NYmag.com, the winner of the American Society of Magazine Editors' 2009 Award for General Excellence Online, chose Magnify.net in the spring of 2009 to implement a web 2.0 video aggregation solution. After reviewing a number of alternative services, including their provider at the time, Feedroom, General Manager Michael Silberman and his team made the decision to go with Magnify.net. Here is what they've learned from the process of making the shift from simply uploading a few videos a week to aggregating and curating hundreds of videos a week using the Magnify Curation Platform.
Can you share with us what you were doing with video before you engaged the Magnify Multi-Source Video solution?
Prior to Magnify, we used Feedroom for video encoding, hosting, content management and display. Prior to our shift to Magnify.net we had three sources of video:
With Feedroom, we averaged about 150,000 video plays per month on created and licensed video. We had no way to track video plays for videos embedded from other websites.
When we switched over from Feedroom, we had about 1,200 videos that had been accumulated in the course of 2 years. In the six months weʼve been live with Magnify.net, we have doubled the number of videos we offer on the site, with the vast majority of those new videos curated from other sites using the Magnify aggregation capabilities.
How have advertisers responded to your offering of video from both 'created' and ʻcuratedʼ collections?
We sell pre-roll ads with created and licensed video. We are displaying banner ads on curated videos, but not pre-roll. The issue hasnʼt come up with advertisers.
How has the addition of Multi-Source Video impacted your traffic (page views, time on site, return visits, organic search)?
In the 5 months from May to September, since launching on the Magnify Platform, NYMag.com has seen an increase of 150% in total video traffic, showing the value of adding video aggregation.
The added traffic comes from two-sources, the first is the added video views created by adding discovered video to the site, which accounts for 40% of video plays. The second source of traffic is from NYMag produced videos; this is the hidden benefit of Magnify's platform - that in fact creates significant and measurable value. NYMag produced videos saw an average of 43% more plays each month than with their previous vendor.
What have you learned from providing more content to visitors?
The big impact has been to allow us to offer much more brand-appropriate video on the site and to drive more video views as a result.
How much effort does the curation process take (head count, hours, days etc?)
Weʼve been able to double the number of videos offered without any significant additional work. It fits very well into current workflow for our bloggers, editors and video producer. It's required no additional headcount.
How would you compare the Magnify.net CDN to your previous vendor?
Overall the Magnify service has been very reliable. With our previous vendors we would have an outage every 2 or 3 months.
Do you prefer the CPM based pricing to a bandwidth bill? If so, why?
CPM pricing is easier to forecast, and can be tied directly to our CPM advertising model. Bandwidth pricing is much harder to model.
What insights would you share with others considering a Multi-Source Video Solution?
I would strongly recommend (and have recommended) Magnify as a great solution for content companies looking to expand the amount of video offered through a combination of produced, user-generated and curated video.