Verizon Enables Digital Content Brands to Launch Multi-Platform Online Video Experiences Faster

LOS ANGELES, Nov. 10, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — As media viewing habits continue to trend away from traditional television and towards streaming video on mobile and Internet-connected devices, brands and publishers are striving to stay ahead of the tectonic shifts in behaviors and business models. Eager to match this demand, Verizon Digital Media Services is helping content owners seize emerging distribution and monetization opportunities with Internet video, such as native advertising and similar sponsored content — a segment that is expected to surge to a $21 billion market by 2018.

To demonstrate speed to market opportunities with mobile video, Verizon Digital Media Services recently issued a “72-Hour Challenge” to the media and entertainment industry, asking companies to submit one hundred hours of digital video content. Select brands had the opportunity to experience how in three days Verizon, in conjunction with Toronto-based application developer Digiflare, could prepare, deliver, display and monetize their content on the Internet, through branded applications on iOS, Android, Xbox One and Roku devices. Three companies were chosen to participate in the challenge: CineSport, a leading syndicator of online sports video news and features, Contend, a content creation studio for brands and publishers, and the Los Angeles Times, a leading national news publisher. The Challenge helped educate participants on the growth potential that exists in building branded streaming video consumer experiences more simply and seamlessly.

(For video and additional information on the 72 Hour Challenge visit https://www.verizondigitalmedia.com/verizon-72hr-challenge/)

“Contend’s mission is to innovate and disrupt the traditional entertainment, advertising and media industry. Partnering with a single end-to-end provider like Verizon Digital Media Services and Digiflare allows us to experiment with content and monetization models, without the traditional barriers of distribution and technology development slowing us down,” said Steven Amato, Founder and CEO, Contend. “And with mobile devices quickly becoming today’s set top box, we just proved that in three days, we can create a 24/7 video channel for live or on-demand content that is accessible across the most popular smartphones, tablets and game console.”

Contend’s new 24/7 video channel is available now for download in Google Play and App Store. A mobile video experience that provides thought-provoking premium video content, consumers can tune in for on-demand entertainment including talk shows, a multi-episode series, and original features.

Verizon Digital Media Services is at the forefront of this movement, enabling agencies and content owners looking to develop streaming video experiences for clients, brands and consumers. By quickly launching user experiences, content owners like CineSport, Contend and the LA Times are hoping to prove that quality content, delivered when and where viewers want it most, can lead real return on investment, ultimately shifting the traditional marketing and advertising paradigm.

“Through our comprehensive Video Lifecycle Solution, we are reducing the complexities of traditional online video businesses by integrating ingestion, encoding, storage, worldwide content delivery, analytics, playback, user experience and monetization into a single workflow,” said Ralf Jacob, Chief Revenue Officer at Verizon Digital Media Services. “Gone are the days of multi-quarter projects where internal tech teams glue together components from various vendors. Consumers are moving too fast for content owners to sit on the sidelines and wait for their apps to bake.”

“Through the 72-hour challenge, we worked with Verizon Digital Media Services and Digiflare to quickly develop an application for the Los Angeles Times that will allow us to be responsive to changes in the worlds of both news and consumer viewing,” said Chris Argentieri, General Manager of the California News Group. “The speed, agility and flexibility will also allow us to explore new ways to extend our relationship with our advertisers, beyond print and online, in a meaningful way.”

Digiflare’s Videa™ solution was employed during the development of the each user experience on the four respective platforms for the 72-hour Challenge. “Mobile phones and tablets are the first choice with the next generation of video viewers,” said Mano Kulasingam, CEO at Digiflare. “Due to our deep integration with Verizon’s Video Lifecycle Solution, content owners and brands can quickly and easily reach those viewers in a fraction of the time and expense of traditional application developers.”

About Verizon
Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE, Nasdaq: VZ), headquartered in New York, employs a diverse workforce of 178,500 and generated more than $127 billion in 2014 revenues. Verizon Wireless operates America’s most reliable wireless network, with 109.5 million retail connections nationwide. Verizon also provides converged communications, information and entertainment services over America’s most advanced fiber-optic network, and delivers integrated business solutions to customers worldwide. For more information, visit www.verizon.com/news/.

About Digiflare
Digiflare delivers for its clients by offering solutions that enable the distribution of video content across multiple platforms through custom development engagements as well as through its Videa™ TVE platform solution. Videa delivers native applications quickly and cost effectively for iOS, Android, Windows, Roku, Xbox, PlayStation, Chromecast, Samsung Smart TV, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV and Android TV

About Contend
Founded in the spring of 2014, Contend specializes in creating, producing and distributing data-driven content to deliver measurable business results. Contend is a collective of innovators, instigators, storytellers and collaborators hell bent on disrupting the traditional marketing, media and entertainment industries. With offices in Los Angeles, Chicago and Seattle, Contend is headquartered in downtown Los Angeles. Visit us at: www.contendco.com

About The Los Angeles Times
The Los Angeles Times is the largest metropolitan daily newspaper in the country with a combined print and online local weekly audience of 4.1 million. The Pulitzer Prize-winning Times has been covering Southern California for more than 133 years.

About CineSport
CineSport is an innovative digital video platform and studio that offers sports news, features and analysis through online, mobile, social and connected TV applications. Through VaMP, its cloud based proprietary video platform, CineSport is syndicated to over 700 publishers including The Boston Globe, Philadelphia Inquirer/Daily News, Atlanta Journal Constitution, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Microsoft and AOL. In 2014, CineSport averaged 8 million monthly unique viewers (comScore Video Metrix).