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Mike Folgner is the founder and CEO of SnappyTV, a platform for sharing clips from live television with friends on Facebook and Twitter. Mike’s career has been at the intersection of technology and media. He was the General Manager of Video at Yahoo! after his first company Jumpcut was acquired by Yahoo! in 2006.
SnappyTV offers a robust suite of tools that enable organizations of all sizes to edit, share, and archive live video and TV programming completely within the cloud. The SnappyTV platform enables organizations to rapidly create, distribute and measure real-time video content delivered via social media channels. The result is the viral sharing of video clips merged with social messaging which allows fans to instantly show friends the best video moments from the broadcast, increasing the social conversation and driving tune-in.
MO: Can you talk about the inspiration behind Snappy TV? Was it a concept that you had been thinking about for a while or was it more of an “aha moment?”
Mike: We could see that the real-time Internet was transforming the social conversation surrounding TV and sports programs. The conversation was moving from the water cooler at work – the day after the game or season finale – to instant commentary delivered via people’s social media feeds. People were seeing a moment on TV and posting their opinions immediately on Facebook or Twitter. During a big event like the Superbowl, the spikes – the total number of transactions being posted per second – were huge. We knew how much better the conversation would be if accompanied by real-time video – only video can fully capture a “Did you see that?!?!” moment that catapults the conversation to another realm. Through real-time video, viewers can truly share and live the experience with others. Our vision of this opportunity, coupled with our background and video expertise, gave us the inspiration to develop our real-time video clipping engine.
MO: Can you expand on the development process behind the Snappy TV platform and any challenges that you encountered during the early stages?
Mike: Our original development enabled fast and easy live video clipping, editing and distribution via social channels through custom implementations for enterprises and larger organizations. In terms of our early challenges, I’d say that the scope of our business grew faster than anticipated – which also was a big validation of the market opportunity we had identified. We had to move very quickly in the beginning to meet demand, innovating completely new capabilities, such as live cloud-based DVR functionality for recording and instant replay. The cloud also enabled us to extend our platform, and we jumped on that opportunity with our self-service video clipping and sharing tools. These tools allow organizations and individuals to become their own video editor and publisher and instantly share their real-time video content with the world. Our goal is to make it a ‘snap’ for anyone to edit and easily deploy professional grade cloud-based video – whether live streams or clip sharing – and the opportunities just keep growing in how we can achieve that through the richness of our features.
MO: How are you transforming how organizations and consumers can use and share video technology to engage with others and express themselves and their brands?
Mike: We’re working closely with some of the most prominent sports events organizers and programmers, broadcasters, and conferences to implement entirely new forms of content viewing, changing how viewers can enjoy key moments. Our live clips are immediately syndicated for distribution on all social channels – Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or mobile alerts – and can be easily accessed on-demand and on-the-go. We are giving consumers a new way to ‘talk sports’, share their opinions or chat live with friends during events. Because our clips are instantly syndicated, we are also helping organizations fully utilize social media by giving their viewers access to live, high-quality video. This increases the conversation about their brands, drives consumers to their content, and reaches a larger audience.
Mike: It feels good. Very good. When you’re able to develop and bring to market a technology that improves how things are currently done, it’s incredibly gratifying. Our world is changing. People aren’t just sitting in front of a single TV or computer screen. They’re on social networks, mobile devices and YouTube. Our technology is designed to reach consumers where they are today through live video content. To see fans and viewers connecting with each other in new ways and knowing that our live video platform helped make that happen is just awesome.
MO: What are you most looking forward to in 2013?
Mike: I’m looking forward to working together with our partners and customers and helping them leverage more innovative video technology solutions to grow their audiences and gain exposure for their video content. We want to make it even easier for organizations to track and monitor the social volume occurring around their content. It will be great next year when most leagues, networks, teams, players, shows and movie stars put video in tweets and Facebook posts instead of just text. But the true power of what we’re doing is that my sister will edit highlights of her little leaguers this year and by the time my kids are in high school, their highlight reels will look better than ESPN does it today.
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