Since launching Zype in 2014, our philosophy has been to provide software developers and product teams with a flexible API-first infrastructure that can be used in a modular way. We believe that by enabling in-house built systems to connect and integrate with third-party point solutions, developers can create a complete video stack that fits their particular and unique needs. Before we started the company, we were as frustrated as many developers were when faced with building mission-critical, large scale video platforms. The hodge-podge of video players, generic content management systems, encoding, delivery, analytics and storage platforms was, and continues to be, a fragmented ecosystem that requires too much undifferentiated time and skill investment to leverage. We knew there was a better way that could help bring order to all of these moving pieces. So we created Zype, the API-first solution to solving the complexity of the video stack.
Build or Buy?
A “do-we-build it” or “do we buy it” decision is an early challenge that development teams face as they formulate their business and technology strategy for video streaming. Teams are asked to build compelling video streaming experiences to increase their reach, broaden their customer base, and drive revenue/growth. Building, optimizing, scaling and maintaining a video content platform is costly, time-consuming and complex, especially for businesses whose expertise and primary focus are elsewhere. But development teams want to be sure they can be responsive to their business stakeholders, customers, and the market.
We understand that engineering teams want to be in control of their innovation cycles. They want to be responsible to business stakeholders and customers, and don’t want to get stuck, which is why so many choose the path of “build” - which is awesome if you have the right teams and expertise.
However Build vs Buy is a continuum of choices - after all we don’t build “everything” do we? We used to build and rack servers and storage, and now we ask APIs to do that for us using cloud providers like AWS and Google. In a similar fashion, engineering teams can benefit from using a high-performance, scalable Video API to help them solve some basic problems, create leverage for their team, and allow them to focus on differentiation.
Integrating a Video API into a Build Strategy
Think about a seemingly straight-forward use case like managing metadata around a piece of video content. In a build scenario, many developers and engineers are not aware that there are readily available services to manage complex content structures that add value to their video assets along the entire publishing and distribution “chain.” Rather than building all of the databases, CRUD (create, read, update, delete) application services, and monitoring to make sure the chain works and scales, we can use these services to handle that work for us, much like Twilio does with services like SMS.
Here is how a developer would use the Zype Video API to manage metadata on a video that will be distributed to multiple platforms:
Now, this video will carry its metadata through the hundreds of integrations and connectors that are supported by Zype. More innovation possibilities, and less concerns about managing and maintaining undifferentiated tools. Developers can still use whatever player, encoding, and delivery frameworks they want.
Using a Video API to Manage Customers and Commerce
In an increasingly video-streaming-centered world, businesses recognize video content as a game-changer. Product managers are constantly challenged to find, assess and implement innovative and proven technologies that can engage existing customers, educate their markets, and create revenue/ customer growth opportunities,while providing competitive advantages that accelerate growth.
Here is an example of how an engineer might be able to use a Video API to handle signup, registration, and billing for a new video subscriber.
Creating a new subscription:
Now, the consumer and subscription are securely stored in a central location, with all activity synchronized across any marketplace or registration integration. This includes synchronization with all major mobile and TV marketplaces, like Apple Pay and Google Play Store. More revenue opportunities, less overhead for engineers to worry about, and less code to write.
Serving Dashboard and Workflow Needs for Business Users
Other executives and team members are stakeholders in these build vs buy decisions. CFOs relentlessly pursue both revenue growth and cost-savings (particularly overhead). They are eager to invest in cost-effective, proven and reliable technologies that can help do both. They need quick access to information, but in a pure “build” scenario, this means the engineering team has to build lots of “CRUD” (create, read, update, delete) user interfaces for basic tasks,workflow, as well as reporting and analytics to help the team understand performance.
Here we see a dashboard that is connected to Zype’s Video API.This gives a financial stakeholder instant access to pertinent information without wasting the engineering team’s cycles on basic search and data retrieval tools.
Now, the engineering team can quickly provide data to the business, and still have the capability to extract and connect that data for downstream flows, using direct API calls, webhooks, Zapier Zaps, ETLs, etc.
Serving Dashboard and Workflow Needs for Business Users
Many businesses that chose the do-it-yourself route for their video content streaming strategy have retrenched because of growing operational overhead costs and complexity. They’ve migrated to Video APIs like Zype’s Video Infrastructure API and proven SaaS platform to deliver effective, affordable, scalable, and future-proof solutions.
Product teams and C-suite executives are overcoming their challenges by using a Video API to:
- Deliver the video streaming performance and superb experience that today's customers demand;
- Publish and deliver live video to social media platforms
- Simplify, streamline and optimize video content distribution, management and monetization;
- monetize and deliver premium live video to any destination;
- Gain powerful, valuable insights through a comprehensive analytics dashboard
- Extend the power of Zype to their own website with embeddables;
Unlike legacy video platforms that depend on multiple vendors or partners to provide a solution, a full-stack Video API can deliver all core essential products in a single set of services with a common domain model and single point of integration. At Zype, we’ve built a comprehensive and connected API-first video infrastructure and we’d love for engineers and developers to consider it as they think about their build vs. buy strategy.
If you are interested in learning more, please visit https://www.zype.com/developers.