The web is filled with video content, but there are different formats that don’t always play nicely with all players. The most obvious example of this is the hugely popular Flash format, which does not work on the hugely popular iPhone. EQ Network has an answer for that and other format issues, and wants to offers content owners a way to serve up ads in those video post-conversion.
The company’s Media Delivery Bar can be embedded on a page below any video player. This gives viewers an easy-to-understand option for converting and sending a video to a specific type of device they may want to watch the video on — like an iPhone. You simply enter an email address or cellphone number that you want to send the video to, fill out some quick demographic information, and within a few minutes, the video will arrive in a format tailored to your needs.
The demographic information part is key. That’s how EQ Network hopes to serve up ads to you that are embedded within those videos. Because it knows your sex and age range, these are highly tailored ads that in theory will lead to better returns. But the ads themselves are kind of annoying. Rather than being overlay ads at the bottom of a video, they stop the entire video and make you watch them, similar to what you have to sit through on Hulu videos. Of course, for most of the content that this Media Delivery Bar will be used for, it probably won’t be hit Hollywood content like Hulu has, that people seem to be okay with sitting through some ads to see for free.
But to smaller content providers, EQ Network’s solution could be an intriguing one. “Virtually all companies that we met with confirmed our model and can’t wait to use the bar to instantly deploy their videos without having to ad additional infrastructure or up-front costs,” Equilibrium (the company behind EQ Networks) CEO Sean Barger tells me. That sounds suspiciously optimistic, but testing the solution out, it does work well. I took a web video that wouldn’t play on my iPhone, hit the iPhone button on the Media Delivery Bar, and it formatted it so that it will play on my device.
But the big boys in the field, like YouTube, will continue to go with their own solutions. For example, YouTube reformats all of its Flash videos to the h.264 format to play on the iPhone (and Apple TV). If any one device gets big enough and won’t support Flash for whatever reason, you can be sure they’d do the work reformating the videos to play there as well. Likewise, Hulu would likely choose its own solutions if and when it decides to make its site compatible with devices like the iPhone.