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CozmoTV News

December 04, 2008

The CozmoTV Content Syndication Network

Cozmo has gone into a bit of stealth mode over the last 6 months as we have been working on a slight shift in our model.  We’re wrapping up early stage technical implementation and we’ll be launching with a few key partners in early January.  Until then we’re going to stay pretty quiet about or efforts outside of this blog.

I’ll be detailing some of the new functionality now and with a few more posts over the coming weeks.  In early January I’ll begin tying it all together with an in depth discussion of the new model and how early efforts are scaling.  The most obvious change you will see at CozmoTV is a singular focus on providing scalable targeted syndication services for video content.  We’ve played around with a few models related to edge syndication in an effort to monetize and explore different potential market angels, but none have shown as much promise in early tests as targeted widget-based video syndication.

We’ve recently posted three new overview pages at http://cozmo.tv for website publishers, content producers, and advertisers who form the backbone of our ecosystem.  Just go to the site and click on the tabs.  Within each of these pages are very simple Sliderocket presentations that cover how Cozmo works.

More to come…

Dec 4, 2008 1:01:32 AM in CozmoTV News | | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

April 18, 2008

YouTube API Build Released

We’ve gone ahead and deployed the change to our production server that should resolve the issues with all YouTube channels. There are some slight performance issues, some of which are related to the redeployment in the middle of the day and some of which are related to the way in which YouTube fetches the videos. For example, we can no longer pre-load YouTube videos during the 8 second interstitial so you will frequently see the YouTube loading icon in the middle of the screen. 

We will continue to work with the API to reveal additional functionality and improve performance over time. To those of you impacted by the service outage our apologies for the down time.

Apr 18, 2008 1:11:33 PM in CozmoTV News | | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Widget Skin Upgrades

I overheard someone at the AdTech conference say that success in this market is defined by companies that learn to fail fast and often. This sounds like a recipe for disaster, but the truth is that finding the right strategy often involves multiple failures. The faster you can learn from those errors, the faster you can perfect your model.

I think this is one of the most remarkable things about web software development today. I cut my teeth in enterprise software development during the 90s and most of the projects we developed took over tens or hundreds of man months and millions of dollars of investment. It was kind of a miserable way to innovate. Anyway…

We recently released an upgrade to our platform that included the release of various types of skins for our players. I think these skins were a dramatic improvement over the look and feel of our traditional players. 45 days in, I think we have begun to see some of the branding and monetization opportunities and as such we are going to be making some modifications to how skins are formatted and how skins can be modified by users. 

These adjustments will begin to appear over the next two weeks as we roll out the additional upgrades, but you can be sure that they are a substantial improvement over the old skins. And in the process I believe that we have unlocked an entirely new mechanism for syndicating content and advertising packages in a way that can generate revenue in any site. Stay tuned…

Apr 18, 2008 12:01:29 AM in CozmoTV News | | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

April 11, 2008

YouTube API Adjustments

As some of you know, YouTube recently announced some upgrades to their platform which includes the release of an API for the inclusion of skinless players in apps like CozmoTV. We have been using a hack to play raw FLV files in the Cozmo widget for some time, but recent changes in YouTube policies have made this more trouble than it is worth. On several occasions we have had spotty performance on YouTube powered channels as new rules went into effect and you should currently notice that many channels tend to skip through videos rather randomly. 

We are in the process of upgrading the CozmoTV widget to accommodate the YouTube API and we’ll be releasing the upgrade by early next week. This will resolve all remaining YouTube channel stability issues. Until then, please bear with us as we make the change.

Apr 11, 2008 1:33:42 AM in CozmoTV News | | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

March 30, 2008

Widget Upgrades in Preparation for Advertising

We have been working hard to prepare the CozmoTV widget for advertising that should begin running across some channels as early as May 1st. You have probably noticed the alteration in the controls across the bottom of the player area. We have made this change to accommodate overlay advertisements that will appear at the top of these controls either at timed intervals or when you roll your mouse over the player area.  We also plan on running similar overlays across the bottom of the player during the 8 second interval between videos in a channel.

We are currently testing different ad units from Adap.TV, ScanScout, VideoEgg, Tremor and others for compatibility with our platform. There are a variety of issues with each and we are working to resolve these issues such that we can carry advertising from multiple platforms in a way that ensures a smooth experience for users. We are specifically trying to avoid the use of pre-roll and post-roll ad units as we think that they do not respect the attention of our audience.  We respect this attention and are basing our model on delivering relevant ads that encourage user interaction as opposed to ads that interrupt.

We are testing a variety of formats for these interactive ads, but generally this interaction will be initiated by users clicking on a banner to launch a video clip, an external website, or even an application within the skin of the widget. We are refining the forms of interaction that will occur within our player to give advertisers maximum flexibility in terms of how they can interact with this audience. As we start running these ads, we’re going to rely upon our audience to tell us and our advertising partners how to improve this experience so as to provide each with maximum benefit.

As we begin testing some of these ad units we will demonstrate some samples through this and other partner sites. We look forward to your feedback.  

Mar 30, 2008 9:46:42 PM in CozmoTV News | | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

February 24, 2008

Servers Being Moved

We are in the process of moving our servers over to Boston Colocation as part of Server City's transition.  Unfortunately, this means that our service will be unavailable for as long as 24 hours.  We apologize for the inconcenience. 

Feb 24, 2008 1:41:29 PM in CozmoTV News | | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

January 29, 2008

www.cozmomedia.com Now Available in Spanish

We recently performed an update to the Cozmo media website that includes a couple new additions to the team, Nelson Becerra and Fernando Del Sol, and a mirror of the site in Spanish. If you want to access the Spanish version of the site, simply click on the Spanish link on the lower right hand side of this or any other page in the site. 

We have also added a Spanish version of the Widget that I’ll post about shortly.

Jan 29, 2008 2:26:40 AM in CozmoTV News | | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

January 08, 2008

New Interface Release

We have begun the process of transitioning to the new CozmoTV administrative interface this morning. You will continue to see the site go offline for brief periods during the next 24 hours as we complete this process and work out any issues. This upgrade will be followed by several more minor upgrades over the following 2 weeks after which we will have completed our version 1.1 rollout.

You will very quickly see the difference in approach to the previous site. The first page is mostly consumed by a large default CozmoTV widget. You can simply watch a collection of channels from across the CozmoTV network that we have hand selected, you can register or sign in to the service, or you can build a channel or widget. By completely dividing the process of watching CozmoTV and building CozmoTV networks and channels, we think we’ve made a substantial improvement to the utility of the application.

When either building a widget or a channel, you’ll see the focus is now on locating channels or videos quickly and modifying the lineup with ease. The widget and channel managers both have simple listings at the bottom of the page and adding channels and videos is as simple as checking a box next to the listing. Compiling a channel or network should take a small fraction of the time it took prior to this upgrade.

We will be adding in the full suite of new widget customization controls over the next couple weeks along with some improved systems for importing and publishing videos directly within our interface. In February we will make some additional improvements by rolling a full suite of analytics software that will allow anyone to track widgets, channels and videos as they get syndicated throughout our network.

We still have some rough edges to shave off, but we think you’ll find the new systems dramatically easier to use. We hope you enjoy…

 

Jan 8, 2008 1:21:03 PM in CozmoTV News | | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

New Site Launched

We have just released the updates to the Cozmo Media website and we’re pretty happy with the results. We are going to delay promoting the changes heavily until we finalize the rollover of cozmo.tv as some of the links in the site link to pages that are not yet complete. But, overall, the site now does a much better job of explaining the business and the value propositions for everyone involved. As we explain in our introduction, CozmoTV is community powered television and we’re getting more excited about the possibilities every day. More to come…

Jan 8, 2008 2:39:09 AM in CozmoTV News | | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

December 06, 2007

Gearing Up

Cozmo has been building out the next generation of our platform and we’ll be launching a new site shortly. What you can expect to see will be a completely re-vamped system for video syndication across our affiliate network. CozmoTV has been hard at work building the customization tools that allow our player to be branded in new and interesting ways, as well as providing the analytics necessary to track the syndication of channels and advertisements across our network. We continue to grow and would love to hear from you if:

  1. You have a high traffic website that would benefit from the addition of a branded video player.
  2. You are a content owner looking for new syndication channels for your video.
  3. You are an advertiser looking for an innovative syndication platform for your interactive advertising.
Dec 6, 2007 3:38:58 AM in CozmoTV News | | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)