If you're thinking about using interactive video across multiple platforms, Multipop might be just the solution. Let's start by defining what we mean by interactive video and multi-platform to see if we apply to your situation.
What's Interactive Video?
We define interactive as video amped up with extra content to increase engagement and drive specific actions. Examples include voting, click-to-buy merchandise, commentary, drill-down content, social integration, and yes, advertising. Your goal might be to directly sell products featured in the video, monetize the video itself through increased engagement time and impressions, and/or garner user opinion and feedback.
Multi-platform is simply letting your audience view your interactive video on their choice of devices, apps or platforms. For a retailer, this might mean your own e-commerce web site, the mobile version of your web site, your native mobile shopping apps (iOS and Android) and your rich media ad campaigns. For a publisher, this might mean your own web properties plus your own native apps for mobile devices (iOS, Android), set top devices (Apple TV, Roku, TiVo, Amazon Fire TV, Chromecast, etc.) and gaming consoles (Xbox, Playstation, etc.).
Why is This Hard?
First reason: the sheer number of platforms. If you were just delivering for web, you'd "only" need to worry about getting it work consistently on 4 major web browsers (Chrome, Firefox, Safari, IE) and 2 operating systems (Mac and Windows). Then add mobile web, so multiply that by at least iOS and Android, complicated by dozens of screen sizes across phone and tablet form factors. Throw in a few set-tops and game consoles, and realize the app for each one is its own custom development project.
Second reason: production and analytics. Interactive video players on multiple platforms are only one third of the solution. You also need to produce the interactive content and associate it with the video in a scalable way. And you'll want analytics to measure audience interaction regardless of which player platform they're viewing from.
Final reason: bespoke UI. This doesn't apply to everyone, but you may feel a need to deliver a highly customized interactive video user experience within your own apps. Off the shelf players may or may not satisfy that need. Rolling your own can be an expensive software development effort.
How Can Multipop Help?
We designed the Multipop platform to provide relief from these very issues, starting with handling production and analytics (two-thirds of the problem!) across all platforms. These are provided as services via Multipop. For production, you can use our interactive editor to create content and link it to your video via a timeline. The editor is optimized for handling large content and video libraries at scale. For analytics, we provide a series of near real-time dashboards at both the individual video and catalog levels. Both production and analytics are designed to work no matter what platform or user interface is used to play the videos themselves.
To deal the the sheer number of platforms, we offer two out of the box player experiences—desktop web and mobile web. Each can be embedded instantly in any web page, and both offer customization options to match your brand. So delivering over the web on phone, tablets, laptops and desktops is seamless.
To get your content onto your own native mobile apps, set top boxes and gaming consoles, and to address the bespoke UI issue, we offer the Multipop API.This lets you develop your own user experience without having to build the production and analytics portion of the solution. For any interactive video you've defined on the back end, your application can request the content and timeline for it via the API, then render that in whatever user experience you'd like. Furthermore, you can report user interactions—like impressions, click or votes—in your app back to the API for inclusion in the analytics. So while you'll still need to write apps for each device you want to support, the entire back end is handled by Multipop. It should really just be a user experience exercise for your software developers.
For More Information
If this sounds interesting, check out the example interactive videos on our home page, register for a free trial to experience the Multipop editor and analytics, contact us for more information, or check out our API documentation if you're technically minded.