Grows Up, Goes Pro - The Universal Video URL Slam Dunk Grows Up, Goes Pro   The Universal Video URL Slam Dunk

When I hop on a conference call and say "Go Team [INSERT BRAND] Woo!" you can be pretty sure that I dig your product. So Jeff Malkin and the team over at should be well aware of that fact now since I both opened and closed the conference call with that. Why? Because they rock! Read on videonians to find out what's all new and oohhh shiny! over at, the universal online video URL service from

Online Video Slam Dunk, for those who didn't read my first article or even my second, offers one of the coolest online video services ever - upload once, view on everything - from a single URL/code snippet. The beta (several months private + 4 months public) saw some 5 million video views. In fact, is so cool, they even made this awesome chart to show what mobile platforms are viewing their stuff. Grows Up, Goes Pro   The Universal Video URL Slam Dunk
Cool hey? It seems that even though Android has a very strong market momentum right now, the iPhone is still ruling the roost over there. Not surprising, there are massive amounts of iPhones in the wild, it's an established experience for mobile video and even though it's not Flash-compatible, many people made pushes to get their content out to the devices. Now, Android is growing strong and while only accounting for roughly 24% of the views at, will definitely continue to grow, especially with the growth of the Flash 10 compatible devices and install base. With, it's a moot point because their service is all about upload once and watch on everything, even an Internet-connected toaster with LED screen... if such a unit were to be made.  Until then, we'll all have to just settle on the Internet refrigerator.

They also sent over the browser breakdown as well:

  • Firefox = 51.3%
  • Chrome = 22.2%
  • Internet Explorer = 20.6%
  • Safari = 3.3%

Interesting that iOS is dominating mobile but Safari is totally failing in the browsers.

One URL to Bind them all Pro provides content publishers a powerful, scalable, and simple platform for serving video to EVERY user on ANY browser or mobile device.

The new Pro offers expanded features and capabilities, including an XML API, output customization, unlimited file size and more. As always, when attaching the word Pro to something means the price tag grows exponentially. Well, in this case you had Free and now have Pro.

But this isn't a case of a company simply using the "here's a sample, now you're hooked? PAY UP!" business model. There's still Free, but all those extra features that they've been furiously developing in the background have a price tag, and that's perfectly fine because there are bills to get paid and people who need income. Plus, the new features definitely warrant a price tag.

When was the last time you heard me justify a price increase?!

Well it's true, the added features and benefits to the user are worth the cost if you ask me.  What are those new features? Here's a quick rundown.

  • An XML-based API to build into any desktop / mobile application and video workflow
  • Custom output formats with adjustable bitrates
  • Adaptive bitrate streaming for all Apple iOS devices (iPhones, iPads, iPods)
  • Unlimited source video file size
  • Premium CDN access (currently user can choose Akamai or Cloudfront, more partnerships are being worked out)
  • On-going feature enhancements (including upcoming analytics which will provide insight into aspects of the video viewing. No firm date for release yet).

The API alone is enough to put a price tag on the product. As a publisher of mass quantities of video, well alright, mass quantities for a single person to do daily, I appreciate all manner of automation and APIs that allow me to do more in less time. If I can simplify my own video workflow down to a couple steps, that's something I might be willing to pay for. While I currently use Sorenson Squeeze, it has some limitations and I can't tie it into my CMS. Plus, I have to host the files, transcode out to numerous formats, etc.

With Pro, I could take the XML API and tie it all together and all I'd really need to do is create a script that does everything I need and then cron tab it to run at certain intervals. For those less *NIX savvy, it means it could be completely automated and all I'd really need to do is upload the source files some place. For those that are far more tech savvy, I'm sure you can see just how powerful the API can be and add the ability to output to multiple formats and call them from one piece of script. I do believe it warrants a HELL YEAH!

Another new feature is the ability to fiddle with the bits of the outputs. Here's a look at the options that are available just through the Grows Up, Goes Pro   The Universal Video URL Slam Dunk

  • BitRate
  • FrameRate
  • VideoCodec
  • AudioBitRate
  • AudioSampleRate
  • AudioCodec
  • AudioChannels
  • AudioVolume
  • Two-Pass
  • CBR
  • ACBR
  • MaxRate
  • MinRate
  • BufSize
  • Keyframe
  • Start
  • Duration
  • Aspect Ratio

Whew! I even skipped some stuff like cropping.

All of that in one package and because the service detects both platform and software it knows exactly what to serve up to the user for the best possible viewing experience.

Who Can Use

The technical answer to that is, everyone. But you will of course need to justify its cost against the value for your online video publishing. There are several industries that have found the service to be quite useful.

Imagine if you will, a QR Code, prominently displayed wherever, linking to a piece of video. Now contemplate how many different mobile phones or tablets might scan that QR code and how many different ways exist to display a video.

Now imagine that QR Code links to one bit of script and that script, does all the heavy lifting and everyone who scans that QR Code, gets the best viewing experience, practically catered to their device.

How about real estate info packets sitting in those little boxes under the For Sale sign...oohh look! Another QR Code...scan, boom, video walkthrough of the property regardless of the phone, the OS and the browser. Neat, right?!

What's that you say? You're a creative studio, ad agency, content distributor? Don't have the video infrastructure in place to do video and you want to? Boom!

Mobile app developer who wants to put video into the mix? XML API to the rescue!

Online video game news agency with an overworked CEO, Editor-in-Chief, the need to reach a much larger audience with video content and expand revenue...Ker-Pow!!

OK, so that last one is me. But I'm telling you, I am seriously considering a move to because I think it could boost our video output, views and revenue generation. Less time to publish content that then see more views and revenue and hits all the major mobile platforms? See why I'm considering it? Just being able to make a mobile app for tablets, iPads etc. and including our videos into it could be a huge boost to traffic.

What it boils down to is this. If you've got online video content and you want to hit every platform, including Apple adaptive bitrate streaming, but don't have a ton of time but do have a budget, you should look into Pro. It's fairly easy to implement, offers a lot of bang and once you've got your initial setup done, is very easy to automate. If you aren't big enough for the really big online video platforms but too large for YouTube, this, again, might be the place for you. So head on over and check it out.

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About the Author -
Christophor Rick is a freelance writer specializing in technology, new media, video games, IPTV, online video advertising and consumer electronics. His past work has included press releases, copy-writing, travel writing and journalism. He also writes novel-length and short fiction as part of Three-Faced Media . View All Posts By -

What do you think? ▼
  • VideoLeadsOnline

    So... any thoughts on VSEO with this coolness? If I am not "hosting" the video, how do I make my Video Sitemap show that it is "My" video.

    Admittedly I'm not in the Hosting world much as I mainly Post to YouTube and others... which seems to limit my ability to "claim" ownership of my videos in a video sitemap. How do we get past that issue here with

    I imagine that if I "Embed" the video on my site, that is not much different from a VSEO perspective than embedding a YouTube post... where am I missing it??

  • VideoLeadsOnline

    I'll echo what you said in this quote: "If you aren’t big enough for the really big online video platforms but too large for YouTube, this, again, might be the place for you."

    That in a nutshell says why you should/might be interested in Pro.

    Also, just as a note, could it be Android is not high on their Trends list of video viewers because they can get video from anywhere to play on their phone whilst the apple crowd generally had/has to go through more "translations"? - Perhaps I don't understand it all-who knows?

  • Dan Safkow’s Video Marketing Minute

    "If you aren’t big enough for the really big online video platforms but too large for YouTube, this, again, might be the place for you." That really says it all, as the monthly/usage fees of those services can really put a dent the video marketing budget. Thanks, Chris

  • Frances Mann-Craik

    Rock on Chris!