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In a recent blog post, Sorenson Media attempts to not only educate the world on the value of a Cloud-based approach to video encoding, but also puts forth the claim that “We at Sorenson Media have the right and only proven enterprise-grade Cloud transcoding solutions.” For evidence, Sorenson provides no historical case studies (how could they?) or capability comparisons to back this claim. Rather, they provide “buyer beware” innuendo that there is great risk in choosing a leading provider such as Encoding.com. Desperate? We think so.
Internally, we debated whether or not to even respond to their post. By doing so, are we legitimizing Sorenson as a player in the space? Are we giving credence to the fear mongering? We have worked tirelessly over the past several years to educate the market and build a reputation for Encoding.com as a trusted partner for over a thousand companies. We welcome competition and product comparisons but reject attempts by an old-world company to stand on our shoulders, and those of other innovators in the space, to borrow our ideas as theirs while questioning our legitimacy.
The Sorenson post describes the leading transcoding service providers as “early rudimentary Cloud encoding solutions.” I’m not sure who should be more insulted by that – our team, our true competitors, or the hundreds of Encoding.com customers (large and small) who have built us into their incredibly sophisticated video applications and services. It was only several months ago that Sorenson Media attempted to acquire one or more of us “rudimentary” solutions yet now claims to have the only enterprise-grade solution. Congrats on its unbelievable engineering fete. We only hope that as “leaders in innovation for 15 years” its Cloud encoding solution is as leading edge as its codecs and online video platform.
We encourage ANY and ALL companies considering a Cloud-based approach to solving their video transcoding requirements directly compare Encoding.com and Sorenson Media in the following areas: API power and flexibility, true Elastic Capacity, Format support, Service Level guarantees, CMS hooks, Cost at Scale, Multiple Renditions & Queue Management, Error Handling, Large File transcoding, Output Quality, and of course, Speed.
In fomenting fear that no enterprise should risk working with VC-backed technology startups because they have “no path toward profitability” and will “die on the vine,” Sorenson Media is grasping at straws. We think that our investors are satisfied with 416% monthly recurring revenue (MRR) growth in 2010. Here are some of our favorite VC-backed companies that are successfully disrupting their markets: MailChimp, FreshBooks, Dropbox, Mint, ZenDesk, EdgeCast, Yelp, and Skype.
Sorenson Media also challenges the use of open source software. To be sure, Encoding.com utilizes open source and commercial encoding engines. That said, we believe there is an awe-inspiring collection of skill and talent within the global FFmpeg and x264 developer communities fostering innovation and we whole-heartedly support these open source projects.
My first grade teacher once told me that copying is a sincere form of flattery when I complained that my friend Randy was stealing my story ideas. We are flattered by Sorenson’s entrance into the Cloud-based encoding space. Perhaps one day Sorenson Media will be a formidable competitor. Until then, we’ll continue to focus on supporting our customers and innovating our platform to continue our mission as the world’s largest video encoding service.