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First Look

Krissi Danielson

Wowza, Yowza -- How Wowza's Streaming Media Solution Is Wowing the Web

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WowzaStubenvoll.jpgThe company name certainly catches one's eye -- and that's partly why Wowza Media Systems chose it.

"We want to get the 'wow' into video, not only from an eye popping perspective where you see great video but also from a price and performance perspective," says David Stubenvoll, CEO and co-founder of Wowza. "I’ve been speaking with someone and when I’ve mentioned our latest pricing, they’ve responded 'WOW – za!' so it’s a perfect name."

About Wowza

Wowza launched its flagship Wowza Media Server Pro nearly a year ago, and since then the company has racked up more than 4,400 global licenses and won awards. Customers include everyone from content delivery networks (CDNs) to service providers, and even the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Department store giant Macy's is also using the product as a part of its internal training functions.

But Wowza's product was actually created as an accident. Stubenvoll and co-founder Charlie Good left Adobe and began a simple video blogging solution that wrapped Flash Media Server with a WordPress core and ran into problems when the server wouldn't work as they wanted. They also were unhappy with the price. End result: they wrote their own server.

"While our initial service didn’t exactly rock the world, people started asking us about our server and we had our first sale of the server in 20 minutes of a first phone call," Stubenvoll muses.

After re-architecting the system with an industrial strength product in mind, Wowza Media Server was born -- the only independent media server company out there, Stubenvoll points out. Future plans are to offer customers video capabilities that will go to any device on any platform with any video codec -- and this is all with a piece of code only about a megabyte in size.

Service Providers Using Wowza

One company currently using Wowza is Interroute, a large fiber owner in Europe. Interoute does VoIP but also CDN and similar services. Yonden Media Works, StreamGuys, and Nacamar are a few other providers using the service.

Wowza also has a product for Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud, which is like a hybrid type of SaaS -- the company licenses the software along with hosting services and bandwidth at a price paid to Amazon. Customers using Wowza Pro through the program can basically use the same functionality as those using Wowza in an on-premise installation.

"The great thing and the compelling thing about these EZ2 platform is that it allows you to easily add and delete servers so you can expand and contract as your needs require and the bandwidth," he points out.

Competition with Adobe and Microsoft

Stubenvoll says Wowza sees itself as the agnostic player in the media server market.

"Flash is tremendous. Silverlight is great. Java is wonderful. And, as we’re getting towards this notion of convergence, I want to see my Heroes whether it’s through my living room or on my desktop or on my mobile phone," he says.

In today's world with disparate systems and media servers that serve the client, publishers need to release disparate systems to meet needs, but Stubenvoll says that Wowza will make it so that publishers can use the same servers for all of those outlets. Wowza can facilitate combination with software from Adobe and support phones powered by Java running Silverlight.

"In the end, I think we are going to be a boost to each of these systems and I would say our relationship with these companies today is cordial," he asserts.

Executive Summary by Krissi Danielsson 



These flash /wowza services are worth taking a look at.

There is 1 or 2 specific Wowza packages with aggressive pricing. Plus it's instant activation and free trial, so it's worth a try.

I work for NetroMedia, but thought I'd throw this out because it's rare that we get asked about Wowza by name.

Great article about Wowza. I found it very interesting how the server idea was developed after another idea did not work. I think that Wowza is really onto something here.

Six Sigma Green Belt Certificate Program at the University of St. Thomas.

Join ebizQ producer Krissi Danielson for interviews with the innovators, movers and shakers behind emerging enterprise software solutions.Have a solution that qualifies? E-mail Krissi at krissi (at)ebizq.net

Krissi Danielson

Krissi Danielsson is a podcast producer with ebizQ and contributor to ebizQ's SaaSWeek site. View more

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