I am impressed by PLYmedia. I usually try to write about younger, newer, hipper, sexier companies coming unto the scene, and discover new players in the game, but sometimes the old guard still has one or two tricks up their sleeve.
There are three integral parts of any startup: technology, product, and monetization. Israeli companies are usually strong in the technology sector. They figure out some funky thing that does something, and then they set out to create a company around that technology. But many times the company that they create may not actually have any public appeal or commercial value. Just because you can create a widget that will allow you to know how many breaths you breathe a day does not mean that anyone in the public sector will want to use it. Perhaps, if tweaked, it would be of immense value for the medical profession, but many companies don’t make that jump. Companies, quite often, feel that if their technology is slightly better than an existing one, everyone will automagically jump ship to them. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but it ain’t true. Just ask Sony about Betamax.
PLYmedia figured out how to overlay content over existing video. They made it easy to do, even post-post-post production, and on the fly. That is called technology.
PLYmedia then figured out an end-user version of their technology called BubblePLY that allows people to overlay words, pictures and other things over their online videos. People liked using it.
They saw that people used BubblePLY for subtitles, both in the original language and in translation, and they responded by partnering with companies who can help them provide professional subtitling services faster and cheaper than the competition. Thus was born SubPLY.
The company applied a similar permutation of the same technology to overlay ads and other pertinent information to companies. Meaning, if I am watching a television show, and a song starts playing, using a mashup with song recognition software, they are able to identify and display what the song is and provide a link to purchase the song.
Thus, PLYmedia achieved the holy trinity of success: Technology, Product, Monetization. By staying true to the technology, they are able to offer more products and develop more monetization models.
It is no shock that PLYmedia has won accolades and awards from many different sources, in addition to funding.
The young, new, hip and sexy companies should watch closely and learn.