Friday, August 29, 2014

Geo What?

You might hear the term geo something from time to time.  Geospatial is the full word, which means data associated with a particular location.  A location in the world can be identified by a latitude and longitude number.

Maybe you heard the terms geo blocking and/or geo white lists.  Geo blocking means that you want to block a specific location in the world.  A geo white lists would mean that someone only wants to allow specific locations (or areas) in the world to have access.  In other words, you allow access to everyone unless blocked or you can deny access to everyone unless you allow access to a location.

Geo Blocking Example
Let's say you have a deal where you have distribution rights for everywhere BUT the Philippines because that area is owned by someone else.  This is an example of geo blocking.  Everywhere in the world is allowed to buy your product EXCEPT someone located in the Philippines.

Geo White List Example
Let's say you have a deal where you have distribution rights for North America only (i.e. nowhere but Canada, United States and Mexico).  This is an example of a geo white list.  Everywhere in the world is NOT allowed to buy your product UNLESS someone is located in North America.

At InteliVideo we support both Geo Blocking and Geo White Lists.

New Revenue Opportunity for Video Producers and Videographers

I absolutely love it when we're able to generate income for people who share their knowledge through our platform.  Take my technical training videos (on Oracle Application Express) for example.  It's so cool that I can produce a set of videos, upload it into our platform and sell the material to people around the world - and I get to maintain my brand (I'm not lost in a marketplace) on my own website.  Anyone can be making money in no time.  We see it happening EVERY day!

At the same time, most videos (at least professional videos) are produced by a videographer.  My good friend Will and I used a videographer to create our Sled Like a Pro series which teaches people how to snowmobile.  Traditionally, videographers charge a fee for creating, producing, editing a video.  They might charge $50/hr or $200/hr (or more).  But once the video is finished, they typically turn their work over to someone who creates a DVD or simply uses it as they wish.  Photographers on the other hand often retain the rights to the photo and how you use it.

As a producer of video, what if you could negotiate a royalty on all revenue generated from the product you produced?  What if you could do this without impacting the price of product?  With InteliVideo we allow you to do this.  If you're a reseller of the InteliVideo platform, you'll receive 10% of the net revenue generated - whether it's platform fees or video/product sales.

Be a reseller for InteliVideo!  Sign up for a free account and let us know you're a videographer and that you have an interest in being a reseller.  We'll get you all set up.  We'll provide you with a URL that you can distribute in your emails, which will make sure you get credit for everyone who signs up.

Here's the best part.  Your customers will be able to provide their customers with exactly what they are looking for!  Our platform allows the end customers to watch videos anytime, anywhere.  They can download their video and watch it on a plane, train or automobile.  We protect your customer's content too, so only the app on the device can access the video.

Sign your customers up today!

Friday, August 22, 2014

DRM Free Downloads - Is That OK?

I talked to a prospect today that was using a competitive platform to deliver their video products.  We talked extensively about differentiation of InteliVideo over their current platform (from brand to analytics to customers to apps and so on).  But one thing that came up had to do with DRM free downloads.  You might think that's a good thing if you don't understand what it means...as they did.  I said "so you're OK with your customers downloading the MP4 and putting it on YouTube or emailing it to their friends or throwing it on a thumb drive."  He said, "no, our customer's can't do that."  So I showed him the language on their website (DRM free downloads), to which he replied, "right, it's protected."  When I looked puzzled, he said "what is DRM?"  I said DRM stands for Digital Rights Management.  You can think of it as protection.  So that wording is saying "you get this video that has NO protection, use it as you wish."  Of course there's likely wording in the click through contract that says the customer is only supposed to use the content on their own devices.  But...you've just handed them a risky piece of content.

So...in my humble opinion, I was say that "no" - DRM free downloads is not OK.

How the Big Boys Do It!

We have a number of VERY large (video on demand) customers.  We've broken our customer-base into 3 categories:

1. Infoprenuers - these are companies who do something and have video, but video is not their primary business.  For example, RunBare.  Their primary business is teaching people how to run in your barefeet.  They do have a video on this topic, along with books and other items.  Another example is BDB Software, which is my original side consulting business.  I started it to sell online Oracle Application Express training.  So all the business does is video, yet, I'm the CEO at InteliVideo.  That's my primary business - so BDB is just a side business.  You could say that Infoprenuers are wannabes.

2. Enterprise Content Providers (ECP) - these are companies who's primary business revolves around selling digital goods, education, etc. online.  These are the "big boys" of our industry.  In this blog post I'm going to talk more about how the Infoprenuer can become an ECP.

3. Corporations - these are companies that use video content to educate their own employees.  They typically aren't interested in selling their videos, they are interested in protecting their videos.

So how do the big boys become so big.  Like any business, it's typically over an extended period of time.  Even those who focus on infomercials are not usually overnight successes.  Take P90X or Beachbody.  They've been selling DVDs for MANY years.  Infomercials contribute to their success, but also the fact that they figured out how to do affiliate marketing is another large piece of their success.

So how do they do it?  Creative marketing, marketing, and more marketing - lots of it!  Promotions, A/B split tests, refining the message and analyzing what works and building on it.  Said another way, they are professional marketers!  You might ask - social marketing or pay per click marketing or SEO or.... - the answer is yes.

You want to get big?  Well then...it's time to focus.  On what?  One guess!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Employee or Member Training

Do you have a group of employees or members that you would like to train?  Would you like to make the training available for a limited time only - such as for 2 weeks?  Would you like to have the ability to take the ability to view the training away at your discretion (such as when an employee leaves the company)?  Would you like to know who watched which videos?  For example, did Jim watch the introductory video on Tuesday as he said he did?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, I have great news for you!  The InteliVideo platform supports all of these needs and more.  In fact, you can upload any number of videos, you can group them as you wish, you can give people access or deny access at any time (even if they have downloaded videos to their iPad, they will no longer be able to watch them once you deny access.

Below I'm going to run you through an actual use case for a company that's using our platform to train their employees.

Signing Up for an InteliVideo Account

Signing up for InteliVideo is an easy, painless and free process.  First, go to the InteliVideo site and click on "Sign Up:"


You will be asked for your subdomain name (typically something like your company name), first name, last name and email address.  Finally, just fill in the Captcha (anti-spammer protection) information and click on "Create Account."


You will then receive an email that will provide your InteliVideo account information.  Congratulations!  You're getting closer!

Customizing the Site with Your Logo, Color Scheme, etc.

Once you create your account, you'll be taken to the "Display" page within the InteliVideo administration / backend pages.  This is where you can update your subdomain name, logo, color schemes, page header, choose a template (look and feel) and so much more.  We work with most of our customers to make sure that the look and feel of their main website matches the look and feel of their InteliVideo website.  If you want to point your domain to our website, we can do that for you too.  For example, if you signed up for coolvideos.intelivideo.com and you want to change it to videos.coolvideos.com, we can even do that for you!

Signing Up for a Paid Account

Under "Account Settings" and then "My Plan" you can sign up for a paid account.  The highest value is in the $249/year account.  It includes more videos, storage, etc. in the plan.  You can always go over the number of hours or minutes provided, we just charge by the minute for those overages.


Uploading Your Video(s)

Uploading your videos is easy!  Simply drag and drop your videos into the platform and we do the rest for you!  When you click on the "Videos" tab, you'll see an "Upload Videos" button.  Click on this button, which will present you with a window like this one:


You can drag and drop any video file into the "Drag file here" section or you choose files, import them from Dropbox, download from a URL and there are other options.  If you have 100s of video files, we will work directly with you to get your videos into the platform.  Most of our customers who have more than 100 videos will send us a hard drive with the videos and we'll upload them.

Once the videos are uploaded, we take care of transcoding.  Transcoding is just a fancy way of saying that we convert just about any source video file format (MOV file, AVI file, VOB, etc.) into a number of different resolutions and formats so that your video will play on any device.  Another way of explaining this is that we take care of the hard stuff for you.

You'll see your videos in the list along with a status.  If the video file is corrupt, you would see an error message, but most of the time once your videos are transcoded, you'll see that you can watch the video as you see here below:


You can also edit the details (i.e. the description, if it's a public or private video, etc.) by clicking the edit button:


As you can see, you can edit the short (title) and long description here.  You can also indicate whether a video is public or private here.  Public means anyone can view it for free.  Private means you must be a member (or buyer) to view the video.  The override image allows you to upload an image that should be used as the default background image for the video.  If you don't upload an override image, we extract the first frame of the video and we use that image.

If there is a 1:1 correlation between your video and a product, you can click on "Create Product" in the list of videos page above.  Most of the time a product is made up of more than 1 video, but sometimes this is a good starting point for a product.  You can always add more videos to a product.

Grouping Your Video(s) into a Product

If you didn't click the "Create Product" button above, you'll need to create a product.  A Product is simply a bundle of videos that you wish to offer to the public, for sale or for members.

Click on the "Products" and then click on "New Product."  You'll see that there are a number of options here:


Again, you can set a short (title) and long description for your product.  You can determine whether the product is available to the public, members only or for sale.  If it's for sale, you can determine if the product is a one time payment, a rental, subscription or installment payment.

Offering Products for Sale

If you want to sell your products, you must connect your InteliVideo account with a Stripe account.  If you don't have an existing Stripe account, you can create one through our platform.  If you already have a Stripe account, you can connect to that account.  Either way, click on "Connect with Stripe" and we'll walk you through step-by-step what if required to connect InteliVideo and Stripe.

Granting Access to a Product / Video

Any product that is available for sale or for members only can be granted access (or revoked/denied) manually.  Click on the "Customers" tab, which will show you a list of your existing customers/members.  To add a new customer or member, click on "New Customer:"


Enter the first and last name along with the email of the person and select any products that you would like them to have access to.  IPs allow indicates how many unique locations you want the user to be able to access your video from.  The default is 8.  If you wanted them to be able to access it from one computer only, you could change this to 1.

You can view any customer/member by clicking on their name from the customer page.  You can click on "Edit User" to disable the user.  As you can see here, when you drill into a user, you'll see their usage stats:

When you edit the user, you can disable the user at any time.

Timed or Dripped Content

Within the details of every product, you can reorder the videos and the order they are displayed in by dragging any video into the correct order:


You can also set up a delayed delivery schedule or "drip schedule" for each video.  In other words, if you want Module 1 to be available for days 0 through 7 (first week), you can set that schedule up.  If you wanted all of the videos to be available for 3 weeks, you could set each video to 0 through 21.


Knowing Who's Watched What

The InteliVideo platform tracks all of the usage for every video whether it's watched streaming or downloaded and watched on a plane.  You saw one example of those usage statistics for a specific customer/member above.  There are MANY other ways of slicing and dicing the data to know what your customers/members are watching, what they are having a difficult time with (i.e. they are watching repeatedly), and what they aren't watching.  You can see where (in the world) they were when they were watching, what devices they watched from and so much more.  We are data guys, so believe me when I say "we track everything!"

Employee / Member's Viewing Options

We support about every device out there for viewing.  Most video platforms only support streaming videos.  This limits your members to watching when they have an Internet connection.  We have apps for iOS (iPhone and iPad), Android (phones and tablets), Chromecast, Roku, Windows computers, Apple computers and much much more.

The apps manage which content users can access and they keep track of those usage statistics when people are disconnected from the Internet and they upload those stats when the person's phone, tablet, laptop, etc. "phones" home.  This allows your customers or members to download a video, yet they don't have access to the source video file.  Therefore they can't archive it to watch it later.  They can't email it to their friends.  They can't post it on Facebook or YouTube.  It also allows you to control when they can no longer watch the product.  If you deny the user, they won't be able to watch the content any more.  The bottom line is that we protect your content and we don't allow people to access the content when you're done allowing them to have access.

Sign Up Today!

If you're ready to sign up for an account at InteliVideo, please do so now!  We would love to have you as a customer!

Funding = People = New Functionality

Funding Makes a Huge Difference

Once we closed on our series A funding in May, we were able to afford some of the top industry talent to take InteliVideo to the next level.  It's been a very exciting couple of months and it promises to be a very exciting next several years from the looks of it.

SO Many Great Uses

As we've been working with our customers, we continue to see so many impressive uses of our platform.  The easiest and quickest path to market for our customers is to use our platform from top to bottom.  Of course, most companies with existing scale already have a merchant account, their own shopping cart platform and other components that we integrate to.  Some of our customers have thousands of hours of video or thousands of small video file or most any combination you can imagine.

Not Just a Video Platform

We've moved from solie video to digital asset distribution.  Videos are the basis for most of our customers' products, but some of our customers have mostly audio.  Audio transcoding is much less expensive than video too!  Some of our customers have PDFs, Excel spreadsheets, Word documents and just about any other file type that they deliver along with their products.

Dripping Your Content

Some of our customers offer programs such as an 8 week bootcamp.  When they first offer the 8 week bootcamp, they typically have developed nothing more than their teaser video.  Once customers start buying their product, each week is produced in real time and made available to all of their customers as the content is produced.  Therefore, we added drip content functionality, which allows a customer who signs up 4 weeks into production to go through the 8 week bootcamp on a delayed schedule.  These virtual bootcamps have proven to be extremely effective for our customers.

Subscriptions to Installment Payments

Another big demand we received (and implemented) revolved around subscriptions.  It turns out that subscriptions are more complex than you might first think.  When I first thought about a subscription, I was thinking it would be a monthly subscription for content.  If you're paying the subscription fee, then you have access to the content and when you're not paying, you're not able to watch the content.  This is the most basic subscription scenario.  However, there are many more complex scenarios that our customers had in mind.  For example, a payment plan, which allows a customer to pay for the content over a 3 month period.  We've baked a number of things into our subscription management.

Geolocation Sensitive

Some of our customers also required geolocation available purchasing.  In other words, if they had the right to distribute their content in the USA only, they needed to restrict purchases to US-based customers only.  Or if they are restricted from selling their content in specific countries we can manage this for them too.

It's 100% Your Brand

A number of fitness gurus are powering Internet / digital distribution of their business with InteliVideo. It works because they can use their own teasers and content, they control their own video releases (from timeline to geography to pricing and more), and they see the actual data including contact and usage information for everyone they sell to. And it’s way easier than carrying around boxes of DVDs!

Promotion = More Sales

Eliminating the barriers between you and your customers is a huge benefit for sure.  If you have a mailing list in any form, you’ve got a great start to selling your content online!

Testing Pricing

We've found that getting creative with how you sell your content really makes a difference. Using split testing to discover the right pricing can be a great way to discover what works best for your customers.  Testing out installment payments versus rentals vs. pre-orders vs. bundling vs. selling individual videos...they are all worth testing out.  Behind the scenes footage, outtakes and other "special" content is important to many customers too.

Keep your fans/customers posted

Our most successful customers are the ones who really work at promoting their brand. We're all about helping you maintain your brand!  Sending email updates and upsell emails can prove to be very worthwhile.

Available everywhere

InteliVideo works globally, so your customers can watch anywhere (and on any device) and anytime (even when they don't have an internet connection). It REALLY helps to make your work available everywhere. Our top / best-selling titles across the InteliVideo platform are available worldwide. 

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Creating a Passive Income with Video on Demand Education


In today's blog, I thought I would take this opportunity to tell you about a trend that you NEED to jump on.  Why?  Because it will make you a fortune.  And...you will meet your needs - whether you need money, love, power, control, or whatever it might be.  Teaching people will help you learn more than ever.

I'm a Video Author...Just Like You!
For the past 2 years I’ve been making money selling my training classes online.  As you can tell from my blog or if you know me, you know that I’m a technical guy, a developer, a geek, so I developed the InteliVideo platform for myself.  I’ve been making money selling my technical knowledge and training people 24 hours a day 7 days a week, while I do other things.  I simply recorded once, put a price on it and it sells over and over.  I built this platform with others in mind - specifically people like you.  I wanted to share my money making platform with people like you so that you too can make money from your knowledge.  In this article, I’m going to teach you everything you need to know in order to do this yourself.  We have a number of people who are making a living through our platform.  I hope this inspires you to write and record something and start selling it right away!

Who am I?  
If you've followed me, you know that I’ve sold 2 large enterprise businesses.  My first large business, TUSC had about 400 employees when we sold the business to Rolta in 2008.  That was an Oracle consulting business.  My second business, InteliVideo was a residential real estate valuation company.  We sold that business to Equifax in 2011.  

I’ve been educating people about technology for more than 30 years.  My first job was at Pioneer Hi-Bred.  They were seed company.  Seed for farmers.  Farmers sold seed to other farmers through Pioneer.  I offered word processing and other courses to the sales guys and their admins - typically their spouse.  They loved those courses.  I’ve been training people for as long as I can remember.  My current offerings often turn into consulting opportunities for others.  If I was available to do the consulting myself, the courses would turn into consulting opportunities for me.

Who are you?  
What is your dream?  I’d like you to stop and think about that for a minute.  What do you want to get done with your life?  Do you want fame?  fortune?  Are you altruistic?  Are you looking for a passive income?  In other words, would you like to make money while you do other things?  Maybe you want to make money while you’re designing, developing, producing your next course?

Have you ever studied your needs vs. your wants?  I personally have a need to write.  I have a need to do mechanic things too.  I used to get frustrated whenever I worked on mechanical projects.  Typically because I didn’t have the proper amount of time needed to complete the task.  I took the Brinkman assessment and learned all about my needs vs. my wants.  Maybe you have a need to tell stories.  Or to share with others.

Like I said, take some time to think about this.  Stop what you're doing right now and spend 30 minutes or a day thinking about this.  One of my favorite exercises I ever did was when I was asked to write a letter to myself .  I wrote the letter, which outlined my expectations for myself, I sealed it and mailed it to myself.  I kept it in a drawer for years.  I was at a point in my life where I was disappointed with myself.  I always remembered and referred back to what I wrote in that letter.  It drove me for years to come.

Figure out what you want to share with others.  What you want your legacy to be!

InteliVideo's Misson
Our goal at InteliVideo is to have 10,000 customers by 2015.  Profitable customers.  People like you who are ALL making money!

The Path to Your Success
I’m going to show you how to come up with your ideas on what to teach (or entertain), how to write your lessons, how to record them, how easy it is to upload them, group them into a product, set a price, publish and get online.  You can do this within hours.  Then I’m going to explain how you market, promote and sell your education materials.  If you follow these steps you’ll be on your way to making a TON of money!  Best of all, I’m going to show you how to do this without giving away the profits to places like Apple / iTunes, Google, Amazon and the large marketplaces that take most of your money.  I’m going to show you how to build a business that will provide you with a full time income and full time freedom.  It’s the American dream to have a passive income!

The Trend - DVDs to VoD
There is a new trend that completely changes the game for you.  Producing movies and educational content in the past was hard work.  To produce a DVD was REALLY hard work.  Today, using this new trend you can make a career by simply sharing your knowledge with others.  I’d like to see you profit from this new trend and leverage it.  It’s important to start with the right foundation so you can build on it.  The real beauty of all of this is that you can do it with nearly zero budget.

Video is quickly moving from DVDs to video on demand.  DVDs were very difficult to produce.  Not only did you have to create a master DVD, but just to get to that point you had to hire videographers, editors, and others.  Then once you created your master, you had to decide if you were going to produce 1 at a time or if you were going to produce thousands.  The more you purchased, the less you paid per DVD, but the more you didn’t sell, the more you effectively paid per DVD.  Then once you had 1000 copies of your DVD you had to decide if you were going to “self publish” it - just like writing a book...or if you were going to find a distributor to represent your DVD.  Distributors are just like the modern day Amazon, iTunes, Roku, Netflix and other marketplaces...they take most of your profits.  

Back to the trend - with the advent of YouTube and high speed Internet connections, the bottom line is that consumers like watching videos over the Internet.  They and their kids like watching videos on their devices - iPhones, iPads, Android tablets, laptops, desktops, you name it.  A better experience for the average Joe is to watch a downloaded video.  That way you don’t have to deal with streaming the video, waiting for it to buffer, and the like.  Additionally, if you’re disconnected from the Internet when you’re on a plane, train or automobile, you’ll still be able to watch a downloaded video.

But wait, what’s happened to DVDs?  They actually aren’t playable by most devices today.  Look around.  You don’t see DVD players on iPhones, iPads, or even laptops or even TVs!  Why not?  We’ve gone digital.  Everything is in the cloud!  Many of the historical DVD shops have closed their doors.  Those still in business say their business is 1/10 of what it once was too!  Profit margins are slim.

What about Distributors?
So let’s talk a little more about the distributors.  For example, let’s take Netflix.  What if you could smooze them into taking on your video content for sale.  Yes, they have a channel to market.  Yes, they have customers.  But how would the math work for you video?  Let’s just say that in one month they collect $1M that they plan to distribute to all content owners like you.  For simple math, let’s say that 1 million minutes were watched that month - from all of the content owners - including you.  In this case, Netflix would pay $1 per minute of video that was watched.  Then they add up how many of those minutes were your videos.  Let’s say you had 90 minutes watched that month.  They would cut you a check for $90.

How many customers did you get from Netflix?  Not one.  They aren’t your customers.  They are their customers.  How many people watched your videos?  It doesn’t matter - it might have been 900 or 1.  We’ll talk more about why this model doesn’t work.  Whether it’s Netflix or Amazon or iTunes or whoever.  The real money is in the customer for life.  This sale and every sale thereafter.  In the consulting business we always knew that it was MUCH easier for us to find more business from our existing customers than it was to find a new customer.

Traditional video production is also a dying or diminishing trend.  It’s NOT booming.  It’s NOT a wave to catch.  Some would say it’s dead too.  

All of this is GREAT news for you!  NOW is the best time to publish your video education series.  The profits are AMAZING!  You can keep as much as 90 cents of EVERY dollar.  And...the starting costs are SUPER low!  You might need a video camera, but your phone or tablet likely has one that’s good enough.  You might need a microphone, but those are pretty inexpensive.  

The real beauty here is that there is NO shipping or logistics required for your product.  There is NO physical product to deal with.  You don’t have to produce 1000s of DVDs before you make your first sale.  There is also no middle man or distributor required.  Quite often you can sell material without any production costs too.

So take charge!  Now is the time!

One Hit Wonder or Customers for Life?
Although a HUGE one hit wonder might be enough to satisfy your income requirements, a long term topic or theme can much more rewarding.  For example, let’s say you want to create a video about washing your dog.  Although that by itself might be an interesting and rewarding video series because you could talk about washing your dog regularly, washing your muddy dog, washing your oily dog, washing your dog after it got sprayed by a skunk and so on...it would be ideal if you could offer a website and a number of video series about dogs.  Washing dogs, caring for a puppy, caring for an aging dog, knowing when it might be time to put your dog down, when you should take a dog to a vet, the benefits of Benadryl with dogs and so many other topics you might cover.

In other words, it’s good to have a long term video of everything you plan to provide about a topic, which ideally could go pretty broad.  This is called a roadmap.  You don’t necessarily need to have your entire roadmap outlined before you create your first video, but it might be a good idea to know that there are “enough” topics you can create video products about that will provide a long term revenue stream for you.

One real benefit of video on demand over DVDs is that video on demand products are “living documents.”  You can change them as times change.  You can add new content as you see fit.  You can charge a “maintenance fee” for your customers to receive up-to-date content.

Ideation
Ideation is tough.  You can tackle this one of 2 ways.  What I call top down or bottom up.  A top down approach would involve documenting every problem that you hear people talk about.  For this exercise, ideally the problem can be solved with video education.  Next you would figure out how to solve each problem and sizing up the market of each solution.

The bottom up approach, which is the one I prefer for this exercise is to list all of the topics that you could teach through video-based education.  There is a term used in business, which is SME or subject matter expert.  What are you a SME in?  For me, I know a lot about geospatial data, real estate, fixing and flipping homes, technical topics like Oracle, starting a business, teaching college courses, and the list goes on.  Then I looked which topics I already had material for and the economic value of each of the above subject areas.  I decided to start my education series around Oracle education since I already had training materials written in this area.

What are you a SME in?  What could you teach others about?  How much could you sell an online education for?  Stop the video and start writing your list.  Then take your list to people who know you and I’ll bet they help you come up with another 20 topics that you could make money teaching about!

Writing Your Material
Once you’ve selected your topic, you’ll need to create your teaching script.  The last thing you’ll want to write (and record) is your introduction and conclusion.  It’s easiest to do your introduction once you’ve written everything in the middle.

I often use PowerPoint or Keynote to create my training materials like these.  Remember that you can always refine your educational series so don’t over-think what you to include.  Unlike DVDs, you don’t have a limit on the amount of material that will fit on a DVD either!

Create an overall outline for video product.  We call this a video series.  A video series is a bundling of a number of videos.  You can always change the order that the videos are presented to the user in.  Like I said, it’s like a living book!  Your overall outline should basically be your chapters, lessons or individual videos in your series.  Then you’ll need to create an outline for each chapter.

I like to create a separate PowerPoint / outline and slides for each chapter/video.  Once your outline is finished, you can create your slides.  For some people, this is a quick process.  For others, it’s a long process.  Whatever the case for you, focus on a solid design and you’ll have a solid offering.

Think about what you hope to accomplish with each and every chapter or lesson.  As Mark Twain basically said, “if I had more time I would have written a shorter letter.”  In other words, getting to the point takes more time.  Take the time!

Recording and Editing
Once your presentation slides are done, it’s time to record your lessons.  If you’re covering a technical topic like this, that you can cover solely with voice overs on PowerPoints, you can use Apple’s Quicktime, which is free to record your session.  

If you’re doing a lesson on tractor repair, you will need to record you in front or inside of a tractor.  You can certainly have a professional video created that would require editing.  In this case, you’ll need wireless microphones, professional video people and more.  This can run $10,000 a day including your producer.

I use a USB microphone and Screenflow to record these lessons.  Let’s take a look at QuickTime and Screenflow and how they work.

Create an InteliVideo Account
Once you have your videos created, it’s time to create an account on InteliVideo and get those videos in the Cloud.  We have a series of videos that will walk you through this process on help.intelivideo.com.  Once you create an account, you can create a Stripe account too.

I want to share and acronym and meaning with you that should be helpful.  It’s MVP, which stands for minimally viable product.  You need to have “enough” videos to create your first product.  You don’t need to have the entire product complete - in fact, it might never be “finished.”  You just need enough to please your first customers.  How many lessons is that?  Well, that’s a bit tough to say.  I offered 50 lessons, which are 5-20 minutes each for just $49.99 when I first started.  Others offer 10 lessons that are about 30 minutes each for $200 while others do full video production and offer an entire session for $3.99.  

It all comes back to the value of what you’re providing your customers.  But getting back to the point, don’t go too far beyond your MVP before you get it in the market.  Why?  Because you want to get constant feedback and the only way to get feedback is to have customers.  So get your MVP done and get going today!

One great thing about a product like this is that you can “play” with the price.  You can change it as often as you would like.  Just be careful not to mention the price in your teaser video.

Oh yes, there is another term that is important to know about.  Your teaser video explains what you’re selling.  It’s your sales video.  Potential customers will only be able to watch a couple of minutes of the “real content.”  You’ll want to watch the analytics about your teaser video.  

Oh, there’s another term.  Analytics.  These are the reports and graphs that explain the details of who’s doing what with your videos.  Which videos your customers are watching.  How much of your teaser video is being watched?

If you haven’t created your teaser video by this time, you’re going to want to really think about what you’re going to include in this video.  I like to watch other people’s teasers to get ideas.  Once you have your MVP, you’re ready to go live.  If you’re teaching people about saving money, do they have “enough” to start saving money?  If you’re teaching them about weight loss, can they start losing weight?

Packaging
Once you’ve uploaded your videos, you can group them into a product.  We call this a video series.  As long as you’ve created a Stripe account, you can set a price on the video series and you’re ready to start selling.  You can change the price any time!

Marketing
Now it’s time to talk about marketing your video series.  SEO (search engine optimization) and SEM (Google Ad Words) are important, but if you have an existing customer or friend base that might be interested in your educational content, it’s time to market to those friends.  You can pay for marketing on Facebook too.

Promote
Promotion through Facebook, Twitter and other social media is your ticket.

Sell
Now it's time to make money and get your automated deposits.  Or...you can use this time to create more material.

Back to the Big Guys
Yes, we provide you with the next generation of DVDs for your customers.  A completely digital product.  But why shouldn’t you put your product into the marketplaces that companies like Amazon, iTunes, Google, Vimeo and others have so graciously provided?

They have customers and they have traffic, right?

Why yes, THEY do!  Key word, THEY.  Not you, THEY.  I’m not saying you should NEVER put your product into their marketplace, but you should know what you’re getting into before you do so.  They absolutely serve a purpose - it’s their purpose, not yours.

So what is it that you give up by putting your content into their marketplace?

1. You give up Brand loyalty - you don’t have a brand in their market, it’s their brand.
2. You give up the Customer - it’s their customer, not yours.
3. You give up the Upsell - they say “customers who purchase this also purchase that...”
4. You might give up the sale - in fact, they might recommend someone else over you.
5. You give up your profits - they take 30%

So...for now at least, just say NO to iTunes, Amazon, Google, Hulu, Netflix...

Let’s talk more about this.  What are the problems with them?

#1 - Not your customers

First off, you have to remember, it’s not YOUR customer who’s buying your product in a marketplace.  You can make more money if they are your customers.  You can upsell your customers.  You won’t know who bought your product through them.  As a matter of fact, when they are marketing your product, they will market other products.  They might just convince your potential customer to buy your competitors product.  Your competitors might put comments out there trashing our product.  Amazon wants to sell people everything from computing power on EC2 to lightbulbs to books.

You’ll have a video product with sales but no customers.  That doesn’t work well for your roadmap of all of your complementary products.

#2 - Not your profits

Not only will they take a large chunk of your money right out of the gates, but the real cost is the future value of not having the relationship with the customer.  They take away all future sales too and the REAL money is on the subsequent sales.

#3 - Not your Product

So let’s say that the product that you want to provide to the market includes a PDF (printable document) or an eBook or even a physical product like a book or a trampoline or chin up bar.  Most of these platforms will allow you to sell your digital good (i.e. your movie), but it’s really not your product or your rules.  You must live within their rules for what defines a product.

#4 - Not your Price

Many marketplaces are in what’s known as the race to the bottom.  In other words, commodity pricing.  The lower the price the better.  Walmart sells as many videos as they can for $.99.

We have customers who offer their products from about $3 up to $15,000.  Many of our customers charge $200 for their educational information.  You cannot set your price in their marketplace.  Sometimes the higher price implies higher value.

#5 - No Collaboration

Amazon and most distributors do allow affiliates to sell your products.  They typically pay affiliates about 8%.  That’s because they operate on low prices and hence low margins.  But in the digital world, every incremental sale is income right to your bottom line.  Some people pay their affiliates as much as 75% of whatever price they sell a produce for.  Do you really care what they charge?  What if they can get $500 for something you charge $5 for?

#6 - Not Your Sales Engine

You are at their mercy.  It’s not your sales engine that will sell product for them...it’s theirs.  Hope and pray that sales will come in.  Tell people to buy it on Amazon and you’ll get pennies.

With your own sales channel, you’re in control!

Focus

You can do better than them...create your own channel, with your own customers!  You will have increased profits, better affiliates and best of all, you can sell your customers over and over.

Jump on This Trend Today!
InteliVideo provides you with:
  • Simple and intuitive
  • Quick and easy to get going
  • Pre-defined look, feel, flow
  • Advanced Analytics
  • Scalable hosting and delivery
  • Custom video players (all platforms)
  • Content Protection
  • APIs and Development Tools
  • Customer Service
Check us out at www.intelivideo.com

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Update on InteliVideo


Pivot Update

It's been a while since I wrote a blog entry.  I guess we've been heads down working for a while now.  I'm finally coming up for some air!  When we started InteliVideo, the focus was on providing a marketplace for people who wanted to sell their video content.  After talking to 100s of people with video content, many of which sell millions of units a year, it became clear that we needed to create a number of pricing (and service) options for our customers.  The marketplace is "high end" from a cost (to our customers) perspective.  We used to get a lot of questions about how we are different or better than iTunes.  We'll be able to answer that some day since we'll do a better job of promoting our customer's content than iTunes, but for now we're going to pivot a bit.  Since we don't really have a marketplace in place yet, we decided to focus on providing authenticated access to video content.  This could include putting a paywall in front of videos, but could also mean that our customers can simply tell us who can access a video, how long they can access it for, etc.  This could be done through our API or via an email to us (that will be read and processed automatically).  So the "slight pivot" is moving from the marketplace mentality to paywall / authenticated video viewing.  There are plenty of places that can host your videos, but providing a paywall (or authentication) in front of your video - not so much!


We developed a short video explaining what we do for our customers.



I would love to hear your feedback on this video.

Pricing

When I started my consulting business, TUSC, in 1988, I wondered about how to price our consulting services.  A good friend of mine, Steve Silver recommended we ask our customers what we should charge.  This seemed counter-intuitive to me.  Would customers be honest with pricing our value?  The answer was yes - they were VERY honest about what they could pay for our world class Oracle consultants.

At InteliVideo we did a lot of research on the market and have now arrived at a pricing model.  We'll disclose this soon - when we release our new website.  It was exciting to work through this, to run it by potential customers for feedback and now to close on this chapter.


As you can see, we'll have features that are available by classes of customers.  Our monthly bundles provide HUGE value to our customers.

New sales site

In the process of revising our message, we revised our website accordingly.  Less focus on the marketplace and more focus on the value we provide to our clients.  The feedback on the site has been good!  Our primary customers are currently those companies who have historically been in the DVD replication business.  These folks have witnessed a change in their business over the last 5 years.  Many people have been quick to point out that if they receive a DVD they don't even have a DVD player anymore.  We're providing the video on demand platform for these companies.  You would never know that InteliVideo is the platform behind their offerings!  We're a complete white label solution for them!


New "Player"

We reworked our "player" in the browser to simply that for our customer's customers:


We list all of a customers videos (that they have purchased) on the right.  The top left of the page provides branding for our customers.  Below the list of videos we created an "upsell" section for our customers to advertise other things that might be of interest to their customers.  At the bottom of the page, we list all of our players (beyond the browser).


Clean, simple, easy to use!

Partners

We've also added a couple of world class partners/founders to the business.  I'm going to assume the CEO role.  Monty Sooter, former CIO at Corporate Express (a huge customer for TUSC) and former COO for ClickBank is our President/COO.  John Hayward has joined us as our CTO.  I'm very excited to have these guys on my executive team!


Whole new design in action

I mentioned in a previous blog post that I was big on Crowdsourcing logos, website development, etc.  The last round of UI work was done through CrowdSpring (and others through 99Designs).  I really enjoy that process and the end result.  This provided us with an excellent revision in our site's look and feel.  We're in the process of using Mike Stemple to design a whole new look and feel throughout the site.  Mike's an amazing guy and so much fun to work with!  We're also working on our site flow.  It's time!

We have clients, who will upload their videos, categorize them, monitor sales and how often they are watched, and the like.  This is our "white" site.


We also have customers, who will actually be our customer's customer - i.e. they will buy a video.  This is our "dark" site, which is supposed to look and feel more like a TV.  This site will have its own set of features and benefits such as being able to watch your video on any platform.



We are working heavily on our admin side of our "white" site too.  This will provide our clients with the analytics they need, but just as important is the uploading, categorizing, etc. that I mentioned above.


Players

A big part of our focus has been that we protect our client's content or intellectual property.  In other words, we don't simply email a customer an mp4 file and let them figure out how to play it.  We also don't email the mp4 to protect the content creator's content / IP.  In other words, that would make it very easy for them to upload it to YouTube and make it public content.

One player that we were missing was a player for the laptop or desktop computer.  Sure, you could stream the content and watch it on your browser, but you couldn't download it and watch it on an airplane (i.e. disconnected from the internet)...and you had all of the baggage of streaming too.

Laptop/desktop client

Our first attempt at a laptop/desktop player was with HTML5.  We spent December realizing this was a futile effort.  HTML5 has a lot of "disconnected" or "offline" functionality built into it.  However, HTML5 is SUPER buggy and you can't download large files (which video files are large), so we spent January creating our laptop/desktop client in Java.  With Oracle's Java FX we were able to create a client that runs on Windows, Mac, Linux AND we were able to create installers for all 3 environments / operating systems.  Our laptop/desktop player looks a LOT like the browser-based functionality...but allows you to download any of your videos.  It also manages subscriptions (i.e. you can't play a video when your subscription ends).


Android, iOS and Roku

We've had players for Android, iOS (iPhone and iPad) and Roku for a while now.  However, our iOS player didn't allow you to download your content to the device.  We reworked that application, so it now provides that functionality.  At some point we'll develop players for all of the smart TVs that are out there.  Our Android app works on the Google TV, but there are Yahoo, Samsung, etc. smart TVs out there.

Subdomains

One feature that I love that we added is the "subdomain" functionality.  This allows our customers to establish their own subdomain within InteliVideo.  We can create an ENTIRE video site for them here or we can automatically display all of the videos in their sales library.  For example:

bdb.intelivideo.com
bb.intelivideo.com
sosmart.intelivideo.com
palemale.intelivideo.com

This allows our customers to create their own branded marketplace in seconds!

Feedback

I'm always interested in your feedback, ideas, comments, suggestions!  Every day is a learning opportunity.




Thursday, November 1, 2012

eDVD - From Concept to Implementation

I love the process of starting a new venture.  It's an iterative process where you come up with a concept, take it to the market for feedback, develop a minimally viable product, take that to the market for feedback and the loop continues until you have customers - or you're dead (i.e. out of time, out of money, etc.).  We're very focused on the former - lots and lots of customers!

InteliVideo start around the concept of delivering educational courses online...and allowing people to charge whatever they want to charge for a course and getting to keep 70% of it for themselves (i.e. an education and training monetization marketplace).  After talking to the market (i.e. training people like myself), I learned that many trainers enjoy traveling the world doing their training.  Unlike me, they aren't so interested in making money while they sleep.  My class is available on the InteliVideo site and if you know any trainers who want to make money while they sleep, direct them my way!  Everything is self service!

We then changed our focus to those who had existing video content they were selling (or not selling) - i.e. those people/companies selling DVDs.  After a number of discussions, we then learned that people who produce videos and then want to sell them typically go to a distributor to fulfill their sale needs.  These distributors make their customers (i.e. the producers) pre-pay for about 1000 DVDs to be distributed on average.  If they produce 30 DVDs, at any one time, they will have at least 30,000 DVDs in stock.  Those up-front costs are considerable.  These distributors also require that the producer signs a contract that says they (the distributors) have exclusivity for distribution.  That makes sense, but there is a small catch in that exclusivity.  It typically states that they can't sell their video content in ANY media - i.e. even media that hasn't been invented yet.  Specifically, if they are selling DVDs for them when they signed the contracts in 2008 and then the iPad was invented, changed the world and everyone starts moving to the digital world, these video producers are stuck!  They can't move to the digital world because of their contracts.  In other words, they no longer really own their content.  So we quickly learned that this "long tail" market wasn't a good market to focus on.  All of the "self-service" functionality (to upload, categorize, index, search engine optimize, etc.100s of videos) we built for this market works great however!

Now...this isn't true for everyone who produced video content, but it's true for a large majority of them (i.e. we'll call them the "long tailers."  It was certainly the industry norm of 2008.  Those who had a bit more leverage, actually read the contract and likely disputed that clause.  Or...they simply went to a DVD duplicator (with no handcuffs) and used or built their own sales engine.

As I've said before, good start-ups pivot (and twist and turn) to find their market.  DVD duplicators have a number of customers.  Finding customers who bring you customers is a great thing!  At the same time, most DVD duplicators have not moved into the digital world just yet.  Many that we've met with have seen their sales drop to as little as 10% of what they once were!

Here enters InteliVideo pivot #2.  Sure, we still have a platform that will work for educational training purposes AND we still have a platform that works for those video producers who actually own their content.  We also have built an excellent CRM (customer relationship management) email campaign management system into InteliVideo.  This allows those with video content to email (after all, email still rules the world) a video sampler (or trial subscription) to a prospective customer, to know how much video every prospect watched and take actions based on this information.

DVD duplicators needed an additional piece of functionality, which we've now added to InteliVideo.  This is what we call the eDVD functionality.  DVD duplicators are used to authoring DVDs for their customers.  They want to make the DVD look exactly the way they want it to look.  We quickly learned that many of them saw this as clear differentiation for them.  They not only duplicate the DVD, but they create the look and feel for their customers before doing the duplication.  The (physical) DVD review process alone requires shipping or delivering a physical product today.  Not with an eDVD!  They can of course continue to deliver a physical DVD for any or all of their customers.  But with a simple email, their customers can review an eDVD AND they can now offer an eDVD solution to their customers - transparently through InteliVideo.

For a company like Schooled Film.com that has a physical DVD for their customers, the standard InteliVideo look and feel is something like this:


You can see that the video is at the top, chapters to the right, pricing below, social media below, etc.  However, as we learned from the DVD duplicators, each producer may have their own way that they wish to display the look and feel for their eDVD.  So we created an eDVD authoring tool (through the browser).  This allows schooled to have a page that looks exactly as they want it to look.  For example:


This is powerful functionality for our customers!  Try it out here!

We're seeing some real traction with the DVD duplicators.  If you know someone in that business, point them our way!  We would love to help them move into 2013 with many differentiators over iTunes, Amazon, etc. marketplaces - here's a shortened list of functionality over the iTunes market:

  1. Cross platform - iTunes is for iPhone/iPad only.  Versus InteliVideo, which is available on iPhone, iPad, Android phones, Android Tablets, Google TVs, Yahoo TVs, Roku, your browser, etc.  In other words, it’s truly cross platform.  We also offer “in app purchases” on Android, Roku, iPhones and iPads, but there’s a cost of doing that.
  2. Pricing - We have a LOT of flexibility on pricing.  We can gladly charge the same fee that iTunes (and Android and Amazon) market does – which is 30% of the gross fees.  But we can offer a variety of pricing offerings.  We tell our customers that “if you can dream up a way to charge people, we can implement it.”  In other words, a company like Subway could use our platform for training…and we could charge per employee rather than per “customer.”
  3. White labeled offering - InteliVideo is a white labeled offering – in other words, you can put some HTML code on your website and sell your videos through your site.  It looks like your site, but everything goes through InteliVideo - payment to delivery.  Think of the InteliVideo platform just like you think of  Google Analytics - plug and play.
  4. eDVDs – as mentioned above, we allow you to design your own “skin” for your videos – just like you can author a physical DVD, we allow you to do the same for an eDVD.
  5. Social marketing – we offer a social component to videos – you can post a comment and people can then view a sample of the video before they buy.
  6. Bookmarks and Chapters – we allow you to have any number of videos that you group into an eDVD and you can break up a video into any number of chapters.  Customers can bookmark their own sections in the videos too.
  7. Referral / Affiliate network – we allow you to allow your customers to put some HTML code on their website and they get a referral fee – you set the fee they get (i.e. could be 5% or could be 95%).
  8. Email campaigns / CRM – we have a built-in CRM system that allows you to send out any number of emails to people.  When they click on the unique link in the email, we create an InteliVideo account, send them the details for that account and track everything about that person.  We know what they watched, how long, etc.
  9. Virtual classrooms – you can set up a course through InteliVideo and you can monitor any number of students.  You can watch their progress.
  10. SEO – We integrated with Google Analytics, so you can track your clicks, etc. through them, but we also log every click, etc.


We'll certainly keep you posted on our progress as we continue to pivot, twist and turn and we would love to hear your feedback, comments, questions, and thoughts.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

#Oracle #Cloud is Here!

Well, the long awaited for #cloud offering is finally here from Oracle.  This post will walk you through the registration process.  My next blog entry will walk you through the setup, configuration, installation, etc.

First, just go to https://cloud.oracle.com/ and click on the "Register for Access" button:


Then Oracle asks if you need to create a new Oracle account or if you already have one.  Answer accordingly.


If you need to create a new account, answer the questions...


If you already have an Oracle account like I do, just sign in:


Tell Oracle which of their many cloud offerings you want to try out:




Now just sit back and wait for your account to be created.  I was in the Early Adaptor (EA) program, so I had everything in the EA version.  I just signed up for my new "production" version of the offering.  In my next blog I'll let you know how long it took to get my account set up and I'll show you what I had to do from there.  The above process took me all of 1 minute...

Sign up - good luck!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

InteliVideo is Ramping Up!

The rubber is starting to meet the road now!  We're getting some serious traction in the market wiith InteliVideo.  J.P. O'Brien, a long time friend has joined me as a co-founder and CEO.  We're signing up customers each week.  We have customers in 3 different categories: 1) Long tail videos - just like Amazon was originally focused on the long tail books, we're focused on the long tail video market.  2) Mid tail videos - these are our ideal customer who have videos.  These companies have the best potential for knocking it out of the park with a viral video.  3) Business who want to partner with other companies in the video and entertainment space.  More about this another time.

We now have APIs for anything you can imagine.  We have players for most every device.  We have a full digital rights management platform (we protect our customer's IP).  We keep track of detailed video viewing, previewing, and every click on our site.  In other words, we have extensive analytics about our customers and our prospects.  We have full support and feedback platforms built into our platform.  We allow people to watch videos pretty much anywhere they want - from their big screen TV (i.e. on Roku) to their iPhone, iPad, Android devices and more.

Last week I offered my Oracle Application Express class to the first 10 people that signed up for free.  That provided me with considerable valuable feedback.  Thank you beta users!  10 new people have some great ApEx skills now!  I started by offering my class at $300.  My thinking was that if you attended this class (which I planned to add to over time for added value), it would cost you about $300 per day for an in person class.  This class is at your own pace and you can refer back to the materials at any time.  If it's a 5 day class (I personally think I'll end up with at least 10 days of material)...that's a $1500 value for only $300!

What we need right now is to prove out our model.  In other words, we need to prove we can sell classes online.  I'm headed to Branson, MO for my yearly family reunion/vacation for the next couple of weeks.  So I'm going to put my class out there for just $49.99.  You can buy an unlimited number of seats (one seat is for one employee) and it's not a timed copy of the class - in other words, you'll be able to watch it as long as we're around...and you'll get all of the updates that I do to the class.  All of this just for being one of my first customers!  Hopefully you'll want to train a few hundred of your employees in ApEx...or maybe it's just you. But...please sign up, pay for the class and help make a difference with the future of InteliVideo!  Think of it as a "Kickstart-like" investment!  I can assure you that you won't regret it.  If you don't like the classes, you don't see the value or whatever your reason, I'll gladly refund your money.

This is a cool look at our videos.  Please buy other videos too!  But...PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE buy my ApEx class.  And...if there are other classes you would like to see offered out here...let me know!  If you want to deliver your own content and offer it up to the world just as I'm doing (at whatever price you want to offer it for -within reason), that's exactly what I built InteliVideo for...sign up as a content owner and we'll be happy to help you publish and sell your content.

Again, please...and thank you!


Friday, June 22, 2012

Oracle ApEx Class Online

I've been building out an Oracle Application Express class on InteliVideo.  Check out the class...I'd love to get your feedback, ideas, etc.  I'll give the first 10 people to send me an email (brad@intelivideo.com) a free class registration.


Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Roku SDK

It's amazing (and pretty cool) that when you start looking around, most everyone has an SDK that allows you to integrate whatever apps you want to develop into their solution.  Sure, you can develop apps for phones - Android, Apple (iOS), and even BlackBerry phones.  Everyone's effectively  carrying pocket PCs around with them these days.

Let's say you want to develop an app to run on a connected TV.  Well, you can do that!  Yahoo (and Google) basically own that market.  Google running on LG, Sony, etc. and Yahoo on many devices too, such as Vizio and Samsung.  Google's pretty easy to develop an app for since it's powered by Android.  I already had my Android app developed, so all I had to do was add some information to my config file, choose a specific API version and I was done.  That was easy!  So now I have an app that runs on Android devices such as the MANY phones and tablets that it runs on.  Yahoo is a bit more more complicated.  You have to down a virtual machine (and a virtual machine "runner" such as Virtual Box from Oracle) and some other code.  It's not well documented either.  I have a Yahoo TV, so that's my next project.

I also have a Roku box.  Roku provides an SDK (Software Development Kit) AND they provide amazing documentation to help you write your first Roku application.  The first language that I programmed in was BASIC - it just so happens to be VERY similar to Visual BASIC, so for me, the learning curve was pretty easy.

Here's a look at the functionality I created using the Roku SDK.  First off, I published my application into the Roku private channels (public channels are apps reviewed by Roku - private are not).  If you go to https://owner.roku.com/Add/InteliVideo you'll be able to see how you can add my new channel to your Roku box.  There are 3 images below.  The image on the left, shows the link on my website to the above Roku link.  In my website, I determine what device your viewing the site from and displays the player for your device (as discussed below).  The image in the middle shows the results of the above link to Roku and the image to the right is what you'll see if you add my Roku app to your Roku device.


Here's a look at that iFrame - if you're looking at this blog from your iPad or iPhone, you'll see the iOS link (which isn't available in the marketplace yet, but will be soon).  If you're looking at it from an Android device, you'll see the link for the Android app.  If you're looking at it from a PC or desktop, you'll see the Roku link.

Once you install the Roku app, it will show up in your list of Roku apps!  This occurs very similar to how auto updates occur on iOS and Android.  You can arrow to the app and click OK / Select and it will run the InteliVideo app.  Now that you can control everything about the app - from the description showing below the icon to the icon used.



Roku has the ability to generate a unique ID.  So I display this unique ID to the user and tell them to go to the InteliVideo website to link their authentication to the Roku device.  This way I didn't have to build an authentication page for the Roku, which is frankly painful to "type" using your arrow keys.


Once you've linked your Roku device to your InteliVideo account, my application looks up all of the categories that you've purchased or can view and it displays each of these videos in a grid.  You can move around the page to view information about each video.  When you want to select a video, you click OK and you'll see the next page.  In the application, I thought it was pretty cool that I can dynamically look up these videos (via XML), get their images (via HTTP) and display them along with descriptions, ratings, etc.


Once you select a video, I used a custom viewer to start the video.  I display the name of the video on the left side of the page and the instructions are on the right.  This is on top of the InteliVideo logo.  If you press the down button, I display the video in full screen.  These videos are streamed.  All of the buffering is done for the user automatically.  The quality even on my big screen TV is BlueRay level.


As you can see, Roku has a full SDK that allows me to authenticate users, provide only videos they have paid for, allow them to watch them, rewind, pause, etc.  It's amazing how powerful these SDKs are.  I'll talk about the Yahoo TV SDK once I've written my application for my Vizio TV with Yahoo TV in it.