TL; DR: Ziggeo is a cloud-based video technology company offering recording, transcoding, playback, and storage services. The company’s Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) product features asynchronous APIs and server-side SDKs for complete video solutions. With AI-powered moderation tools and a continuous stream of innovations, Ziggeo aims to pioneer the future of video.
Susan Danziger and Oliver Friedmann have long understood the power of video. In 2013, the entrepreneurs founded Ziggeo, a video recruitment platform that enabled job candidates to create engaging videos to complement their employment applications.
But as Ziggeo hit the market, so did competitors.
“What differentiated us the most at that time was our outstanding video technology,” Oliver, who is now CTO of Ziggeo, told us. “So, we made a bold move: Instead of competing with all the other players, we decided to sell our competitors our technology and make them our customers.”
The company then pivoted to focus primarily on its powerful video recording, playback, and storage API. The move proved fruitful, opening up opportunities to serve verticals far beyond recruiting, including education, online gaming, sales training, and even online dating.
Today, Ziggeo is helping businesses easily capture videos from customers and audiences with its video APIs and SDKs for recording and playback. The cloud-based solution features an advanced transcoding infrastructure that supports the various protocols used on the market today. In addition, an AI-powered moderation solution helps screen videos before they are shared publically.
Ziggeo has reached many milestones during its six years in the market. The company developed the first responsive video recorder and player, as well as the first token-based system to facilitate permission-based video access. Moving forward, Ziggeo will continue to pioneer the cloud-based video recording and playback space with the goal of providing the best technology possible.
Applications for Cloud-Based Video Recording and Playback
One of the most significant benefits Ziggeo offers is the flexibility to use individual parts of its services as needed. The software is capable of handling numerous tasks, including video recording and uploading, transcoding for all formats, playback across devices and browsers, and hosting and storage.
And while Ziggeo brands itself as a general-purpose Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solution, there’s a use case for video in almost every industry and vertical — including journalism, crowdfunding, and social outreach, among many others. Ziggeo has also been used by employers, recruitment platforms, and recruiting organizations to facilitate the recording and playback of employer and candidate videos.
According to Oliver, the technology is limited only by imagination.
When the digital curation company Cadouu wanted to enhance the group gifting experience for its customers, it used Ziggeo’s API to allow gift-givers and receivers to record and watch video messages. The integration permitted each contributor to upload a personal video message for the gift receiver to see, as well as the option for the receiver to send a follow-up message to all contributors.
“We love to be able to capture authentic life moments on camera — from well wishes to video collages and thank-you videos, we have it covered,” said Nora Stolz, Founder and CEO of Cadouu, in a case study on the Ziggeo site. “The Ziggeo team has been great. Tickets were answered very fast, and we particularly liked that the Ziggeo team followed up a little later on to see how we are getting on.”
An Advanced Transcoding Infrastructure Supporting Various Protocols
Oliver told us that the video market remains significantly heterogeneous in terms of the technologies used, which requires Ziggeo to support numerous protocols and formats. “In particular, this means that on our back end we have sophisticated transcoding infrastructure that takes all these different video formats and unifies them to make sure they can be played back in all different environments,” he said.
One of the biggest trends Oliver has observed in the video space during the past few years is a shift away from Flash to more mature technologies, such as WebRTC. The free, open-source solution provides web browsers and mobile apps with real-time communication (RTC) capabilities via simple APIs. Ziggeo supports WebRTC video recording wherever possible, but it will also support Flash if that’s what the customer requires.
“We have a lot of customers in big corporations using older browsers, such as Internet Explorer 8, and, obviously, there is no WebRTC available on any Internet Explorer browser,” Oliver said. “Our technology figures out which environment you currently run and then uses the most appropriate underlying technology it has to facilitate our services.”
Oliver said browsers are in a constant state of change, which can add hours of work to a developer’s plate when maintaining recording and playback technology.
“At any time, a new version of Chrome could come out, and the system you’re using doesn’t work anymore,” he said. “You have to always keep up with the newest browsers, test them, and determine what has changed.”
It follows that companies that allow Ziggeo to carry that burden benefit from both time and cost savings.
AI-Powered Moderation and Continuous Innovations
Ziggeo, rated “Best Video API” for the second year in a row at API World 2017, aims to stay one step ahead of the competition in terms of technology. For example, the company leverages artificial intelligence to aid in audio transcription, keyword extraction, NSFW filtering, and object detection.
“Businesses have to consider whether someone will do something inappropriate just to troll their platforms,” Oliver said. “Our automatic moderation uses visual AI to filter out such videos.”
When used for hiring purposes, some potential employers may request a transcript of videos to save time and increase search capabilities. That’s where Ziggeo’s AI-powered audio transcription and keyword extraction features come in, converting video to text in just a few clicks.
Moving forward, Ziggeo has outlined a detailed roadmap, informed partly by customer feedback, to guide its development efforts. The company’s top priority is to maintain its existing product, which constitutes the core of so many customer businesses. But beyond maintenance, Ziggeo has set its sights on a few milestones.
“One of the next things that we’re going to launch, based on customer requests, is audio with an image only,” Oliver said. “It’s super popular because some people are too shy to record their face but happy to speak.”
Ziggeo is also working on live video and audio recordings, plus video editing capabilities. “We want to enable conferencing on our system as an API,” Oliver said. “And video editing, of course, is a big one. People want to be able to crop videos and add design elements. That is also something that we are actively working on.”
Security, Privacy, and Compliance Considerations
Ziggeo currently processes and stores data within selected deployment regions in the U.S. and Ireland, and the company is planning to open additional locations. An international presence is advantageous when dealing with regulations such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in Europe, which governs data protection and privacy for citizens.
“For legal purposes, it’s essential that we have dedicated hosting in Europe, for instance, because E.U. countries are not allowed to store any data in the U.S.,” Oliver said.
For compliance reasons, Oliver said many customers use the system for video recording only. “The videos hit our servers and transcode into all the different formats that people are interested in and immediately push them to our customers’ hosting service, whatever it is,” he said.
Whether the company is focused on compliance or technology, its approach is the same: to pioneer the future of video by staying one step ahead of the competition at all times.