Alpha Video opens ready-to-serve content store

May 4, 2011 by Dave Haynes

We’re starting to see more content suppliers create original or re-purpose existing material to sell and re-sell across the sector. The latest is Twin Cities-based Alpha Video Creative, which has announced an online store where integrators and network operators can go to buy “soft” content to fill out their playlists.

The material includes packs of Q&A trivia for movies, sports and general knowledge. The Movie Marquee Woo-Hoo pack, for example, has 15 distinct segments on animated backgrounds, that ship as HD video for $199 for the bundle.

That’s almost certainly cheaper to buy than to build in-house, unless you are using interns who work for peanuts (or beer).

Alpha, if you don’t know them, has been around for years and the parent company is a big Scala reseller, using its own CastNet front-end.

I continue to be surprised that no one has stepped up and created a true content marketplace that is not solely tied to one company. There would seem to be a lot of legs for a third-party site that offers up the canned and syndicated feeds, widgets, gadgets and reels for numerous firms. It is almost certainly cheaper to buy than build, and frees the creative people to work on the stuff that makes money (ads).

LG was angling towards that with its SignNet/SuperSign offer, but that offer appears to be in flux with the departure of Jeff Dowell, followed shortly thereafter by the departure of his successor John Sheehan (to NEC).

The marketplace concept, if you’re looking for a reference case, is really well demonstrated on any number of sites run by the Aussie firm Envato.

That stated, the commoditization of content has its risks. We already see far too many networks filling out their playlists with news, sports, weather and trivia. Buying prettier, flashier versions of that material still doesn’t guarantee anyone will watch. No matter the content type, it has to be relevant to the audience and earn their attention.


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