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Makes Play for Global Video Asset Management

SDL today announced the acquisition of Calamares,a technology vendor based in the Netherlands with a media asset management solution. The cloud-resident software “allows enterprises to centrally compose,enrich,publish and distribute video and other rich-media assets” and will boost the SDL Tridion product line for web content management. Terms were not disclosed for this tuck-in deal for an early stage company in an emerging category.

We’ve noted in recent research the rapid increase of video on the top corporate websites (see "Gaining Global Web Presence," Nov10) and use of video comprises part of common Sense Advisory’s Global Web Score (see "Top-Scoring Global Websites," Mar11) .

New York-based dotSUB is a notable player in this space,with a focus in transcription,subtitling,and translation. dotSUB is famously used by TED Talks,where most posted videos now exist in at least one other language via subtitling,and many or most are in dozens. In January 2011 Adobe TV launched a Translate tab using dotSUB as a crowdsourcing platform for localizing the extensive library of How To videos. is another company offering a consumer-level single-use online subtitling application. dotSUB has both a free-to-use consumer service as well as an enterprise license and professional services. Calamares also enables subtitling and translation,but includes a broader remit that addresses storage and other features associated with digital asset management – it is aimed at commercial users rather than individuals.

Common Sense Advisory recommends that global brand managers learn to maximize video communication for internet and mobile marketing channels. Even in the most literate societies,consumers and business buyers alike gravitate to the visceral and immersive experience of full motion video. Few people willingly pick large text blobs over a video. As international marketers go further afield into new regions and cultures,the preference increases for visual learning styles and video-based narratives to communicate the brand. Efficient localization of video assets introduces a new competitive edge for companies that learn how to get a message to market quickly in multiple languages.

It remains to be seen whether video subtitling and translation functions belong as an application in an enterprise marketing or web content management suite,as a feature within a translation management system,or as a standalone tool like dotSUB. But given that Cisco believes that over 90% of internet traffic will soon be video,expect to see multiple companies betting on each of these strategies. The video game has just begun.

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