Interview with CEO John Vadino at Streaming Media West

Eric Schumacher-Rasmussen, Editor-in-Chief, Streaming Media Magazine, talks with the CEO of Tivi, John Vadino, on Almost Live at Streaming Media West:

Eric:

“Hi, I’m Eric Schumacher-Rasmussen, coming to you Almost Live from Streaming Media West in beautiful Huntington Beach, California, and I’m speaking with John Vadino, who is the CEO of Tivi.”

John:

“How’s it going?”

Eric:

“It’s going well, it’s been a great show!”

John:

“It’s been a great couple of days—we’ve enjoyed sponsoring it, first off. It’s been great to be part of this trade show booth, lively, first of all; lots of hardware around, and Tivi’s here to launch because we’re kind of a hybrid, we’re moving all that hardware to the cloud. So, a lot of these great companies here can move their stuff to the cloud so that people in the room doing a webcast, doing an event, can do it all virtually.”

Eric:

“So you would define Tivi as essentially a webcast company, right?”

John:

“It’s an interactive video company, because webcasts as you know, and streaming media, is blurring the lines between what is broadcast-world and what is webcast. We see video becoming more and more interactive every day, and with our tool, you can add constant interactivity very easily, all in the cloud very simply, and that’s exciting for us, and I think it’s exciting getting rid of that word, whoever came up with it, ‘webcast,’ and make it truly interactive video.”

Eric:

“So Tivi: Truly Interactive Video… Now, so many webcasts or webinars are just slides and a disembodied voice, and I think that’s in part because of the cost and technology challenges that people face wanting to do it. They might want to do a webcast that actually has video but they find it intimidating or too much of a cost challenge. How does Tivi overcome this?”

John:

“By moving everything to the cloud, I mean, we’ve moved the hardware switchboard to the cloud; you just take a camera, it goes up to Amazon AWS, it’s recorded there with all your camera feeds, and you can switch between them very easily, just drag and drop. But what’s great about it is that you can introduce interactivity, and during my speech yesterday, I was talking about the statistics of video watching—it’s actually pretty low, you were there, and we need to get people to watch online video longer, than just sports or Netflix, and we believe adding interactivity into the sequence in a time basis really helps.”

Eric:

“What kind of interactivity exactly are you talking about?”

John:

“So besides the normal polls and tests and the normal things, we can actually bring a live URL panel into an On-demand webcast. So you can open a webpage to be able to buy that service; you can open a page to register for the next event, all within our HTML 5 browser.”

Eric:

“So everything is going on inside the browser?”

John:

“Everything is going on inside the browser, and you’re doing it both in the cloud with our switchboard and then the user is watching in the user interface.”

Eric:

“And in terms of the customers that you’re targeting, who can use Tivi?”

John:

“So, a lot of our customers are resellers, so content companies, production companies who want to take our service and resell it to their clients because it’s an easier way; it’s a value-added price for them. It’s also for certification and training companies who have a lot of great video they’ve created over the years, but has no interactivity, and with our tool they can take that old video, drag it up into our system, and then add that interactivity to give it new life. That’s a pretty exciting aspect.”

Eric:

“Right. During your talk yesterday, you talked about the learning curve for using Tivi and you gave a great example of a school [The Bush School] in Seattle…”

John:

“Yes, it’s a K-12 school—my sister-in-law works there, she teaches—and they have a theater that only fits half of their student population, so kids can’t go to band concerts. They were using other tools for webcasting, and they were expensive and hard. We gave them a free license, they paid for their minutes, but we talked to 14-year-old kids. And so my sales guys like to say that it takes twice your age in minutes [to learn the tool] because they learned in half an hour.”

Eric:

“So it might take me slightly longer [laughs].”

John:

“What’s great, too, is that our training is all in our tool. You buy a license and you get actually 6 hours of training, if you really want to go in-depth. And that’s all done in our tool, with questions and answers, and it’s kind of exciting!”

Eric:

“Very cool! Well you can check it all out at http://www.tivi.net and learn more about this really interesting new interactive video tool.”

John:

“Thanks Eric.”

Eric:

“Thank you, John.”