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Encoding.com Would Be On My List Of Top Companies To Watch In 2010

Encoding Over the past few weeks, I've finally gotten around to taking a deeper look at Encoding.com's web-based transcoding platform and will post a hands-on review of the service shortly. While I still need to run some additional videos through the system and get some more details on the service, the more time I spend using it, talking to their customers and talking to the company's founder and President, the more I really like this company.

While there are plenty of great hardware and software tools out on the market today to enable just about anyone to do their own encoding, for many content owners, it's not a task they want to take on. For some content owners, it may make sense to bring their encoding in-house and setup their organization to manage the process themselves. But for most content owners, that's not something they want to manage or gain enough expertise with to be able to get the kind of results they need.

A couple of years ago, the act of encoding video was pretty simple as there were not many formats or platforms for delivering video. But today, with all the different formats, codes, devices and platforms that exist in the market for consuming video, it's not uncommon for one piece of content to have be encoded half a dozen times, all requiring different encoding specs. While encoding video is not rocket science, picking and choosing all of the right settings based on the type of content, source material and device it will be played back on can be complex. While many are always quick to talk about the quality of content as it pertains to which content delivery network it is being delivered from, many times the poor job of encoding the video is really what's to blame for a bad user experience.

With Encoding.com's platform, all of that complexity is removed from the process and getting video encoded is really quick and easy. The company has done a really good job of designing a interface that can be used by a novice, or someone who is more experienced and wants to drill down on the technical aspects of encoding. Everything about the service has been really well thought out, their customers I have spoken to rave about their support and their pricing is very affordable.

The company is now encoding more than 30,000 videos a day, which is more than 3x what they were doing only last summer. And last week, they announced their first round of funding from a group of angles in the amount of $1.25M. In a conversation I had with their President Jeff Malkin last week, he said with the company having spent the past year and a half to build a rock-solid platform on top of Amazon and Rackspace, they now plan to focus on using the money raised to ramp up sales and start marketing their service. For me, one of the clear signs that these guys are smart and get it is the fact they only raised $1.25M in funding. For a web-based service such as encoding, once it's built, you don't need a lot of money to add features to it and to continue to improve the service. If they had taken more than a few million dollars, one would have to be concerned that the company wasn't being realistic and had grand visions for building a gigantic company.

While some might think that a company like Encoding.com could get
pushed to the side by the CDNs or video platforms, those are in fact
some of Encoding.com's best customers. Many of the major CDNs use
Encoding.com as do companies like Brightcove and other video platforms. While the company initially started off targeting smaller content owners, as their service has grown, so too have their partnership deals with some of the larger vendors in the video ecosystem. They also have quite a few social media platforms who have private labeled the service and baked it into their own web based offering.

One of the things I really like about Encoding.com is that they are small, focused and want to be the best at only one thing. Their executives know the market, have spent a great deal of time and effort to create a very good platform and frankly, I think they are really smart. They know what they want to be, where their service fits into the market and what problem they need to solve. In just about every piece of the video ecosystem, be it content delivery or video management, there tends to be many players, but one clear leader. While Encoding.com is not the only SaaS based transcoding service on the market, they are already by far the leader in the space and I expect them to further dominate this segment of the market this year.