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Ankoder - More Than A Online Video Platform

Today we explore an exciting venture in the Online Video Platform, Ankoder (pronounced encoder). It was founded in 2006 by Rex Chung from Sydney, Australia.

In a recent email-based interview with Rex Chung, he gave insights into his venture and how he is progressing with it. This is what he has to say:

• Please tell us about your venture/company?
We're more than just a white-label video platform. We provide a flexible API that allows developers to easily integrate videos on their site while keeping full control of the videos and encoding options.

• Who are the people behind this and how it started?
Ankoder is a product of RoRCraft, which was founded by Rex Chung in 2006. We started this project in-house in house since late 2007. We got this idea from thinking about how can we capitalise on the power of cloud computing. We've designed our application to automatically scale using Amazon's EC2 so that we can guarantee the videos don't need to wait in a queue, and we open up this powerful system at a very low cost. We have very big plans to optimise the video transcoding speed and quality.

• How long it took before it was up and running?
It took us 3 months to build the first version. We released www.ankoder.net as a test project for our own API. Now we're improving our user experience and documentation before we release it to the public.

• What is the main objective/mission behind your venture?
The best experience for integrating video functionalities to your own website as well as the fastest and highest quality video conversion.

We believe YouTube has solved the online video-sharing experience but there's still another issue. Many users wish to see videos on their own devices. With our service, we can convert videos into different formats and sizes at the same time.

• What services it provides for consumer or customers?
We provide a platform that allows developers to make their own video applications easily. There are a lot of solutions out there that provide a white label YouTube service or add videos to social networks, but we're a lot more than that. End users can upload videos directly to our servers, we do the conversion to Flv or mpeg4 or any format they wish. Our application will post back all the video information to our customer's application while the video file can be hosted on our servers.

Our servers are hosted on the Amazon infrastructure, fully utilizing the elastic scalability of S3 and EC2. Video conversion can take up a lot of CPU power and it is very costly to maintain if it is not their core business. Our value is our ease of use and our ability to scale our conversion servers automatically such that no video will need to wait in a long queue.

• What type of customers you are targeting?
We are developers who are creating new applications as well as established services that want to integrate videos into their sites. For example, since Flickr was born, a lot of photo-sharing sites flourished. However, not all of them has the resource to add video functionalities for their existing customers easily. Another example may be online CMS applications that already let users upload photos, but do not have video conversion technologies. Our solution is a good fit for these sorts of applications as they can have full control over the workflow of the videos.

• How many people are using your services?
There are two publicly viewable sites using Ankoder right now. First is our own project at ankoder.net. Another one is a vertical social network site for ice skaters, skatingcircle.com, they are one of our first beta testers. We have also integrated our plugin with an open-source social network project, lovdbyless.ankoder.com.

Agentpoint.com.au, a CMS for real estate agents, has also recently added video functionalities using our service.

• What is the monetizing/revenue model? Is there any new model, which is being tried?
Most video transcoding servers require thousands of dollars in license fees. Our model is pay-per-use. Although, when we first launch we will adopt the plans model. Different size plans will have different numbers of conversions per month. For high-volume sites, we can provide a pay-per-use model at a very low cost per conversion.

Thanks, Rex for sharing your thoughts with us. All the best for the future.

For coverage on other Australian startups, innovation, and tech trends, check this out and our coverage on interviews can be found here

Comments

Anonymous said…
Hi,
Video sharing is all the rage since a while now, and it does not seem to end. Everybody wants to share their videos, their passions and the things they like. There are so many sites around to publish videos on the web that it is sometimes hard to make a choice. We know some of the big players on the market like YouTube, Revver or Dailymotion, but there are so many others competing to be the number one, or targeting a specific audience, be it geographically (China, Japan, Turkey...), by language (German, Arabic, French...) or for the kind of content they focus on (cooking, planes, extreme sports...).
I have compiled a growing list of nearly 800 video sharing sites, video search engines, and video download sites that you can check at http://www.ilikesharingvideos.com
For each of them, you will get useful information such as their history, the country from which most of their visitors come, their niche, their rank, their latest news...
This site offers some other interesting features, like a forum about online videos, how to make money with your videos, how to create your own YouTube site, video contests, etc.
So if you are interested in video sharing or online video marketing, give an eye to this site, it worths it.
Cheers
Eric said…
Hi, I am the Marketing Director at HeyWatch.
Thanks for this good article.
That is true, Ankoder is a promising service.

But, you should also have a look at HeyWatch who has been the leader in Online Professional Video Encoding since 2006 – http://heywatch.com

Affordable, with exclusive features such as Watermarking, 2-pass, trendiest video formats (h264, Theora for HTML5), HD Ready, and even more. You can use HeyWatch through a graphical smart and complete interface. But for professional use, you can integrate HeyWatch in white label to externalize your encoding tasks and focus on your core business via a REST API.

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