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October 31, 2008

Webcasting on a Shoestring Budget

By Stefania Viscusi, Assignment Desk Editor

Web site video capabilities have come a long way and, along that way, they have become cheaper and more accessible to companies.
A few years ago, advanced Web site video capabilities were primarily available to large companies with the money and technical resources to implement. Now, services that once cost thousands of dollars, could cost as little as $100 a month.
In an article by David Glassman, chief marketing officer of Onstream Media Corporation, he notes "plummeting hosting and streaming costs due to new compression technologies, ubiquitous high-speed Internet access, readily available bandwidth and lower storage costs,” are the cause.
Onstream Media, founded in 1993, is an online service provider of live and on-demand, rich media communications provided via the Onstream Digital Media Services Platform. The company specializes in online audio and video corporate communications and its technology provides the tools for webcasting, Web conferencing and content publishing.
The company’s Web site notes 78 percent of Fortune 100 CEOs and CFOs have used Onstream’s products and services to broadcast their announcements across the enterprise in sales, training, marketing, communications, investor relations and branding.
As a result of the dropping cost of video capabilities, Glassman says website managers can easily implement any number of new media strategies to their Web presence, such as video on demand, user-generated content, podcasts, auction video, audio and video testimonials, product showcases and flash demos.
Sophisticated, easy-to-use Web-publishing tools provide clients with an affordable Web-based system for delivering live or archived digital media over the Internet, Glassman says. "You no longer need a big budget to upload, manage and deliver audio and video assets," he adds.
A small budget can also allow a company to organize rich media assets and directories; edit audio and video asset metadata; publish rich media assets to the Web; and retrieve publishing URLs or XML code for embedding assets into existing Web pages.
Web site operators and media managers of businesses can now access premier content delivery networks (CDNs) at a fraction of the cost. Leveraging the CDNs provides the instant scale and distribution capabilities needed to overcome the delays and connection problems of the past.
Storage and stream solutions are typically subscription based, so there are no upfront capital expenditure costs; there’s no shortage of offerings that scale to multi-terabyte storage levels with full back-up protection; and content link information can be generated for rapid set-up, making Web site video content easily available.
Glassman says publishing media over the Internet has “never been easier,” with tools that enable publishers to browse your hard drive file, upload and paste the URL into your site page or Shockwave Media File.
A publishing staff requires little training because store and stream solutions use a standard, intuitive file management interface. Store and stream solutions enable publishing of non-streaming media file types that can be delivered via geo-optimized file delivery methods; file streaming services for on-demand access to rich media content; and playback through popular streaming formats such as Windows Media.
For more, be sure to check out the Webcasting Services channel on TMCnet.
Stefania Viscusi is an assignment editor for TMCnet, covering VoIP, CRM, call center and wireless technologies. To read more of Stefania’s articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Stefania Viscusi

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