Israeli video production company SundaySky wants to help web sites repackage their content as video — whether as a means to promote sales, build out their communities, or communicate better with their audience. SundaySky says that turning site content into videos can be time consuming and expensive for web sites, and that its service is not only a cost effective alternative but also allows for automatic and real time updates to videos. That is to say, it can generate videos (and update existing ones) even as a site in actively changing.
The company, which just landed $8 million in first-round funding to expand its marketing and sales efforts in the U.S., has the technology to scan a client’s site, pull out salient images and information, and synthesize them into a unique, suprisingly artistic video. This all happens within minutes and continuously, ensuring that clips are always up to date. Clients do have to sit down with the SundaySky creative team initially to establish their wants and expectations for a video (and this can be a fairly elaborate, time-consuming process), but that product can than be replicated digitally, the company says. (The clip below is an example of how the same video is duplicated for different products — it’s in Hebrew, but you get the point).[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DmnTCspu5Q8&hl=en&fs=1&w=425&h=344]
These aren’t your typical web videos. Viewers can click on links contained within them, embed them easily on other sites and distribute them through email or social network widgets. The service is even able to detect the graphical elements of a site that are significant to the brand to give its video a professional gloss. After a video is launched, SundaySky provides tools to measure its traffic and performance for continuous improvement (not to mention storage space for all of these processes).
When it comes to cost, video production usually ranges between $500 to $40,000 based on the project in question. Labor is a very expensive component, says Daphna Tsachor, vice president of product and marketing at SundaySky. Because the company’s platform is capable of producing a few thousand videos per day per client, it saves a lot of man hours.
“You select two products, and a comparison video is created on the fly. The manual alternative is producing in advance a video for every two products in the web site’s catalog,” says Tsachor. “This is impractical, especially if you consider new products and frequent updates to prices, deals, user ratings and reviews.”
She says this gap between what is feasible with SundaySky and with traditional methods makes it “tricky and almost impossible” to compare the cost of production.
The company’s web site provides several video ideas for potential clients. For instance, social networks might be interested in offering their users the ability to create a newscast of their activities and friends (the new minifeed?), or a video invitation to an event. E-tailers might want to generate product demos and promotions or a video newsletter for top products and specials. The company is also reaching out to media publishers who might use video to advertise their content on other sites.
Founded in 2006, the company has announced two clients so far: Parentricity.com, a social-network site for parents that allows users to create their own profile videos, and p1000, a major online electronics store in Israel that has made videos featuring its major products. It has several other customers at different stages of video development that will be disclosed soon, says SundaySky’s Tsachor.
Most companies in the video generation space, like Muvee, Animoto and Moblyng, focus on active slideshows drawn from photo albums, various video clips and music snippets — not web site content. So, for better or worse, SundaySky is in a niche of its own.