You might think that video encoding — and specifically cloud-based video encoding — is a commoditized market. After all, it’s difficult to differentiate a service that basically just takes one big file and makes it into a lot of different smaller files to be watched on a lot of different devices. With that premise, the decision to go with one vendor or another usually just comes down to speed, reliability and, most importantly, cost.
While cloud encoding startup Encoding.com thinks that it competes well in all of those categories, the company is trying to add a few features that will set it apart from the competition. One of these features is dynamic text overlays, which it first showed off as part of a Google Hangout campaign late last year.
The campaign, which the search giant hoped would convince users to use Google Hangouts for getting in touch with family during the holidays, included one bit with Wallace and Gromit that included a personalized message to viewers. The holiday-themed video worked by gathering data from users and later presenting them with a personalized message that was added dynamically.
For the Google campaign, the dynamic text overlay was part of a custom workflow that Encoding.com worked on to enable the custom message. Due to the large number of viewers, it was necessary for the company to ensure that the video upload, transcoding, text overlay, and delivery were all done in fewer than 30 seconds. At its peak, Encoding.com and Google were delivering 50 videos per second as part of the campaign.
Encoding.com is making that capability available to others now, allowing clients to place custom text within their videos. By connecting their workflow via API, publishers will be able to programmatically add custom text to their own videos. The feature will allow them to select different time and frame positions within a source video, and then have videos dynamically created. The feature could be used to create personalized commercials integrating user data, or by inserting images into the storyline of a video to make it more suited to the user.