because data is collected in a more uniform manner with sub 1-second latency (which is covered by an SLA).

Part of the cloud-agnostic infrastructure that enables fast data collection resembles a CDN – one that Datazoom calls a “data delivery network” –is currently hosted on AWS and Google Cloud, with Azure POPs coming soon.  On the other side of the equation, Datazoom has roughly a dozen integrations with data collectors (video and audience analytics tools, ad serving tools and the like), and says it is completing two to three more integrations each week as customer requests come in.

Value proposition:

By Datazoom’s count, there is an average of 14 tools used by major brands to capture data from video players. Now multiply that by the number of device types you are delivering to because you need to use a different player for mobile OS, a smart TV client, and a game console to deliver your service to consumers. That’s a bear to manage when it comes to deploying code on each client and contributes to bloat on the client that can impact device performance-one of the issues you were originally trying to solve.

As an example, some analytics services leverage logic in an SDK to do failover; this means when a stream degrades for a consumer, the player will automatically seek another source for the stream. Datazoom enables customers to leverage data from the player to do more than CDN switching; they can use different ad delivery, authentication and other systems as the situation dictates.

Datazoom aims to simplify the gathering of data not by bidding to be the one data stream to rule them all, but to move the integration point away from the player. 

Pricing for the SaaS offering is done by pricing based on a combination of the volume of data that is processed, and the desired SLA level for latency. Datazoom’s premise is that this will be a more predictable cost than basing pricing on the number of video views or sessions.

Market context:

By some counts, there are more than 200 video service providers in the global market. Datazoom is targeting the biggest names in the market because they have the biggest number of tools to integrate (think NBC Universal, Sony and such). Others in the space include Conviva, NPAW, and Cedexis. CDN service providers like Akamai have their own analytics offerings centered around network and delivery performance, with Akamai also offering web application performance monitoring through its Soasta acquisition.

Customers: Datazoom already has letters of intent from major brands and is busy conducting trials with a number of potential clients.

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