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With viewers binge-watching videos on streaming platforms at unprecedented levels, many of the industry’s biggest content distributors are turning to a Kanata company to help them further engage and grow their audiences.

You.i TV designs cross-platform video applications and advertising interfaces for companies such as Twitch, Warner Media and Fox, many of which are looking to accelerate the rollout of new features and upgrades as large swaths of the population continue to turn to in-home entertainment amid the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“Our clients have always wanted to be present everywhere you’re consuming content, but I think that COVID is pushing that even further and accelerating the need,” says You.i TV CEO Jason Flick. “We’re seeing streaming in cars now, and across various devices in one home, so companies are coming to us to get them there faster and with a better experience.”

The team is currently working on a redesign of the traditional 30-second ad, finding new ways of integrating it into video platforms to make it unobtrusive, interactive and to give brands even more insight into how customers are engaging with their messaging. 

Designing an ad for a car in which a user can click around parts of the vehicle and interact with the content creates a more meaningful experience than a traditional obstructive full-screen ad – a win-win for both the consumer and the brand, Flick says.

“Unless you get engaging with advertising, you’re going to quickly fall into the trap of making an ad that is relevant for everyone, which really means it’s relevant for no one,” he says. “With interactive ads, we can make it really targeted and let the people engage as deeply as they want.”

Embracing a remote workforce

The video software company, which is usually based out of a 40,000 square foot office on Legget Drive, has had its own virtual transition over the last few months, with nearly all of its employees working from home. While some companies facing a similar situation have found the transition disruptive, the You.i TV team has leaned into it, using it as a way to rethink the everyday work environment and address gaps in the virtual office experience.

“(In the past), the remote worker was always a second-class citizen,” says Flick. “We had our whole office outfitted with cameras and microphones and screens, but if you weren’t making eye contact or couldn’t interject it was easy to let them fall to the side. I don’t think that’ll ever be the case again.”
As more and more businesses in Ottawa and other parts of Ontario are allowed to reopen, Flick says the company will take a phased approach to bringing employees back into the office as many staff members are enjoying the benefits of working from home. 

In addition to maintaining its productivity levels, the company has managed to preserve its workplace culture through the continuation of social activities such as “Coffee with Jason,” where staff can drop into a video meeting to chat about movies or pop culture, through virtual channels.

“It’s a journey we’re going on with our staff, and we will continue to get their input every step of the way,” Flick says.

By: Lisa Thibodeau 

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