Vividas jockeys for video applications boom

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Streaming video applications developer Vividas has opened an office in New York and moved to bigger research premises in Melbourne after a successful capital raising on the London stock exchange earlier this year.

Dave Winter, chief operating officer at Vividas, said the Melbourne company had listed in London in and moved its headquarters there to fund its expansion to New York.

The company had also relocated to bigger R&D premises in Melbourne that would accommodate four more developers, he said.

More media, entertainment and marketing providers internationally -- many of which were based in New York or elsewhere in the US -- were seeking to provide video applications online, he said.

Vividas has developed a proprietary streaming video application that means users don't have to select and download from the plethora of media player applications currently available -- such as QuickTime, RealPlayer and others, he said.

"We turn your PC into a TV. It's sort of what the web has been promising for years and years," Winter said. "You know what it's like when you go to a website [to download video] and you don't have the right software."

Winter said the application -- Vividas Media Player -- was attracting multinational customers such as News Corporation. Many current customers were from the marketing and advertising space.

An Australian example was Foster's recent Carlton Draught "Big Ad" online viral campaign, he said.

The company had 100 customers globally, including 70 in Australia. Seven new staff in the Australian offices -- in Melbourne, Sydney and Surfers Paradise --alone had been hired by Vividas in the last six months, he added.

"In Australia, we've doubled the number of our customers every three months. We launched the streaming product late last year," Winter said.

However, when Vividas released its Digital Rights Management (DRM) software later this year the company expected burgeoning interest from media and entertainment providers, he said.

Vividas Media Player could be used to provide streaming video content for advertising, film trailers, music videos and corporate communications needs, Winter said.

Vividas' New York office housed its American sales, marketing and production team of six, expected to expand to 10. R&D would still be based in Australia, where some 25 staff were based, and the London headquarters -- necessary for the UK listing -- had nine, Winter said.

Vividas reported a loss of £789,728 ($1.8 million) in the six months to 31 December 2004 on turnover of £209,418 ($491,183). However, it has since raised for further investment £5.5 million ($12.9 million), before expenses, on its London AIM listing this year in March.

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