Ooyala’s strength is in its SaaS analytics software, which targets Web sites that specialize in video hosting. The Mountain View-based company’s services enable its customers to know precisely when their viewers abandoned a particular video. Such information is important for determining appropriate video content and ad placement opportunities. The interface for Ooyala’s service, which it calls Backlot Analytics, is well designed. Statistics are generated for each video, all videos, and other categories. Each video can be juxtaposed in real-time with the statistics software. That is, the user presses play and the video starts in relation to the trend chart, showing precisely when the viewers navigated away from the page.

There are more important, but less novel, services by Ooyala that are worth noting. Customers receive the domain and geographic region from which viewers accessed a video. With the drag and drop function, Ooyala customers are also able to experiment with ad placement. With ready access to viewer behavior data, it is easier for users to find the optimal moment to place an advertisement in a particular video. Ooyala is compatible with all major ad networks and 3rd party ad-servers such as Lightningcast, DART, Adsense for Video, and YuMe.

Competitors for this service include Brightcove and Move Networks, both offering similar viewing behavior statistics. Ooyala released its Backlot interface in September, so the market prospects in relation to the services of competitors are too premature for analysis. Time will soon tell whether Backlot will stand above the rest. Currently, Ooyala’s customers include TV Guide, IMG and Bebo.