IRIS.TV Shines Light on Innovative Online Video Solution at UCLA Conference
On May 16th, UCLA Anderson School of Management held its annual Media, Entertainment and Sports Conference, where tech innovators were asked to share their high-level thoughts and opinions on the media landscape. Throughout the course of the day, panels were held to cover such topics surrounding the television, mobile, digital and sports tech industries. One of these panels dubbed “Television Reinvented” was particularly interesting, as it shined light on recommendation engine and big data solutions company IRIS.TV’s innovative offering to the fragmented online video space.
Field Garthwaite, CEO of IRIS.TV, was on the panel and made a really interesting case for what IRIS.TV provides its partners and why it’s extremely beneficial to the shifting marketplace. But to understand what IRIS.TV offers, you must first understand the online video market. As Garthwaite pointed out during the panel, consumers have an astronomical amount of video choices that originate from many networks, and with options like Netflix and Amazon Prime, lines begin to blur in terms of what networks produce what shows and where the consumers loyalty should be. We all know 30 Rock is an NBC Show because the NBC makes a strong point to keep affiliation with their programs. But as the online video space becomes increasingly fragmented and competitive, networks will have to become increasingly protective of their brands. That’s where IRIS.TV comes in.
If you go to sites like ESPN or Fox Sports, and they were hypothetically IRIS.TV enabled, the program content plays video after video based on your likes and dislikes, and over time gets to know your preferences. “Both of those companies have huge archives of sports footage. That’s really what we are focused on—helping brands and media companies build that affiliation with their audiences and strengthening that one-to-one relationship,” explained Garthwaite during the session. Consumers would then know they can go to ESPN or Fox Sports and get a personalized, constant stream of video, as opposed to other sports websites where one video is played with no further stream or recommendation. “We are helping those media companies who want to be the brand in the lineup really strengthen that relationship and have it be there for the long term.”
“As far as a brand goes, I’m sure many of you have no idea of who we are, and that is kind of the goal,” said Garthwaite during the panel. As a company, IRIS.TV is in the business of protecting other media companies’ brands by installing its recommendation technology in owned and operated web and mobile sites. The main goal of the technology is to have consumers watch more content and make the experience more engaging.
While IRIS.TV aims to cement brand loyalty into viewers, it also needs to produce a revenue stream. And as Garthwaite pointed out, this online video marketplace is a very young. “Very few people were monetizing mobile video until 2012,” he said. So how is IRIS.TV using their brand protecting technology to also monetize the space? Through ad revenue.
“Our thesis on the space is that we are going to grow consumption. If you grow consumption, it’s similar to the banner ad industry, which [at one time] was very under developed,” explained Garthwaite. In the early days of banner ads, the advertisements were very badly targeted with ads like “punch the monkey.” Eventually, the market matured and banner ads became increasingly relevant to the consumers, and therefore the space was better monetized. As the online video industry evolves quickly, the same progression will occur. While IRIS.TV grows consumption for major media networks, more ads will be seen by the right audience, effectively monetizing the space while simultaneously protecting brands.