At aFrogleap there's no better office communication system than the coffee break. It’s like we’re all talking coffee in the morning (almost overruling language barriers). "Let's have a coffee!" implies more than just that crucial beverage to get you started. It's synonymous for catching up and connecting with people. And that brings us to the reason why we like to drink coffee with our clients: to evaluate our work and to talk about their company's future of mobile. This week we had a coffee with Bauke Freiburg, Managing Director at Videodock. May his story give more insight in the work we did and the product we have developed together.
Since 2 years we have been working together with Videodock on a great joint project: RCO Editions. Let us introduce Bauke, who started the business 6 years ago with his companion Nick van Ginkel. With a team of 9 people they are specialized in 'evaluating and linking all components necessary for making online video experiences' (Videodock). Visuals — in particular online video — have become a key means for people to satisfy their information and entertainment needs. It's easy to 'digest' and naturally engaging in an age of information overload.
Bauke, how do you like to drink your coffee?
"Normally, I would say that I prefer to drink my coffee black. And then no more than 1 or 2 per day. But if there's time in the morning, I like to go to that nice little coffee place close by the office in the Javastraat (Amsterdam), Bedfort-Stuyvesant. Here I have a latte macchiato and read the news to take a moment and start my day."
A day at Videodock looks like…?
"No day is the same, which also applies to the projects we do. Video is our niche. We are a full service project organization. We have quite a technical team, but we often find ourselves in the early conceptual stage of a project, in which we can also assist our clients in thinking about strategy. Likewise we are responsible for the execution of a project. We have a great variety of clients, many of them from the media and cultural sector, but recently we started some projects with the government. We help them with online video, live streaming etc. What we find interesting is to enrich the viewing experience while one is watching. We aim to achieve two goals: to assure that our video experiences technically work flawless on any platform, any device, and via any channel — the multi-channel experience. The second goal is to make it responsive to the user's context and provide them with additional information for an optimal user experience. Give the user the feeling that he can discover so much more."
With aFrogleap you have been working on the RCO Editions application for iPad and iPhone. How did this all begin?
"This project, RCO Editions, arose from our existing relationship with the RCO and their wish to organize something around their 125th anniversary. We came up with the concept, a business case and an online content marketing strategy. With the goal of bringing RCO concerts to a worldwide audience with new technologies and raise awareness among music lovers, young and old. The question we asked ourselves was, 'How can we improve RCO's position as one of the leading symphonic orchestras worldwide?' And how can RCO be more accessible for future generations? The idea of showing online concerts came up rather quickly, because they have great content at their disposal. We launched RCO Editions 2 years ago in September. It's a beautiful product and so far we can say that the app has been received well by the users. The biggest challenge is to convert the attention for this quality product into more users and subscribers."
What is the role of mobile in your work?
"We aim to offer the user an enriched online video experience. Our baseline is that we develop for web technology and work with HTML5. But we want to make web players that function well on all devices, both on web and mobile. RCO Editions started as a tablet application. It was essential to develop native in this project in order to sync well between different layers and channels, and provide that rich experience we'd like to offer our clients' users. That is why we partnered up with aFrogleap to also create an optimal mobile experience. For video, mobile has become indispensable."
What was the biggest challenge in this project?
"The technical realization of our projects depends on whether we can make use of existing services, software, technologies and standards, or whether customization is required. That includes choosing an online video platform. RCO Editions was a technical challenging project. The concept consists of two parts. The core concept is the video magazine, which is several interesting musical pieces accompanied by articles and videos bundled. The second concept is the on demand streaming of RCO video content. The entire video experience offers you an enriched context of the music through background information, voice overs of key experts/musicians and real time music score reading. The listener can discover and enjoy a unique live music experience in his own home."
What are the highlights in the project?
"We have created a system that allows us to release the video magazines 6 times a year. Last year we made some improvements in the app, such as an altered store front, we have built in new push notifications and a new way for registration. Really helpful was the feedback we received from users. We particularly try to obtain data that we have measured that hopefully gives us more insight in what users like and are willing to pay for. So besides the further development of the app we are also concerned with marketing."
Which mobile phone do you have and do you have any favorite apps?
When you think of aFrogleap, you think of…?
"I like to share a great moment that we had with aFrogleap at the South by South West Conference (SXSW) in Austin, Texas. While having some beers at a local brewery, we talked about our joint work and the opportunities to bring our great product to higher levels. We aim to do it better every time we come together. Our drive to stay updated of what's new in our work field and future possibilities. That's the overall spirit in both of our companies; we have a shared passion and enthusiasm for creating beautiful products."