Interview with RJ Mark, Founder of Verasity
Interview with RJ Mark, Founder of Verasity
1. Hey RJ. Thanks for joining me today. Can you tell me more about yourself and your time in the crypto industry? How did you get started?
Thanks for having me here today. I have been managing the development and launch of software products for over 20 years, starting in encryption based products to online video platforms. Our team has developed cloud services for online video broadcasting with unique streaming qualities including low latency, low buffering and high quality streaming whilst reducing costs for bandwidth and infrastructure. It was the peer to peer video platforms popping up in the crypto space that led me and our team here.
2. How did the concept of Verasity originate?
Initially we considered competing with the blockchain based video sharing platforms because of our own in-depth experiences in the OVP and programmatic ad space. But we concluded early on because of our contacts with publishers that these platforms could not scale because publishers were simply not going to switch from the likes of Brightcove and JWPlayer (OVPs that support large broadcasters) because they felt they could not change their workflows. The large publishers like Sky, Hulu, ITV, etc have tech stacks that are built on top of third party OVPs and changing their workflows could take years. Further we didn’t believe that video sharing platforms could compete with YouTube or FB given the huge engagement that they provide and the inertia of users to change their habits.
So we conceived and developed a product that works on top of the current ecosystem without changing the publishers’ workflow or viewers’ habits and therefore can scale to the majority quickly without all the challenges that we believe will kill most video sharing platforms.
Instead, Verasity developed technology that is now integrated into the following video players on publishers’ sites: YouTube, Twitch, Vimeo, JWPlayer, Brightcove, Kaltura, VideoJS, Flowplayer, and Ooyala which represents over 95% of all the video players utilized online. With this milestone already completed we will on-board the millions of publishers requiring rewarded video and loyalty programs to increase their engagement and monetization by an order of magnitude to thrive. These publishers represent over 110B monthly views.
3. What does a normal work day look like working at Verasity?Where are the team members based out of?
Our main offices are in London and Wroclaw, Poland. In the UK most of our management team work in an office near Kings Cross and our development team is in Poland. One of our Co-Founders is in Singapore and I am between the UK and France.
4. What would you describe as the main objectives of the Verasity?
This project will unite rewards and loyalty programs into one video player wallet that can be shared by all the participants in the chain: viewers, publishers and advertisers. Currently there is no coherent rewards and loyalty wallet that can include any form of reward/loyalty program in one location and shared across all video platforms (and this includes crypto as well as non crypto: Think Miles & More).
This project solves the current publisher-advertiser-viewer conundrum which positions the viewer against advertisers, publishers and browsers. By creating a coherent rewarded platform that any publisher can integrate in a few minutes within its current workflow and with viewers not required to download anything new or change their habits or preferences, the Verasity killer app is born. New video sharing platforms have not been able to scale because they endeavour to break publishers’ and viewers’ habits. By building on all the current OVP platforms with SDK integrations and various loyalty and reward programs, Verasity will scale without any hurdles. The object is for every publisher to utilize Verasity rewarded/loyalty programs on its video player to engage their viewers and increase monetization.
5. What is possible with the Verasity vision?
Verasity technology is now integrated into the following video players on publishers’ sites: YouTube, Twitch, Vimeo, JWPlayer, Brightcove, Kaltura, VideoJS, Flowplayer, and Ooyala which represents over 95% of all the video players utilized online.
As a result of these integrations, our unique player technology is already available to more than 2.0 million video publishers with their own sites on the above OVP platforms with 550 million users and more than 110 billion monthly views.
These 2.0 million publishers and 550M + users are our current market opportunity. Furthermore, mobile video consumption is also growing at 100% per year, so this opportunity is expanding rapidly.
6. What do you think is the biggest problem Verasity can solve that that its competitors is not solving now, and why is the problem important to solve?
Verasity provides publishers with an SDK which seamlessly integrates into their current online video platform and allows publishers’ complete control over their rewarded campaigns and monetization. Furthermore, viewers do not have to install a new browser, change their habits or preferences to be a part of the Verasity ecosystem. In our view, the Verasity solution scales without hurdles.
Furthermore, Verasity also has a completely built-out and functional online video platform for broadcasters that require the entire OVP platform and rewarded module as well as an ad stack for both desktop and mobile. This allows publishers to choose from: the rewarded module, a video player, a complete online video platform solution (OVP) or ad stack, some of the components or all in one (see https://github.com/verasitytech for functionality diagram or go to: https://thegas.net/ to view all the components working in harmony).
Verasity sees the market split between content creators on YouTube, Twitch and Vimeo which are low hanging fruit for our platform and very large publishers/broadcasters that utilize OVPs such as JWPlayer and Brightcove (with which we are also integrated) that will not consider changing their online video platform workflows and would therefore not consider any of the current video sharing platforms in the crypto space. Our solution works well for them because it is seamless and doesn’t require any workflow change on their part. Verasity therefore appeals to both on chain and off chain publishers/broadcasters and content creators.
No other platform currently has the advantage of an integrated SDK and OVP components and infrastructure that suits both content creators and large publishers without any change to their workflows. Verasity views this as a sustainable competitive advantage as we also have first mover advantage without any direct competitors and can scale quickly from here with current completed products and little further development.
A good example of the quandary for video sharing platforms that is viewer related (vs. publisher related above): Pewdiepie moved to DLive with great fanfare yet only 0.25% of his 95 million YouTube fans moved with him. This is why video sharing platforms will not cross the chasm from early adopters to the early majority. They simply won’t change their habits and preferences, even for the largest YouTuber.
Verasity developed a solution that both publishers and viewers seamlessly adopt without any changes in workflow, habits or preferences. So Verasity will scale without any of the challenges that are plaguing other video sharing platforms.
7. Who do you view as your current competitor/peer?
We are often compared to BAT and Brave. The only similarity is that BAT provides rewards, but at the browser interface. In their case all publishers are on one vanilla browser interface with no control over their monetization or workflow. Verasity provides publishers with an SDK which seamlessly integrates into their current online video platform and allows publishers complete control over their rewarded campaigns and monetization. Furthermore, viewers do not have to install a new browser, change their habits or preferences to be a part of the Verasity ecosystem. In our view, the Verasity solution scales without significant hurdles. Any hurdles to publishers’ workflows or users’ habits and preferences limits scale to early adopters and will find it challenging if not possible to get to the early majority.
8. What is the business model of the Project?
1.Publishers implement the Verasity SDK into their desktop/mobile video players
2. Publishers buy VRA from exchanges to fund their customizable rewards/loyalty campaigns.
3. Viewers watch great content and earn VRA.
4. Viewers that opt-in watch ads to get more VRA. This generates fiat revenue which is used to buy VRA from the exchanges.
5. Publishers get ad revenues and buy VRA from exchanges to create more campaigns to engage more viewers.
6. Users can donate VRA to creators, spend VRA for goods and services or sell VRA at exchanges.
9. What are the technological innovations of the project?
Rewarded Module: Integrated as an SDK into all major online video platforms (over 90%) including: YouTube, Twitch, Vimeo, JWPlayer, Brightcove, Kaltura, VideoJS, Flowplayer, and Ooyala which provides rewards for actions without changing the publishers’ workflow or the viewer’s habits or preferences.
Proof of View: Patent pending blockchain technology that produces accurate, secure and auditable audience verification metrics (in development).
Verasity has a completely built-out and functioning online video platform for broadcasters/publishers that require the entire OVP platform and rewarded module as well as an ad stack for both desktop and mobile (the OVP live can be seen: https://technews.guru/).
The Verasity OVP has several innovations including:
1. Running on the UDP transport protocol for all Chromium users when on Akamai CDN (default to TCP when on other non-Chrome browsers)
2. Broadcast to the cloud directly from a laptop rather than via a server farm.
3. Tested to over 8 PB of date per month (white label version confirmed by Akamai)
The Verasity adstack is unique in that it has solved for timeouts for publishers that require a large number of SSPs and ad networks on one stack – as many as 200 ad networks on one stack – (example of small pub on our ad stack: https://thegas.net/).
10. Where are you now in your roadmap?
We completed all through Q2 2019 and progressing with Q3 deliverables
Our Roadmap is over 80% completed already and our main products have launched and are utilized by 12 publishers and 700,000 users.
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