YouTube Developers Live: Pixability

Uploaded by GoogleDevelopers on 17.10.2012


JAREK WILKIEWICZ: Hello, everyone.
Welcome to YouTube Developers Live take two for today.
My name is Jarek Wilkiewicz.
And I have exciting show for you today.
We have guests from Pixability.
Andreas, how are you doing?
BETTINA HEIN: Thank you for having us.
JAREK WILKIEWICZ: How are you, Bettina, today?
In the studio we have Jeremy Walker.
Hello, everyone.
JAREK WILKIEWICZ: Long time no see, Jeremy.
You're been in Mexico?
I was down in Mexico.
We can talk a little bit about it later.
And then Jeff is not joining us tonight because we had to
rewire our studio.
And in the process of rewiring, we lost Jeff.
All right.
But hopefully we'll try to manage without him.
So first of all, thank you very much for coming.
I'm very excited to have you in the studio.
I know you have a very busy schedule.
Coming from Boston, right?
JAREK WILKIEWICZ: To Silicon Valley.
How long are you staying?
BETTINA HEIN: We're actually going back tomorrow morning.
We came in on Sunday.
So we're going to try to squeeze the maximum amount of
value out of your short trip here.
So we wanted to talk to you about your company.
But maybe first, Bettina, I know you've been an
entrepreneur for quite some time.
So I wanted to learn a little bit more about how did you get
into that and what did you do before Pixability?
And then we will transition and talk a little bit more
about your current project.
Well, I like to brag that I've never had a real job.
So I started my first tech company right
out of graduate school.
Actually, I started it in Zurich, Switzerland--
a spin-off of the Swiss Federal Institute of
And it was a bunch of engineers and I.
And we started a speech technology
company called SVOX.
And if you have an Android phone or use Google Translate,
you will have text to speech software from SVOX in there.
And so the technology today is in the hands of over half a
billion people.
And it's in the GPS systems of most cars.
And we raised some money for that from investors from
Angels and VCs, about $8 million.
And we then sold it to Nuance Communications from
Burlington, Massachusetts for $125 million.
JAREK WILKIEWICZ: That's pretty amazing.
So 10x plus return, which is I know all businesses are
looking for.
JAREK WILKIEWICZ: Can the text to speech software do Polish
accent, by any chance?
BETTINA HEIN: Absolutely it can.
Now I need to try it.
BETTINA HEIN: It's available in 32
languages, I think, so far.
So, yeah.
So now your working on Pixability.
So what brought you into this world of video?
BETTINA HEIN: Well, I was a Sloan Fellow at MIT
after I'd done SVOX.
And that was actually the time when YouTube was getting
acquired by Google.
And I was studying technological disruption.
And what I saw was this drop of orders of magnitude in the
input factors into video.
So the cost of cameras, the cost of editing software,
bandwidth, all of that was dropping majorly.
And I knew from studying previous technological
disruptions that that was an opportunity to
create a big business.
And I also saw that there was a chance for
democratization, actually.
You know, TV is an oligopolistic game, networks,
cable TV stations.
But here small content creators, small businesses all
had an equal chance to succeed.
And so I decided to found Pixability on that premise.
JAREK WILKIEWICZ: It sounds very exciting.
It's also interesting that you went from voice
and audio to video.
So I'm wondering what's coming next, ESP?
JAREK WILKIEWICZ: But before we get there, I'm also
curious-- and I am sure you get that question a lot, so
pardon the repetition.
But as a woman running the company do you think is it
easier, is it harder for you?
Do you have to answer this question a lot of times?
We don't have a lot of female guests on this show.
I think our entrepreneur guest speakers are kind of a male
dominated group.
So can you speak a little bit about your experience to all
the women that might be watching us right now?
Well, it's almost like if I would ask Jeremy here, I see
you're wearing glasses, what is it like as a myopic
No, in all honesty, I get asked that question a lot.
And I wish that weren't a pertinent question, but it is.

It goes both ways.
It's actually a big advantage in some ways.
If a magazine wants to cover a hot new start up and they
have, all things being equal, a male entrepreneur and a
female entrepreneur, guess what?
I get chosen.
So that's the cool thing about it.
The downside is that I have to relate to people that have a
different interest set than I often times, or a different
JAREK WILKIEWICZ: I get that a lot with football.
BETTINA HEIN: Yeah, especially with investors, I just don't
fit the mold exactly.
So it's maybe not as comfortable.
And a lot about business and investing is about pattern
And I don't fit that pattern.
But I roll with the punches.
And I like to just take that as a challenge.
And so now I think this is a great prelude to Pixability.
So tell us a little bit more about the problem you're
trying to solve and how you're approaching it.
So Pixability helps companies and content creators make the
most of their YouTube channel.
Find their audience, optimize their content, optimize ads,
and do that all the YouTube platform.

If you've heard of a company that's called Buddy Media,
they do everything for Facebook.
We do everything for YouTube.
So the target audience is content creators that really
want to amplify their presence on YouTube, get more
subscribers, get more views?
Or who is the customer?
BETTINA HEIN: Actually, it's content creators.
So publishers of content as well as corporate marketers.
Because that is actually coming together.
We see that more and more.
If you look at Red Bull Stratos, right?
Companies are becoming content creators.
And content creators are businesses.
So we serve both of those.
So maybe before we get into more details
can we see a demo?
JAREK WILKIEWICZ: Let's try that.
So first of all, our product really has two
main parts to it.
So there's one part that is really optimized to help
businesses, content creators manage their YouTube channel.
And there's the second part that is really optimized to
what we call to do audience insights.
And that means basically that we help businesses and content
creators understand what is going on YouTube.
So basically, to answer the question, what kind of content
should I produce?
Who are my competitors?
What is a really popular type of video in my field?
And so on.
And that's really kind of the combination that seems to work
extremely well.
So what we see here, to start a quick demo, is basically the
dashboard for people who manage their YouTube channel.
So we created a UI that is really designed to be optimal
for business users.
And they have slightly different needs from what you
have as a person, as an individual, using YouTube.
Or even as a content provider.
A lot of marketing oriented users, for instance, don't
full time manage their YouTube channel.
It's just one part of their job.
So they need a lot of efficiency.
Very often you find teams who manage two
channels at the same time.
So one person might only upload videos.
Another person might do all the SEO work.
And a third person approves everything and publishes it.
So this is really designed as a kind of multi-user
When you log in the first thing you see is dashboard.
And this shows you some high-level metrics like how
your viewers are currently developing, what your traffic
sources are, where you get your traffic, what social
engagement numbers are, and so on.
And you also see that's important for business users
and content creators alike, professionals.
You see what your competitors are up to.
So we have this online video grader score.
It's basically a score between 0 and 100 points
that you can get.
It really measures how successful your YouTube
channel is performing, how many viewers you get, how many
social sharing activities you're triggering, how you are
using videos on your website, and so on.
And so you can configure what your competitors are and keep
an eye on them.
You get alerts when they publish successful
videos and so on.
So it's really an easy way to get on top of things.
Then when you dig a little bit more in depth-- so I'm logged
in here as one of our customers,,
which is an e-commerce website that introduces a new
interesting product every day.
They produce one video per day.
So a lot of high volume production there.
And they manage their channel through our software.
And here you basically see the list of videos that you have.
So that's very similar to the video
manager in YouTube itself.
But the difference is you have some workflow
functionality here.
So for instance, this progress bar shows you at all times how
far advanced you are in treating this video optimally
for business purposes for reaching out to people.
So I click on here on one example video I see that I'm
currently done with uploading my video, but I still have
some work to do with SEO.
So it gives me a warning here saying that I need to work on
my description text, for instance.
So we baked in a lot of best practices from our experience,
from our customer's experience, about what makes a
video on YouTube really successful for SEO purposes
and for discovery just to get found by people.
JAREK WILKIEWICZ: Yeah, that was going
to be my next question.
So all these scores are actually actionable, right?
JAREK WILKIEWICZ: The marketer or content creator strives to
achieve 100%.
JAREK WILKIEWICZ: But you give them suggestions about things
that they should do to really improve the metrics that
you're tracking.
ANDREAS GOELDI: That's exactly right.
So as you type here in the description field, for
instance, actually the score goes up.
So up to 100%.
So you always know where you stand and what
you have to do next.
JAREK WILKIEWICZ: So let me get that straight.
So typing in some random gibberish
increases my score to 100%?
That's was just a minor change.
No, it actually looks at how many different
keywords you're using--
ANDREAS GOELDI: --in your space.
So it's really based on what you need to do
to get found online.
And we also have kind of a feedback loop.
So for instance, you can at any time see how you are
measuring up on YouTube search against
your text, for instance.
In this case here is a video about
particularly compact umbrella.
And we see that we are currently ranking at number
seven for the keyword portable umbrella and number three for
travel umbrella.
So that's pretty good.
And you get a lot of this SEO feedback all the time so that
you know if people are actually able to find you for
long tail searchers.
Also part of this is, of course, analytics.
We basically tap into YouTube analytics and add some value
on top of that, especially making the whole thing easier
to understand for business users.
So we're not just giving you the raw numbers.
But we also tell you what the next three things are that you
should be doing.
In this case here, this channel here increased traffic
from embedded players by a lot.
So that's great.
But you also have to do some work here in SEO and link
building campaigns on external sites so people know
immediately what the next step should be.
JAREK WILKIEWICZ: What's a link building campaign?
ANDREAS GOELDI: Well, basically we are seeing that a
lot of success for YouTube videos really comes from links
from external sites to your video pages, to
your channel page.
And reaching out to bloggers, for instance, to link to your
channel directly is something that really
helps you assess your--
I see.
Is subscriber count something that your
also tracking as isometric?
We're looking at that as well.
The reality of that is frankly that for more marketing
oriented users subscribers tend to
be a bit less important.
So it's mostly important for producers of original content.
And that's definitely an important metric as well.
JEREMY WALKER: So this is a really fascinating.
Can you tell us a little bit about the actual
implementation you did with the YouTube APIs?
Whatever you're comfortable with.
And maybe even the language you used?
I would say we are probably using almost every part of the
YouTube API.
We are using definitely the Data API, allow people to
upload videos to modify metadata and all that stuff.
We also use the Player API.
So we have some functionality that lets people customize the
YouTube player when they want to embed
videos on their website.
And that's something that a lot of people don't know that
this even exists.
And finally, we used the Insight API to pull down
statistics information.
So it's pretty broad really.
And our system is actually implemented in Python.
Mostly we use MySQL and Redis for data storage.
And we're currently hosted on Amazon EC2 in the cloud.
But from the beginning we really decided to be totally
cloud agnostic so we can actually move to a different
cloud at any time.
ANDREAS GOELDI: Definitely keeping an eye on Google's
Computes Cloud and other possible solutions.
JEREMY WALKER: That's great to hear.
JAREK WILKIEWICZ: Have you looked at the new Analytics
API that we have recently launched?
ANDREAS GOELDI: Yeah, absolutely.
JAREK WILKIEWICZ: For those of you who are watching, we have
recently removed the whitelist requirement from the new
Analytics API.
So historically we had the Insight API, which is robust.
But it requires you to unzip the file, and then
[INAUDIBLE], and so forth.
I think the new Analytics API is a little bit easier to use.
ANDREAS GOELDI: I think it's much better from that
And it also helps us a lot for kind of the second part of our
product, which is audience insight.
And just maybe have a quick look on that.
JAREK WILKIEWICZ: Let's take a look.
ANDREAS GOELDI: So what people typically ask us when they
contact us for first time is what kind of content should I
really create to be successful on YouTube?
Because it's not really clear.
I mean, obviously when you're a marketer it's not a 30
second commercial.
That probably will not fly on YouTube.
If you're a traditional content creator, you probably
have to change your style a little bit to what you
normally do.
JAREK WILKIEWICZ: Is cat videos normally the answer?
ANDREAS GOELDI: Cat videos is great.
JAREK WILKIEWICZ: Is that the [INAUDIBLE] in your code?
ANDREAS GOELDI: If nothing works, use cats and babies.
It always flies.
That's great.
No, I mean that's actually a question that a lot
of people ask us.
How do I make a viral video?
ANDREAS GOELDI: And the reality is
there's no proof in concept.
But you really have to understand what your industry
is doing and what people really like in terms of
content in your industry.
So we created this product called The Video Radar that
taps heavily into Insight APIs, and
Search API, and so on.
And it assembles, basically, information from YouTube about
keywords that you initially set to
that define your industry.
So in this case here, we just ran this analysis for a new
customer of ours, Rokenbok, which is actually a very
successful user of YouTube advertising especially.
Some amazing videos.
They're a toy company.
They make educational toys where you can build very
complex models.
And it's very sophisticated stuff.
And they gave us a bunch of keywords here that we use to
analyze their space on YouTube.
And this first graph here shows you the visualization of
what the most popular channels in this whole
educational toy space are.
So there's a company called Bruder Toys, which is one of
their competitors.
There's Toys "R" Us, of course.
And there's K'NEX, another competitor.
And a bunch of just channels run by individuals who happen
to be very fascinated by these educational toys.
So then from thereon you can basically drill down into a
number of different metrics.
You can figure out how many views in total
there are on the space.
And how many relevant videos are out there.
You can look at what the top 100 videos are in your space,
who the most successful content produces are.
And finally, you can actually drill down in full detail into
each of these channels and figure out what they are doing
well and what they are not doing so well.
So here the number one ranked channel, which is a competitor
of our customer, has a lot of use.
That's great.
But they also have a relatively moderate sentiment.
So about equal number of likes and dislikes.
Not a tremendous amount of Facebook
activity and Twitter activity.
So you can use this information to figure out what
are these guys doing well, what are success recipes that
we should copy apart from cats and babies.
And what should we avoid because it clearly doesn't
seem to fly?
We're also using this information for ad targeting,
for instance.
So we actually provide our customers with a list of
channels that they can use to promote their videos.
And we also help them to find the right online communities
for social engagement, for social sharing.
So it's a very broad tool that helps people understand the
entire space.
JEREMY WALKER: That's great.
Just out of curiosity, did you run into anything that was
counterintuitive using the YouTube APIs?
Or anything that you kind of saw some issues with?
ANDREAS GOELDI: Specifically for the API--
so first of all, YouTube's API is way more robust and mature
than other APIs, like Facebook's, or Twitter's, or
especially LinkedIn, which tends to never work at all.
So it's a very robust API.
But the surprise is that you really have to still build a
bit of infrastructure around it.
So a typical topic is quota issues.
We are a very heavy user of the API.
And occasionally we run into coda issues.
And you have to put in a lot of functionality to really
accommodate these issues and work around them.
So you have to catch all these potential errors, and so on,
and special cases.
So this needs a little bit of infrastructure on the side of
the API user really.
JAREK WILKIEWICZ: Similar question to Bettina, when you
were building the company, building the product, anything
that really surprised you about your audience?
Or about the space?
Things that you felt like you could use the previous
experience and it just didn't apply?
Anything that you would be willing to share?
BETTINA HEIN: Well, so the commonality between the two
companies is the heavy text analytics, right?
Text to speech software is all about that.
But here as well.
I mean, we do a lot of analytics on the metadata
surrounding all the videos that we tap into.
And one of the things from a user perspective that I still
find astounding is that this concept of, and I'll use air
quotes here, a "viral video" still exists in the heads of
lots of people.
We'll just create a video and we'll put it out there.
And it will go viral.

That concept still exists.
Maybe not for the people watching this webinar.
But out there, people that are creating content don't really
know a lot about the metadata optimization
that you have to do.
And also that you have to see a video as a member of the
social network.
One thing that Andreas didn't really talk about very much in
the demo are our cross-platform analytics.
So looking at what videos are being watched and commented on
via Facebook, on Twitter, LinkedIn.
And we aggregate all of that data.
So the really advanced people in the space, they look at
what a video is doing in the social space.
They don't rely solely on putting it up on YouTube and
hoping that people will come.
It's not a build it and we will come scenario.
So you have to embed it.
You have to work on link building.
You have to share it out via different networks.
JAREK WILKIEWICZ: So I guess what folks expect is you just
put together this interesting content, you put it out there,
and it'll go viral.
And the reality is not quite like that.
JAREK WILKIEWICZ: So you need to do some--
BETTINA HEIN: Another astounding thing is that often
times the content that people think they should be creating
is diametric to what actually people are
watching in the space.
BETTINA HEIN: That's why we developed the radar.
I mean, we've helped very big companies and brands
completely change the kind of content that they're creating,
what they're putting in there.
Because they're seeing, oh, this will get zero views.
There are no people watching that associated with our brand
or our content.
ANDREAS GOELDI: One great example is the length, the
duration of the video.
So most people still think that a YouTube video has to be
a maximum of two minutes long because people have such a
short attention span and they will never watch it.
And we can basically prove with our technology in almost
every industry that that's absolutely not true.
JAREK WILKIEWICZ: Not true anymore.
ANDREAS GOELDI: People watch more and more long form
content on YouTube, up to 20 minutes long.
And if you really have interesting content, if you
have something to say, people will absolutely watch it.
JAREK WILKIEWICZ: So we still have a little time left.
Jeremy, we wanted to go through the Q&A--
I know we have a couple of questions for the moderator.
So should we get to it?
Before we get into that, I know you looked in the
Analytics API.
Have you looked at the v3 version of the API as well?
ANDREAS GOELDI: Yes, absolutely.
We have actually started to experiment with it.
JAREK WILKIEWICZ: Any additional feedback?
ANDREAS GOELDI: Yes, it's great, first of all.
I think it's great because it's very lean and efficient.
ANDREAS GOELDI: The old API used to be a bit
heavy in some ways.
I mean, XML and so on.
And now you have this very lean JSON framework.
And you can really shape it in a way that it gives you
exactly the data that you want.
And that's really a great advantage, I think especially
for mobile developers.
And I'm definitely looking forward to switching to the
JAREK WILKIEWICZ: Have you tried the Python Client
Library yet?
That's another great thing.
I mean, the old library for G Data was a bit, you know, old
JAREK WILKIEWICZ: Yeah, we're stuck at
version one of the API.
So old school.
This is all about to change.
ANDREAS GOELDI: Right, yeah.
So it's great.
It's great progress really.
Well, we have a couple questions.
I'll start with the ones, because there's quite a few
for you guys.
So one of our questions is from Paris, actually. "Most of
the examples I see in this video are related to business,
to consumer campaigns.
What advice for business to business service delivery
companies do you have?" Like, one size fits all?
They just a little more information on that.
BETTINA HEIN: We actually recently did a study of the
top 100 brands in the world, how they are using YouTube.
And among those are actually the winners of our study, so
to speak, the number of views, the number of videos that they
publish, are technology companies.
And often times they are B2B companies.
And we see some really good examples, for example, Intel
does really well with YouTube.
Cisco does very well with YouTube.
And what you can learn from those companies is actually
that you have to create content that is interesting
for a broad mass of people.
But then you have to segment it down.
So Intel, for example, will have examples that are for a
particular chipset.
And they just have a developer explaining the new
developments around what they're doing, how
functionalities work, how this works when you're integrating
this into the boards that you're working on.
And that doesn't have to be totally sexy.
The same goes for lots of product videos.
People really do a lot of research.
And most people know that YouTube's search box is the
second largest search engine in the world.
So if you have a really technical product and
something that people usually would want to see in action,
that's what works for video very well.
We had a milling company do videos.
And it was very interesting that they wanted, for example,
they figured out that they had to absolutely put no music on
their videos.
Because people wanted to hear the shavings
fall with the machine.
JEREMY WALKER: That's amazing.
BETTINA HEIN: So it really depends on your vertical.
And then another key is to always use the
content that you have.
In email marketing for B2B that works really well.
Integrate those videos in there.
You'll get click-throughs.
Use it in trade shows.
Use it in those B2B areas.
JEREMY WALKER: Great, great.
Let's see we got another one here for you.
So "what advice would you get for dealing with cultural
differences in positioning video content?
Do you have any recommendations that work best
for different parts of the world?
How's the approach effected?"
BETTINA HEIN: Well, it's definitely different.
YouTube's dominance is not as big in some
areas of the world.
So if you have a YouTube only strategy, in some countries
you may want to think about that.
For example, I think in France--
I think this question is from France-- if you're doing movie
trailers, I think they have [FRENCH], where people go if
they're looking for movie trailers instead of YouTube.
But apart from that, I think you have to be really in tune.
If you're doing a multi-national strategy, you
have to be in tune with pop culture and political
developments in that culture if you're
creating content for that.
So let's say you're targeting Greece.
A Greek viewer will know what Golden Dawn is.
Whereas a Chinese viewer might be very confused if you
mentioned that.
Another thing to be aware of is that passionate communities
on YouTube are often very international.
So looking into that if you're optimizing your metadata, your
tagging, your descriptions, think about using not just
English, but also some other languages if you're targeting
those international audiences.
And a third thing is for content creators, that
aesthetic tastes vary often culturally.
So for example, in Latin America stark
lighting is very popular.
And color schemes are very different than tastes would
be, for example, in northern Europe.
That's some great information.
Let's see.

So the other one we have is, of course, is Google
Developers hiring?
Jarek, you want to take that one?
JAREK WILKIEWICZ: Andreas was looking at me.
I hoped you were going to take the other one.
We are hiring.
Both YouTube Developers and Developer Relations as well as
Google Developer Operations is hiring.
To find out more go to
where you can see all the job descriptions and the positions
that we have open.
And as far as the type of work we do we hang out in the
studio every Wednesday.
But beyond that, and we were going to mention that, we have
a bunch of speaking engagements.
Jeremy was just speaking at the Silicon Valley Code Camp.
That was last week, right?
JAREK WILKIEWICZ: I actually came back from Mexico, where
we were hosting a Latin America Google Developers
Group Summit.
So community leaders from a number of Latin American
countries came together.
We visited Telmex hub in Mexico, which is just an
incubator, and shared office space.
So it quite exciting.
And then we have a number of events actually coming up
where we'll be speaking.
I think DevFest West is coming up this weekend.
JEREMY WALKER: This weekend, right.
We'll be speaking there.
And then if anybody's actually watching from Korea, we're
looking to participate in an event there mid-November.
So again, if you would like to join us, please go to and learn more there.
We actually have a couple more questions.
BETTINA HEIN: And Pixability is hiring as well.
So if devs are interested in YouTube, absolutely.
Well, we have a couple more questions
that we'll fly through.
And then we'll close it out.
So "how do captions provided in English on YouTube videos,
for example in French, effect SEO?"
JAREK WILKIEWICZ: So captions are definitely something very
important for SEO.
And if you can upload multiple language versions, that's
definitely helpful.
We typically recommend if you're really going with a
multilingual strategy, it typically makes sense to
separate out your channels by language group.
Simply because then you can really optimize playlists and
all the metadata around the channel, even the channel
design for the specific market.
But uploading captions is a very good idea.
It really helps.
And then our last one that we have time for, and this I
think is more general, "how much of a shake up will things
like Hangouts on air cause in the brands or in YouTube
ANDREAS GOELDI: In the sense that brands
will use that, or--
JAREK WILKIEWICZ: I guess, maybe the question is it's a
different type of video engagement as an interactive
experience, right?
Rather than video on demand.
Do you see brands adopting that?
Do you get approached about how should people use that as
a yet another way to connect with the customers?
ANDREAS GOELDI: Occasionally people ask us about how do I
do a live show like this one here.
ANDREAS GOELDI: So that's definitely something that
people start discovering a little bit.
But I think it's still a few years away at this point.
Because most companies still are struggling with developing
their video strategy in the first place just for standard
video content.
So I think it's attractive, especially if you're going in
the B2B sector and really have to provide in depth content.
And it's a great format.
And we have been using it at Pixability very
successfully as well.
So we have a monthly live webinar, which is actually
airing right now in competition with this one.
And this has been very successful for us.
So I think that's definitely something that
people should look at.
So maybe--
BETTINA HEIN: Actually the question came from
[? Cheryl ?]
[? Lock ?]
from Las Vegas, who's a loyal viewer of
the Pixability webinar.
JAREK WILKIEWICZ: Thanks for joining.
So maybe I was wrong.
Maybe the next gig is not ESP, it's live.
So it's audio, video, live video, and then ESP.
All right, I think this is all we have time for today.
So thank you very much for visiting our studio.
Have fun on the West Coast.
And a safe trip back to Boston.
And Jeremy, as always, a pleasure.
JEREMY WALKER: Yes, thank you.
JAREK WILKIEWICZ: And I guess we'll talk to next week,
Wednesday, 10:00 AM Pacific time.