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Online Video Asset Management Whitepaper

“Don’t Let Video Assets Become a Liability”

Your web audience prefers video as an information resource. Your public affairs and training departments want to post more and more videos, while making sure that viewers can easily navigate to their subject matter preference. You need to manage a seemingly unmanageable library of video assets that is expanding exponentially, while delivering content in a timely manner. As more than one communications officer has stated, “My agency has become Youtube-crazy.” The proliferation of videos often means that important communications get lost in an online video maze. How many sites have seemingly dumped videos into the multimedia section of their website in chronological order? Consider how effective a public library would be without a Dewey Decimal System.
A successful online video communication strategy should consider the ease and efficiency of managing an expanding library of assets. Most importantly, the successful video asset management system will foster an enhanced viewer experience. Video engages viewers more than online text, and you want them engaged and channeled to targeted communications. The following aspects are key criteria for establishing an effective Video Asset Management System.

The Platform – You want your staff to have a simple and speedy method for uploading and cataloging video assets, without requiring programming skills. A turn-key approach utilizing a content management system should allow for ease in uploading videos and updating the site, with the same level of technical knowledge requirement as for a word processing program.

Navigation – More about navigation in the Viewer Experience section below, but the initial flowcharting of a navigation system for logical organization of subject matter is a significant first step. Considerations should include: how many levels, how many categories, how are the categories linked to other website sections, what are the hierarchies? A search function on the site should be considered, and a system for entering meta data should be established.

A menu page from EFX Media’s video demo site www.efxmedia.com

Hosting and Bandwidth
– The video hosting platform must be robust enough to allow minimal wait time for viewers. Scalability is a key consideration. You don’t want to over-pay for a too-large system able to service hundreds of thousands of simultaneous viewers, when you might only be servicing a thousand viewers at one time.
Deployment – How long are video assets maintained on the site, and is there a plan for determining when to delete a video? Managing the number of relevant videos online will minimize server costs. Plus, viewer experience is maximized when search time is minimized. You don’t want viewers wasting their time in viewing something that is out of date or redundant.

Not all video assets have to be in the same platform. You might find it effective to create a separate non-permanent video hosting platform for special events.

American Bar Association utilized an individual platform to boost registrationfor a special event, such as this “I-frame” portal at http://www.abatv.org/

Service – How much service should a service provider offer? Something to think about – who is going to make certain the system stay current with technology trends and advances? Also, one needs to consider how much design, asset handling and updating do you want handled inhouse, versus the benefits of utilizing a service provider.

Reporting – Proof of performance is more critical every year, particularly in the public affairs and training arenas. ROI is as important with public agencies as it is with the private. Your video asset management system should include a reporting function that tracks, at a minimum, the number of viewers for each video asset. You can then demonstrate Return on Investment with facts and figures, rather than anecdotes. Adding suitable meta data to focus searching can aid immensely the number of viewers, and most importantly, the number of viewers from your targeted demographics.

User Experience

Navigation – The quality of the actual video playback should be a given. User experience is often determined by the ease viewers experience in finding a relevant video. At the onset of setting up a video asset management system navigation should be given top priority. Is the navigational hierarchy one of subject matter, with some categories weighted higher than others? Is chronological order a key factor – are new videos given more weight than older ones? Ordering assets into “channels” is one way to organization videos by subject matter and/or target audience.

Channels used in Special Libraries Associations
web video site –http://www.slatv.org/

Presentation – Fast loading video is a key ingredient for viewer satisfaction. The framing is also important. A branded, attractive player skin with easy-to-use control buttons will enhance an image and the video it presents. A short description, which lets viewers quickly determine if a particular video matches their interest, is another key consideration.

Habitat for Humanity video site created by EFX www.habitatnovatv.org

Video Destination Sites

Typically, a web video portal would be an important section of your main web site. But, there are many circumstances wherein a separate stand-alone web video site makes sense. For example, a an outreach campaign, or stakeholders’ training initiative may benefit from it’s own web video site. This stand-alone, perhaps temporary, site can include a multitude of community information and social interactive elements built around a core web video portal. Here are two prominent examples…

This is a destination website created by EFX that is built around a web video portal with a variety of social networking and information resources – www.NavyTV.org

For NTSA,EFX Media built a destination site for the Modeling and Simulation industry, prominently featuring the IITSEC trade show – www.SimTV.org

Downloads – Typical web video postings are designed for viewers who visit your site. Particularly in the government sector, having videos easily available to stakeholders’ sites can further marketing penetration and make partners grateful. Offering a downloadable video file for your stakeholders and the media is an attractive option. Stakeholders, news web sites, or general information destination all look for interesting video material. Making it easy for them to simply download a video file will increase your ROI dramatically and potentially allow you to create your own ad hoc network. You control the look, feel, quality and branding of the video message.

Broadcast – Increasingly, television news outlets prefer receiving video material, or bits/bites packages, via the internet. Compared to satellite up/downlinking the cost savings and efficiencies of instant video availability might be a deciding factor in whether of not your media appears on the nightly news. Your video can be made available in broadcast quality, uncompressed MPEG 4 format that is available for download 24/7 and can be edited and broadcast by media. A big advantage to news producers, is that they can viewed a web version of the video on your site to instantly determine its viability.

Streaming vs. Progressive Download – Typically, there are two choices when it comes to delivery of web video to browsers. Progressive video, used by sites such as YouTube, downloads the entire clip as it plays over regular Web protocols. Streaming, a method used on sites like Hulu, relies on the presence of a media server and uses alternate protocols to deliver only the requested portion of a video clip on demand, keeping only a few seconds in a buffer. Each choice has benefits and drawbacks. Progressive, for example, requires no server-side technology, but has the potential to use more bandwidth. Streaming video, on the other hand, can protect content from download, and ordinarily uses less bandwidth than an identical progressive clip. However, streaming can nonetheless present playback problems on some networks, even when using techniques such as HTTP tunneling to route around potential trouble spots.

Formats and Codecs – The choice of video format is a crucial one, as your content should be made as accessible as possible for as long a time as possible, even considering how rapidly standards can and do evolve. Gone are the days when it was necessary to provide video in three formats at a variety of bit rates; today, a single MPEG-4 clip properly encoded to H.264 will be compatible with and viewable in a variety of online and offline media players. Many mobile devices natively support H.264 as well. However, vigilance is key, as competing technologies such as Google’s VP8, Ogg Theora, and even legacy stalwarts such as WMV and RealMedia can present a dizzying array of choices.

Embed Code – When distributing your video, it’s good to share, and the more places your video appears, the more widespread your message. Whether you use a video site such as YouTube or Vimeo or have created a site from scratch, your users will appreciate a way to copy embed code for use on their own pages.

Video hosted by EFX on NAS website – http://americasclimatechoices.org/study-video.shtml


We have developed a complete web video asset management package we call EFX TV. Our package is as close to turn-key as clients want. We include a custom design to match the look and feel of your site, a one, two or three level navigation system, high-bandwidth hosting servers, tracking and a content management system. With our CMS, clients can easily handle their own updates and modifications without learning any programming. Or, we provide complete programming and video uploading if preferred. Our application is scalable to match the quantity of videos hosted and the size of the viewing audience.

A perfect example of our application is EFX Media’s own EFX TV at www.efxmediatv.com. Other examples of both smaller and larger client offerings include:

For the Special Libraries Association www.slatv.org/
For the American Veterinary Medical Association www.avmatv.org/
For INOVAHealthcare www.inovatv.org/
For The Navy Memorial www.navytv.org

The EFX Company

EFX Media is one of the country’s leading full service video production and media communications firm with a complete production, post-production, graphic arts and creative department located in Arlington, VA. EFX Media has a team of exceptionally talented, experienced, and dedicated professionals trained in traditional media, the latest interactive and distribution technologies as well as business communication. Our core business revolves around Full Service Video Production, Interactive Solutions, Media Services and Online Video Distribution. We emphasize creating benefits and value for our clients. We have developed methodologies based on industry best practice and years of experience that allows us to deliver quality services.

We are a small business, on the GSA schedule. Our staff of 20 managers, producers, directors, cameramen, engineers, editors, designers, writers, schedulers, and office staff has been carefully developed to find the most capable and loyal personnel available to manage projects and to best serve our clients. Additional information about EFX and samples can be viewed at www.efxmedia.com.

Just a few of our clients include: US Army, US Navy, Tricare, FEMA, USDA, OCC, US Marshals Service, Library of Congress, IRS, US Census Bureau, Department of Justice, National Geographic, UN Foundation, Booz Allen, Serco, SRA, General Dynamics, America Online, Exxon-Mobil,, and many other corporate, government, and associations.

Victor Van Rees
The EFX Company ( dba EFXMEDIA)
2300 South Ninth Street
Arlington, VA 22204
Office: 703-486-2303
Cell: 703-447-8950
FAX 703-553-9813
View our demos at: www.efxtv.com

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