SnapStream Blog

Feature Friday: Brandon Crowe

June 26 2020 by Bethany Goldson


Alongside SnapStream, he also supports the Aggies!


Welcome to another Feature Friday! This week, get to know our escape artist in support: 

How did you find SnapStream?

I was referred to the company. Someone I used to work with started at SnapStream, and they let me know about a job opening here. I really liked what I saw online and immediately knew I would be a good fit. When I walked into the office for my interview, I saw the lego wall and nerf guns and thought… is this real, does everyone play with this stuff? During my interview, I was asked if I like to drink beer on Fridays, which was a huge culture shock from my previous experiences. I watched current employees walk by and saw people in casual dress. As someone who works in support, I didn’t want to be in a suit and tie all day. I knew SnapStream was gonna be fun. 

What is your role here?

Technical Support

How have you grown with SnapStream?

Technically speaking, I’ve grown in my ability to understand more about hardware. Before SnapStream, I had always been a software guy. I can now build my own computers at home and I’ve gained a lot of knowledge outside of my comfort zone. I also feel that my position has grown with the company, which has made me feel more valuable. I mean, I’m awesome already, but it helps to have strong comradery with everyone here. I’ve grown emotionally by connecting with my team. I feel like I have the ability to phone back to someone and ask questions, and there’s plenty of opportunities for a team member to teach me something new. Paul Ambro, our Technical Customer Support Manager, has helped me grow professionally and is a great teacher. He’s helped me learn to step back and really see what’s happening so that I can reorganize my strategy. 

What is your favorite thing about SnapStream?

The flexibility. I was uprooted from Houston and had to move. It was a quick decision for my family and I didn’t have a lot of time to think about my career. When I told my manager, I asked to stay on for a month remotely so I could work on finding another job. He came back and gave me 2 months, then later on decided to keep me on as a remote worker. Having that safety net of keeping my job and knowing that the company valued me enough to keep my position was huge for both my family and I. Other companies have offered me positions since I have moved, but I feel an overall sense of loyalty since SnapStream went out of their way for me. 

What do you like to do when you aren’t at SnapStream?

I love sports and all things Aggie. I dabble in the art of slow-pitch softball, but my true passion is fueled by my incredible ability to “escape”. I currently have won 49 out of 50 escape rooms in 4 different states, with the one failure being chalked up to a friend’s lack of slide puzzle skill. Otherwise, I keep a full schedule chasing around my 2 elementary-aged kids and being used as their personal trampoline. 

Feature Friday: Meet our Interns!

June 19 2020 by Bethany Goldson

It’s Feature Friday, and this week we’d like to introduce you to our summer interns! Since 2011, SnapStream has recruited 2-4 outstanding students to work with our Engineering Team during the summers. They work as developers on their own projects and bug fixes (no coffee runs here!) and are truly part of the team, adding valuable contributions that actually end up being used in our products. Even though we aren’t able to have daily nerf gun wars with this year’s interns as we have transitioned to working from home during COVID-19, we have had an awesome time getting to know each of them and are grateful to have them as a part of our team this summer!

Wenqi Zou


Wenqi is a CS and Math graduate from The University of Texas at Austin and will be going to UCLA for grad school this upcoming fall. Outside of school, she enjoys cooking and exploring new restaurants. Her favorite cuisines are Italian food and Asian food, and she is currently working on making handmade fettuccine after many failed attempts. She also loves taking walks, biking and paddle boarding during sunny days. One other fun fact about her is that she can do a cartwheel.

Ruiye Wang

Screen Shot 2020-05-19 at 12.34.36 PM

Ruiye is a master student at UT Austin majoring in Operations Research & Industrial Engineering. He did his undergrad in Mechanical Engineering, then switched to ORIE, and is now doing a software engineering internship with us! He loves football and basketball and his favorite teams are the LA Rams, Texas Longhorns, and the LA Lakers.

Zihui “Daniel” Deng


Daniel is a Master of Computer Science student at Rice University. Before studying at Rice, he spent 2 years at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign for his first master’s in Civil Engineering. He likes to play computer games, including GTA5, Watch Dogs, Civilization, or Metro. He’s not much of a sports guy, but he does occasionally play badminton.

Feature Friday: Daniel Mee

June 12 2020 by Bethany Goldson


Spending time with my kiddo


Happy Feature Friday! Meet Daniel, our rock star in sales: 

How did you find SnapStream? 

When I graduated from Rice in 2002, I honestly didn’t have particular career aspirations. I ended up back at Rice in the Ecology department as a lab technician. I had friends who studied computer science, and one ended up with a position at SnapStream. My lab tech position was based on a grant that was expiring, so I decided to connect with SnapStream and was hired in technical support. 

What is your role here?

Pre-sales engineer

How have you grown with SnapStream?

I’ve definitely grown alongside our products. I didn’t have a background in the corporate world or in technical support, so I really had to learn and figure things out as I went along. I learned how to develop rapport with customers, but as we grew, the support team needed more structure. In 2013 I became the support manager, and in 2018 I moved over to pre-sales engineer. I never expected to work in sales, but I really enjoy it and love talking to people. I feel that my real area of growth has been learning how to jump into conversations with people I don’t know and being able to communicate effectively. 

What is your favorite thing about SnapStream?

It’s a small company and there are a lot of opportunities to be creative. Basically, if you want to do something, you can do it. There’s not a lot of bureaucracy or roadblocks that could stop you from accomplishing something. 

What do you like to do when you aren’t at SnapStream?

I’m a semi-professional musician as I’ve played in rock bands for about 20 years. I also used to be a music critic for the Houston Press, Austin Chronicle and Houston Chronicle. I’m in a heavy metal band in Houston called Omotai and I have a project in Austin called Mister Smile. I call my Austin project a fake jazz band, we play mostly rock improv.


Feature Friday: Lorena Del Toro

June 05 2020 by Bethany Goldson

Lorena (4)

Smiles all around with Nanuq!


It’s time for another #FeatureFriday, and this week we are celebrating Lorena from Accounting! This month marks her second year anniversary with the company. 

How did you find SnapStream?

This job was actually given to me as I started at SnapStream as a temporary hire through an agency. I ended up being a good fit, so I was super excited to become a full-time employee with the company. The environment here has been awesome since day one, so I knew this is the place I wanted to be. 

What is your role here?

Accounting Clerk

How have you grown with SnapStream?

BOY have I grown! I’m still a college student, so this is my first full time office job. I’ve done some data entry jobs before, but I’ve never been given the opportunity to organize and provide the numbers as useful information to coworkers. My presentation and social skills have definitely improved here as I’ve learned how to showcase information. My supervisor, Josie, has taught me so much and fills in what my college education isn’t covering. 

What is your favorite thing about SnapStream?

Honestly, the people and the opportunity of growth that SnapStream has given me. The accounting team has grown from one person to three people, so it’s been awesome to be a part of a growing team and evolve with the company. The flexibility that SnapStream has offered with me being a student has been great, it’s easy to find a good student life and work balance. 

What do you like to do when you aren’t at SnapStream?

I love to hang out with my two dogs (Nanuq and Muffin) and my new kitten (Nicholas). I got Nicholas this past May, and he’s adorable because he’s still learning how to use his claws correctly. Since quarantine began, I’ve made it a point to go out into nature often and take walks. 

Feature Friday: Zach Douglas

May 29 2020 by Bethany Goldson



Checking Galaga for bugs


Welcome to #FeatureFriday where you can get to know members of the SnapStream team! Today, we are featuring Zach Douglas from QA:

How did you find SnapStream?

I first saw the job posting on online recruiting sites, but I was drawn to apply when I read about the company culture on the SnapStream website. I was looking to move to Houston from Austin, and SnapStream had a similar culture to the companies I was familiar with. 

What is your role here?

Quality Assurance Engineer

How have you grown with SnapStream?

I’ve grown a lot professionally as I’m working with a different type of technology from what I have been exposed to before. It’s been eye opening to learn how the broadcast world works. 

What is your favorite thing about SnapStream?

We have a relaxed and low-stress environment here. Everyone knows each other and we work really well together.

What do you like to do when you aren’t at SnapStream?

I love watching movies and going to shows, walking our dogs Monkey and Maya, and discovering Houston restaurants. I also used to own a record store in Austin, so I enjoy adding to my record collection.

What’s New in SnapStream 9.4

March 03 2020 by Tina Nazerian

SnapStream 9.4 brings you a new clipping interface, pre-roll and post-roll branding on clips, integration with Kaltura, and many other bug fixes and improvements. You can see these new features in action by watching our on-demand webinar. Here’s what we’ve added and improved: 


A few of the highlights:

  • New Clipping Interface 
  • Pre-roll and Post-roll Branding on Clips 
  • Kaltura Integration

New Clipping Interface 


SnapStream 9.4’s new, snappier clipping interface will look familiar to former SnappyTV users. It gives you more fine-tuned control of in and out points during clip creation. You can configure SnapStream to automatically create an out point once you pick an in point (you can customize this—for example, you can set the automatic out point to occur after 10 seconds each time). Then, refine that out point and you’re done. 

The software will also show you a zooming trackbar that automatically sizes to the length of that clip. You can then go forward or backward by frame or second. The in and out point thumbnails allow you to quickly preview the clip’s start and end frames. You can also loop the whole clip or loop the last 2 seconds. 

To begin, use your mouse or keyboard to select an in point on a video. 


Pre-roll and Post-roll Branding on Clips


Give your brand one look in one place. With SnapStream 9.4, you can easily add custom branding, such as your company’s video intro, to your clips—no need to spend time using an additional video editor.

Simply upload and save your desired brandings for pre-rolls and post-rolls. Then, select the specific brandings you want to use from a drop-down menu as you create clips. 

To get started, go to the “Admin” tab and choose “Brandings” on the left-hand menu.


Kaltura Integration 


Natively export your clips in SnapStream to Kaltura. Kaltura is our newest integration with an OVP. SnapStream now has native support for 14 cloud storage, OVP, CDN, and MAM services—and is always adding more based on customer requests. 

To start using our newest integration, go to SnapStream and set up Kaltura as an external account. Don’t use Kaltura, but are curious? Learn more.



SnapStream 9.4 has many other bug fixes and improvements, like updates to the clipping hotkeys and the option to auto-minimize task pop-ups. Please read the full release notes.


Schedule Upgrade to 9.4

(Usually 1 hour) 
SnapStream’s support team will perform the upgrade via a remote session.


Watch On-Demand Webinar: SnapStream 9.4

See SnapStream 9.4 in action. 

The WatchESPN App is Gone. Now What?

December 18 2019 by Tina Nazerian

Developers               Loudness Graph_Dec_5.                          watch-espn-logo (1)                     

Earlier this year, ESPN killed its WatchESPN App. Now, all of ESPN’s streaming content is bundled into the ESPN app.

You might have been using the WatchESPN App to screen grab content you could then post to your sports team’s social media page. You can’t do that with the main ESPN app—it detects when users are trying to screen grab content. However, there’s a way you can still clip and share your sports team’s memorable moments—with SnapStream.


Clip & Share Moments from Live Video & Broadcast TV  

St. Louis Blues-Stanley-Cup-Tweet (1)

With SnapStream, you can clip and share any moment from broadcast TV and your own live video feeds. Specifically, you can create screenshots and frame-accurate GIFs and video clips. Then, with just a few clicks, you can email that content to anyone, or instantly post it to Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube. 


Make Clipping & Sharing a Collaborative Process



If you and your colleagues are live tweeting one of your team’s games, you can do so collaboratively—for example, you can divide up the work so that certain people create clips, and others look at those clips and decide which ones to post. SnapStream makes it easy to have that kind of workflow. It enables users to set clip points, and create and save bookmarks of those clips. Then, your colleagues can access those bookmarks and choose which ones to post.


Crop Clips for Instagram & Snapchat


SnapStream makes having Instagram and Snapchat-ready posts easy. There’s no need to use an additional editing tool. You can create screenshots, GIFs, and video clips with square dimensions, 9:16 dimensions, 16:9 dimensions, and 4:3 dimensions right within SnapStream.

SnapStream makes live video and  broadcast TV social. Our technology lets users instantly capture, create, and share video clips, GIFs, and screenshots to Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube, as well as create square and vertical clips for Instagram, Snapchat, and TikTok. SnapStream's customers include BuzzFeed, Major League Soccer, and the Arizona Coyotes.

Need a Volicon Replacement? Ask These Questions

December 16 2019 by Tina Nazerian

Developers               Loudness Graph_Dec_5.                          need-a-Volicon-replacement-ask-these-questions-question-mark-image                     

Is finding a replacement for your current broadcast monitoring and compliance solution on your to-do list? According to a recent survey we conducted, 73% of respondents are looking to do so by the end of 2020. Of those looking to replace their current broadcast monitoring and compliance solution by the end of 2020, 75% are specifically looking for a Volicon replacement (meaning, they’re using Volicon today). 

During your research, there are several questions you should ask yourself about features. (For tailored questions you should ask based on your organization type, read how three broadcast industry professionals—one at a cable company, the second at a local TV station group, and the third at an MVPD—would evaluate their next broadcast monitoring and compliance solution). 


1) Do I need loudness monitoring?    

Loudness Graph_Dec_5

    The loudness graph in SnapStream Monitoring & Compliance. 

In the United States, the CALM Act regulates the audio of TV commercials in relation to the TV program they’re accompanying. Having automated tools for finding loudness problems and being alerted whenever there’s an issue is immensely helpful. 

2) Do I need audio metering? 


    The  Multiviewer in SnapStream Monitoring & Compliance—with audio meters turned on. 

You might need to monitor audio levels without listening to the audio. If so, make sure your new solution lets you quickly determine audio levels for multiple feeds at a glance.  Loudness Peaks Dec 10Loudness Graph_Dec_5

3) Do I need closed captioning monitoring? 


    Clip export with burn-in of closed captioning in SnapStream Monitoring & Compliance. 

The FCC dictates that TV stations, cable and satellite providers, and program producers are responsible for closed captioning compliance. If your organization is found to be out of compliance, the fines can add up—the FCC considers each episode of a program with defective captions to be a separate violation. It’s vital to have a tool that can help you verify that your closed captions ran as they should have. 


4) Do I need to analyze ratings? 


     The ratings display graph in SnapStream Monitoring & Compliance. 

If you get ratings data from Nielsen or other providers, you can import that data to help you visualize it and analyze ratings performance for your content. For example, you can compare how different channels perform over specific times and dates to gain additional insights, such as whether you might have gotten low ratings on one channel because the majority of your viewers were watching another channel during that time period. 

5) Do I need ratings audio watermark monitoring? 


    An alert from SnapStream Monitoring & Compliance about a missing audio watermark. 

Audio watermarking is an important part of having accurate ratings data. If your organization uses ratings audio watermarks (such as Nielsen audio watermarks), it’s important to have a tool that can alert you if those watermarks are missing.

6) Do I need SCTE-35 message monitoring? 


SCTE-35 message monitoring in SnapStream Monitoring & Compliance. 

If you work at an MVPD, you’ll want to be notified if there aren’t any commercial messages in the stream. If it gets to the point where a broadcaster sees an ad not run, the broadcaster will contact you saying they didn’t get an avail message for that ad. Then, you’ll need to be able to easily jump to the date and time in question to look for the splice_insert for that particular avail.


7) Do I need as-run log integration? 


     As-run logs in SnapStream Monitoring & Compliance. 

If you need to prove to advertisers that their ads ran, it’s important to have a tool that lets you easily find specific ads in the as-run logs, create clips, and directly email advertisers those clips. 

With SnapStream Monitoring & Compliance, you can easily migrate your as-run and Nielsen ratings import configurations from Volicon. SnapStream Monitoring & Compliance is the official Volicon transition partner and  has solutions for loudness monitoring, audio metering, closed captioning monitoring, ratings monitoring, audio watermark monitoring, SCTE-35 monitoring, and as-run log integration.

Loudness Monitoring: Developer Q&A

November 27 2019 by Tina Nazerian

This is the first blog post in our series, "Behind the SnapStream Monitoring & Compliance Feature." 

"With SnapStream, instead of broadcast engineers having to manually look for the loudness problems, the problems will come and find them." — SnapStream developer Paul Place 

Developers               Loudness Graph_Dec_5Loudness Graph_Dec_5 .                                            The loudness graph in SnapStream Monitoring & Compliance.                                          

Key Takeaways

1) When they were building the loudness feature in SnapStream Monitoring & Compliance, developers Paul Place and Tim Parker had extensive conversations with Volicon users. 

2) During those conversations, they learned the major pain points Volicon users had with the product—such as having to manually look at the loudness graph daily.

3) In turn, they built a solution with an emphasis on exception based monitoring. 

When they were building the loudness feature in SnapStream Monitoring & Compliance, developers Paul Place and Tim Parker spoke to multiple prospective customers. They dug into what in Volicon worked for them, and what didn’t—so they could make loudness monitoring in our own product comprehensive and user-friendly. 

They recently discussed their journey developing the loudness feature. 



SnapStream developers Paul Place (left) and Tim Parker (right).       

SnapStream: What research went into building SnapStream Monitoring & Compliance’s loudness monitoring features? 

Tim Parker: We started with Volicon. We took a look at was in the Volicon UI, and that gave us a bunch of hints on where we needed to start our research. 

When you open up the Volicon UI, you see things like ITU-R BS.1770 mentioned, or ATSC mentioned. Once you start looking at one of those documents, you realize there's a chain of documents that fit together. For the United States, it starts with the CALM Act, which then points to ATSC A/85 RP, which then points to the ITU-R BS. 1770 reference. 

We spent time doing extensive research on loudness specifications and how loudness is computed. We did it this way because we didn't just want to follow what others had done without knowing how and why it worked. We wanted a deep knowledge of what loudness really is so we knew that the product we planned to build would work the way our customers expect.

Loudness Peaks Dec 10Loudness Graph_Dec_5Loudness Peaks Dec 10

You can easily look for loudness peaks in SnapStream Monitoring & Compliance's loudness graph. 

What insights did you gain from the conversations you had with Volicon customers? 

Paul Place: We focused a lot on how they were using Volicon. The Volicon UI is kind of confusing because there's a number of things they present that aren't in the standard. Were customers using short interval computations, for example? What are they, why do customers care? Volicon also has long interval integrated value computations. What are they, why do customers care? 

Interacting with customers and understanding their workflows helped us understand these features and pinpoint what was actually useful for them. 

For example, we put the short interval values into our product because it made sense to us—they allow the customer to do things like select the end of a program segment and figure out what the integrated loudness is for just that commercial. 

In other words, one of the biggest use cases for our customers is: is something too loud? The offender is usually a commercial. 

What happened with Volicon is that they sort of accrued features over time—some of them more useful than others. There's a lot there that we couldn't find anybody using.

Parker: It's an interesting ecosystem because there's basically two layers at play here. There's the layer of automation that ensures the loudness is normalized before it goes to the customer's set top box. 

And then we come in at the end of the chain, after it's been broadcast to the viewer. We're verifying that yes, this loudness is normalized. So when a viewer complains that something is loud, a broadcast engineer wants to analyze what went out to that viewer and see where it was loud. 

That helps the broadcast engineer identify what part of that chain—before it went out to the viewer—is not working properly. Broadcast engineers have devices and software that make sure that loudness is normalized, but sometimes they get out of spec or they stop functioning properly. We're the last step in making sure that everything is working properly for them.

Clip Export with Burn in Video-_1

Clip export with burn-in of loudness data in SnapStream Monitoring & Compliance.

What were some major pain points Volicon users had that you both addressed? 

Place: We started to see a pattern of these broadcast engineers being reactive. Volicon didn't really offer a good means of identifying program segments that were out of compliance. One broadcast engineer we spoke to would just scan and look at the peaks and valleys on the loudness graph. When he saw a peak, he would zoom in to see if there was a problem. 

He had to go through this very manual process daily. Every single morning, he got in and he had a checklist of things to do. One of them was to look at the loudness graph for any problems. 

We knew we could do better than that in SnapStream Monitoring & Compliance. We’re giving broadcast engineers automated tools for finding the loudness problems and alerting them. With SnapStream, instead of broadcast engineers having to manually look for the loudness problems, the problems will come and find them. 

Volicon had an alerting system, but it was difficult enough to use that nobody we talked to used it, at least for loudness monitoring and compliance. Volicon users said they got a lot of alerts that they had to sift through to find the things they cared about. That made it not useful. 

Loudness Reportloudness report

Loudness report in SnapStream Monitoring & Compliance. 

SnapStream Monitoring & Compliance has a loudness graph and clip export with the option to burn-in loudness data. It also generates loudness reports. Could you give some more details on each? 

Parker: I've seen screenshots of other loudness tools and they generally do just the report feature, or you get a spreadsheet with numbers essentially. 

I think the way we present the loudness graph in the UI makes it easy for users to interact with and scrub the data—versus having a spreadsheet, which is limited in what it presents. 

Place: I think the visual indicators are very useful. For example, looking for peaks on the loudness graph. Say you have a day’s worth of data. You can easily see if a part of your feed fell above the maximum loudness target, and then be able to drill down and learn more. 

We’ve put a lot of engineering effort into making the loudness graph usable and responsive. You can zoom in and zoom out, for example. 

Parker: The clip export with the option to burn-in loudness data gives broadcast engineers evidence they can send to someone—for instance, to a colleague, saying “Hey, you need to fix this. Here’s the data.” 

And the goal of the loudness reports is to help users close to loop, so to speak. It’s a way for them to present proof to the FCC or another external stakeholder. 

With SnapStream Monitoring & Compliance, you can monitor your feeds for regulatory compliance and advertising proof of performance. Our solution includes loudness monitoring, closed captioning verification, audio watermark detection, and more. SnapStream also offers tools for searching TV; sharing TV clips to Twitter, Facebook, and more; and sharing clips of live events to social media in real-time. 

3 Ways to Give Your Election Coverage a Leg Up

November 26 2019 by Tina Nazerian

Axios-Tulsi-Gabbard-Tweet (1)                                                                                   

Much of the national conversation about the 2020 presidential election happens on TV—and being able to search, track, and clip that conversation can give your election coverage a leg up. 


Find Exact Moments

SnapStream-TV-Search (1)


Maybe you missed a candidate’s appearance on a news show, or simply didn’t catch a particular comment she or he made during a debate. With SnapStream, you can search through the closed captioning text and program guide data for all the TV shows you have recorded to instantly find the exact moments you’re looking for. 

You can search for a particular candidate’s name (such as “Bernie Sanders”), and even refine your search to find narrower matches (such as “Bernie Sanders” and “Elizabeth Warren”). 


Track Mentions with TV Alerts

Bernie Sanders-and-Elizabeth-Warren-TV-Alerts

With SnapStream’s TV Alerts feature, you can get consistent emails about the search terms that matter to you and your reporting. 

Each SnapStream TV Alert is made up of one or more search queries (ranging from simple to advanced). You can set up an unlimited number of TV Alerts, and dictate the frequency and time of day you get them.  

For example, you can set up TV Alerts for the search terms “Bernie Sanders,” and “Elizabeth Warren” to appear in your inbox every day at 9 AM. 

Additionally, you can send TV alerts to as many people as you’d like. 


Clip Videos for Increased Engagement on Social Media 

BuzzFeed-News-Joe-Biden-Tweet (1)

Did a candidate say something surprising on TV? Did a commentator or spokesperson make an interesting, insightful comment about the election? 

While you can write out a tweet or Facebook post quoting what was said, doing so takes away a lot of the nuance. Creating a video clip of that moment and sharing it on social media would be more powerful. Your followers would not only get to listen to what was said, but they’d also be able to glean additional context, such as tone and body language. 

They’d also be more likely to engage with your posts. On Twitter, for example, tweets with video get 10x more engagement than those without. 

With SnapStream, you can clip any moment from broadcast TV to create a video, GIF, or screenshot. You can then instantly share that moment to Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube. You can also vertically crop clips for sharing on Snapchat, Instagram, and TikTok.


SnapStream makes broadcast TV searchable, and live video and broadcast TV social. Users can find any moment and mention on TV by searching closed captioning data and setting up TV Alerts. They can also instantly capture, create, and share video clips, GIFs, and screenshots to Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube, as well as create square and vertical clips for Instagram, Snapchat, and TikTok. SnapStream's customers include BuzzFeed, Politico, CNN, and the Media Research Center. 

SnapStream is:
  • how The Daily Show finds TV clips for their show
  • how organizations clip TV to Twitter and Facebook
  • how broadcasters can monitor their feeds for regulatory compliance
  • and more

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