In a wide ranging interview, Linius CEO Chris Richardson and Hemisphere Managing Director Glyn Beaumont spoke with BoardRoom.Media about their “perfect partnership”, revolutionizing video workflows around the world, and working together to deliver video’s Holy Grail -- personalized TV “in a few clicks”.
Beaumont said he and Hemisphere -- his systems integration company that specializes in developing, delivering and monetizing online video solutions -- quickly knew they wanted to build solutions with Linius’ technology.
“The thing about Linius is that they are doing something that is actually new -- it's the first revolutionary video technology we've seen,” said Beaumont. “We’re very, very keen to get behind Linius, and be the incumbents when it comes to the vast amount of potential there is out there.”
Described by interviewer Will Canty as “the pairing of two fantastic teams to really take-on the video challenge in the twenty-first century”, the full recording can be found above.
The original interview can be found on boardroom.media HERE >
An edited version of the interview transcript can be found below:
Will Canty: Linius Technologies, you’ve recently announced a new ‘plug and play’ video search and assembly application in partnership with a leading internet software company called Hemisphere. Chris, you’ve had a big year, you’ve launched some new product into market, you’ve been piloting these things for a while, what does this [latest development] mean?
Chris Richardson: Really, it means two different things. The first thing is, it’s about ease of access to virtual video capability. We believe virtual video is going to change all of the world’s video. But, it’s a very technical thing. And, when we were coming to market, it was all about working with system integrators to help enterprises attach their video libraries to virtual video [technology], and then deliver whatever functionality they were going to do from there.
And, we fairly quickly moved to a SaaS [Software-as-a-Service] platform so that anybody could come and do it [lvs.linius.com]. But, it still requires a great deal of integration effort. And that’s problem that the search and assembly Widget Suite solves -- speed [to deployment].
Now, somebody can come in and, really with a few clicks, be up and running and have search and assembly capability on their website with their video library very fast. I think that ability to get up and running in under an hour is game changing in terms of the speed with which clients can onboard to the Linius platform.
Part number two, is that having a company like Hemisphere actually go and build on our technology, that’s really the core of our go-to-market strategy. We’re doing direct sales to go out and create point solutions that can be replicated through channel. But, when channel partners are willing to go out on their own and go build their own products [using Linius’ SaaS platform, Linius Video Service (LVS)], that’s perfect for us. That’s exactly how we want to see things working. So we’re very, very happy to have the Hemisphere team on board and doing this work.
Will Canty: So Chris, just a quick recap: In the quarterly report you saw a $3.5 million capital raze to fund commercial activities through to 2020, you’ve been accepted into the Microsoft Co-Sell Program, you’ve got third-parties building applications on the Linius cloud SaaS platform, and you completed a technology trial with Warner Brothers. On top of all that, you’ve delivered a world-first video blockchain proof-of-concept. And now you’re connecting with Hemisphere. You’re really starting to ramp this up aren’t you?
Chris Richardson: Yeah, that’s exactly right; that was a really good summary. I’ve got a big smile on my face -- it’s been a busy year, we’ve done a bunch of stuff. It’s all really geared towards rapid scale of virtual video deployments. And, we’re now at that point where the rubber is meeting the road, and things are really starting to click.
Will Canty: Glyn, dive in here, you’ve no doubt seen many systems come out of the ideation phase, off the drawing board and into production. Talk me through what you think of the application that Chris is bringing to market and the benefit it will deliver to various industries, like media and entertainment, government, security; [news] publishers should love this. In fact, is there an industry that doesn’t need something like this? Is there an industry that’s not using video?
Glyn Beaumont: That’s a pretty good question because, in the years that we’ve been around, we’ve seen video usage just explode. Back from a time when we started, where people thought that video was never going to be the killer app that it is now, because you couldn’t deliver it fast enough, you couldn’t get high enough quality, and now 80 percent of the traffic on the internet is video.
So no, I don’t think there is an industry that’s not going to be able to make use of the Linius technology. I think we could probably sit here all afternoon and talk about the various applications there are across a huge number of markets. And Hemisphere’s worked across quite a few of those markets, we’ve worked with government, we’ve worked with the military, higher education, sports, entertainment, retail -- all kinds of things.
Will Canty: Is there a market that A) doesn’t need video, B) can’t benefit from the application that Linius [and Hemisphere] is bringing to market? What excites you [most] when you sit there and consider the possibilities
Glyn Beaumont: Well, the thing about Linius is that they are doing something that is actually new and quite different from anything else we’ve seen over the past eleven or so years.
Everything that we’ve dealt with since we’ve been around as an organization has just been improvements, enhancements and changes to existing technology. So pretty much after RealPlayer disappeared, everything that we’ve been doing since then are just variations on a theme.
Whereas Linius has come along, and they’ve shown us something completely new, and it’s probably the first revolutionary, certainly disruptive, technology that we’ve seen in video in our time -- that’s for sure.
So we’re very, very keen to get behind it and be the incumbents when it comes to the vast amount of potential there is out there.
Will Canty: So Glyn, as the software guys looking at architecting, programming, delivery and so forth, presumably you’ll work with Linius in a way that allows them to adapt, adopt and scale?
Glyn Beaumont: Yeah, that would absolutely be true. We’ve cut our teeth in the cloud -- we were the first certified AWS partner in Australasia, if not the Southern Hemisphere -- and we’ve built some very, very high volume video applications.
There was a company called Lockerz, not around now, but pretty famous at the time. We built a website for them that was up for 20 minutes a month, and during that 20 minutes it got to number four on Google Trends -- the traffic was so high. So we’re used to building things that scale, things that are performant under load, and as we look to build applications based on the Linius technology, we think that we bring some good experience to that area.
Obviously I’m biased, but I feel like it’s the perfect partnership.
Will Canty: Chris, looking at the Hemisphere partnership from your perspective, it must seriously super-charge your excitement when you think about your company and its capability to deliver product and service.
Chris Richardson: That’s absolutely right. I mean, Glyn and his team have been doing this a very long time, and they’re some of the most expert people in the world at video. So when they validate what we’re saying -- ‘hey, this is really new, this is really disruptive’ -- and they get behind, get excited about it and what they’re capable of delivering, it’s a huge boost for us. We love it.
Will Canty: Let’s blue sky here for a minute. There’s big brands out there in video -- your Brightcove’s, Ooyala’s, Livestream’s -- is this a compete play? Or are you enabling them?
Chris Richardson: Definitely enabling. I mean, from my perspective, all of those guys are potential partners, where their APIs and our APIs would integrate, and they’d be able to offer the benefits of virtual video to their existing client base.
We’ve sort of already done that with MediaAMP, who are in the education space in the US. They’re a smaller name in a more niche market, but pursuing exactly those sorts of relationships with the Kaltura’s, the Brightcove’s, the Ooyala’s of the world, we don’t see it as competitive, we see it as win-win.
Glyn Beaumont: I’d like to back that up as well. We’ve worked with a lot of those companies, and when we learned about Linius and what it could do, it was absolutely our thought that it would act as an adjunct to these other platforms, not as competition.
I really think, just looking at Linius as a third-party, that Linius doesn’t play in the same space.
Will Canty: So digging into that just a little bit further: If we look at supply chain, I’m a Brightcove user in my core business. I look at Linius and I think ‘wow, my hosting costs could seriously halve, perhaps drop to a third’ if the technology is applied and the saving passed through to a customer. Is that a fair comment?
Glyn Beaumont: I think it could from a hosting perspective, certainly, because you’re doing away with a lot of transcoding, you’re doing away with a lot of duplication of media. Let’s take compilations: Say someone on YouTube puts together a compilation of sports -- maybe the greatest kicks from my favorite soccer player. And, when they put that compilation together, it turns into another new, monolithic video file that has to be stored and transcoded to several different levels.
Well, with Linius, you make a virtual video, and you’re not doing any duplication. You’re not doing any transcoding. So, for somebody big, like YouTube, or maybe some of the CDN [Content Delivery Network] providers like Azure or AWS, you would be absolutely decimating your storage requirements.
Chris Richardson: I think the point that Glyn’s making there is spot on. When you look at the costs associated with creating I guess what you’d call derivative videos -- clips, highlights, mashups, all the things that everybody’s doing on social media -- every time you do that today, that’s a new video that gets transcoded, rendered, stored, and put on a CDN. All the cost for those derivative videos goes away when you work with video virtualization. So you’re right: There is tremendous cost savings there.
But I think that really pales in comparison to the value creation that you get when you start talking about things like personalized channels, where I’m getting exactly the video feeds that I want -- and that are subsets of other videos that are out there -- created programmatically on-the-fly. That kind of personalized TV experience, that’s what everybody wants, right? It’s kind of like the Holy Grail. The ability to deliver that is huge value for anybody out there.
Will Canty: Talk to me about that on a production level, thinking about the major studios. This seems like a fantastic capability to be plugging in behind film production, large corporate production, ad agencies. Are there benefits there too?
Chris Richardson: Absolutely. Our initial go-to-market plan had us looking at four different horizontals. We had Search and Assembly, Anti-Piracy, Security and Defense, and Personalized Advertising. And, right now, we’re all very focused on the hyper-personalization function, which is really targeting industries inside that search and assembly horizontal.
But, when you start looking at the other aspects -- Anti-Piracy, Defense -- it’s exactly how we started this call: Is there any industry that doesn’t benefit from virtualized video? This has tremendous impacts everywhere, including in the media production workflow.
Glyn Beaumont: One of the things we did not long after creating the company [Hemisphere], we were engaged by News Corp to build a whole stack of their first video players for a lot of their mastheads. We did the Telegraph, news.com.au, and we got a little bit of insight into how their workflow occurred and, I’m thinking now, that Linius could easily revolutionize some of that workflow.
The way they would take their daily’s, and do their editing, and go back and forth all over the company seeking different types of approval, adjusting, editing… all of that gets a real boost from virtual video, because not only are you not having to recreate all of those files, or what Chris is referring to as derivatives, but the files that you’re sending around are absolutely tiny. A virtual video is about 0.1% of the overall size of the original.
So, there’s a customer of ours based in Auckland. They need to send media up to New York every single night. They had a cut-off time at about seven every night, where they’d say ‘right, we have to go now, we have to send’ because we’ve got to send this giant file. And, with virtual video, there’s none of that. You just say, ‘here you go’ have this vStub and it fits in an email. It’s really, really impressive.
Will Canty: So Chris, we started this call by saying who won’t benefit, and it does seem to be that it’s almost the solution to the Holy Grail of video. I remember when I first started playing with video online in the late 90s, and the whole idea that you could compress a video and get it onto the internet was a bit of a challenge. Now we’re talking about almost instantaneous transfers of multiple gigabyte files. The global workflow for video seems to be at our fingertips.
Chris Richardson: That’s exactly right. Everything is moving to cloud-based production. Everybody is starting to virtualize their production workflow.
The internet, as you said yourself, has become better in terms of the size of the pipes, video compression technology has gotten better enabling you to push giant files around wherever you need them to go, and Linius is sort of the next step in all of that -- the revolution to make that whole process more economical.
And, really for the first time, deliver capabilities that you can’t do with traditional hard encoded videos.
Will Canty: So we’ve launched the ‘plug and play’ Search and Assembly Application to the world, you’ve teamed-up with a heavy-hitting software development team [Hemisphere] for scale and growth. Where to from here? Is there a clear revenue model around the solution? Is it a typical product and development cycle? How does it work?
Chris Richardson: From a revenue perspective, it’s our existing model and is pretty straightforward. It’s standard SaaS. So somebody logs into the site (the Linius Video Services cloud platform, lvs.linius.com), puts their widgets on their website, and then every time somebody comes and watches a virtual video, both we and Hemisphere get paid on a per usage basis.
So, at this point, it’s really just go-to-market. And because this is a lot easier than large enterprise system integration models of deployment, we’re actually already starting to turn on more traditional mass market advertising, to mass market to developers, corporations with video libraries, that sort of thing. It’s not an eighteen month sales cycle with lots of hand holding, it’s just ‘hey, click on this link, and get started with virtual video’.
Will Canty: So can I do away with something like a Brightcove if I want to come straight over to Linius?
Glyn Beaumont: I can answer that from my perspective. I wouldn’t say you could do away with Brightcove because a traditional VCMS [Video Content Management System] like Brightcove, or The Platform, or Kaltura, offer things that Linius doesn’t. Linius is not a VCMS company.
So, I think it would be unfair to say that you could do away with your VCMS. But, I think that you could look very seriously at how the delivery of the media works. I feel that you could use your VCMS to manage your virtual video. And, I’m sure that in time, that the solutions that Linius has and what we’re building are going to mature. But, with a company like Brightcove, look at how long they’ve been around. What they do, they do very well.
Chris Richardson: I would second what Glyn said. We’re not a VCMS replacement. We’re something totally new in the video value chain. It does, I think, add tremendous capabilities if you plug us into your Brightcove.
Will Canty: Guys, we’ve covered some great territory there, and there’s plenty for people to sort of think about. I can’t commend you any more than I already have. I think it’s a fabulous outcome -- the pairing of two fantastic teams to really take-on the video challenge in the twenty-first century.
Well done to you both. Appreciate your time. Really informative.
Editor of insidemarket.net, Phil Carey, also sat down with Beaumont to find out why the systems integrator jumped at the chance to build two solutions for free using Linius’ technology — at a cost of AUD$250,000 billable hours.
Listen to the full interview HERE >
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Founded in 2008, Hemisphere is a leading internet software development company and systems integrator based in Auckland, New Zealand. Specializing in the creation and monetization of online video delivery solutions, Hemisphere has worked with well-known international companies including Fox Sports, Comcast, NewsCorp, NBC Universal, CNN and many more.
Linius Technologies Limited (ASX: LNU) has invented and patented the Video Virtualization Engine™ (VVE), which is available on Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure and IBM Cloud.
Amazon, Microsoft and IBM are investing billions in virtualizing ‘video services’ (technologies) and Artificial Intelligence in the cloud. It is arguably the biggest battle on the internet, given that video accounts for nearly 80 percent of internet traffic.
Only Linius can expose the data that makes up the video file, making cumbersome video as flexible as all other forms of data. Accessing the data within the video file is the missing link for video cloud service providers, creating unparalleled value across the internet video industry.
Linius’ VVE-powered Video Hyper-Personalization and Search Solution enables anyone to instantly search the data within video, from across an infinite number of sources, and automatically assemble the results in a single stream on-the-fly. No human hands required.
Linius is revolutionizing the way organizations and individuals across the globe produce, deliver and consume video, enabling previously impossible hyper-personalized video experiences.
It’s a breakthrough set to disrupt entire multi-billion-dollar industries. Linius is initially focused on delivering its Video Hyper-Personalization and Search Solution to six core markets: News and Media, Sports Broadcasters and Rights Holders, Education, Corporate Communications, Security and Defense, and Sports Betting.
For more on Linius Technologies, visit www.linius.com
Lachlan James, Director of Marketing and Communications, +61 (0)431 835 658, firstname.lastname@example.org
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