Overlay.tv: It's about creating community in video

When Overlay.tv launched in Beta on February 15, it was widely and positively viewed as a potential building block in the future of online video and advertising.

I’m told that Overlay.tv is making good progress toward a full release. As I write this, a new Beta is days away from release. And the folks at Overlay.tv are saying that release will be a minor step and won’t last long.

Rob Lane, the CEO of Overlay.tv, has been notching up the profile of Overlay.tv in advance of its release, with recent appearances at Social Media Breakfasts in both Boston and Ottawa.

I’ve created a four minute video of the parts of Rob’s presentation in Ottawa in which he describes overlay.tv, how it can be used to add relevant content and product information to any video.

Some of the things he said that caught my attention:

“If you look at video today, essentially it’s a passive experience. You put a video up. You sit there. You watch it. You may turn away and do something else. … What we’re trying to do at Overlay is to create a deeper interaction. And that interaction can be everything from hot spots to conversation in video to building community around video itself … It’s all about transforming what is a passive lean-back experience into an engaged experience.”

“If you create a video that people are interested in, they are more likely to want to interact with that video. … [Your choice of overlays is] all about relevance. [to the content of the video]”

“It’s about creating community in video.”

If you’re interested in knowing more about Overlay.tv, I’d recommend that you follow @roblane and @bitpakkit (a.k.a. Ben Watson, Overlay.tv’s Vice President of Marketing) on Twitter. Both Rob and Ben maintain an active presence on Twitter. Overlay.tv does have a blog. However, it has not been updated since April 25. (Come on guys. I’m sure you have lots of great content you could share. How about an “overlay of the day” to start with? 😉 )

Also, Mark Blevis blogs and podcasts his take on Rob Lane’s appearance at Social Media Breakfast Ottawa

  • We are actively working on getting our final version out the door – as we finalize our beta phase and work towards the final release we will step up our blog activity. Most of the Overlays we produce really just focus on validation of the platform and widgets right now.

    As Joe indicates please do follow us on Twitter – there will be a few announcements in the coming weeks.

  • I also created an Overlay of your video of Rob here:


  • Love the idea. As marketers continue to search for ways to engage with the community, seeking opportunities to converse and relate with the end consumer, this concept seems to be the next logical step for social media marketing. I would say it is only a matter of time we see such interactive videos flooding YouTube channels. Thank you for this coverage.

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