First, I want to start off by noting that this is not a promotional article. I’m not seeing a dime from writing this, nor do I want to. Clips Nation was afforded a unique opportunity to connect directly with the founder and CEO of DeskSite, Richard Gillam, to discuss the application and provide me some great insight for writing this piece. As you know, Danielle Greenberg (formerly known as ClipsDanielle) generally covers the off-the-court topics, but due to a scheduling conflict, I stepped in to help. However, all credit goes to her for setting this up.
Now, for those that haven’t downloaded DeskSite (download link at the bottom of this page), I will give a brief description of what it does. DeskSite is first and foremost a video entertainment tool. Within, the user is able to access game highlights, clips from press conferences and post-game interviews, pre-game dunk lines, behind-the-scenes footage, and video from the Clippers’ off-the-court events. There are also direct links to the Clippers’ radio broadcast, official website, Facebook page, and Twitter account, which all open up in separate browser windows (this is purely for convenience and will eventually be customizable). But back to the videos, which are meant to be the key differentiator here, the question remains: what’s the difference between DeskSite and some smartphone app just links to the Clippers’ website that you could have just gone to by yourself?
DeskSite’s most unique feature is that it is an off-line application. What exactly does that mean? It means that all of the videos contained within are already downloaded. It means you’re not without Clipper videos on the plane because you don’t want to pay $14.99 for an hour of WiFi while you fly up to Oakland to boo the Warriors. It means that you’re not waiting for videos to buffer, or even for ads to load.
I want to pause for a moment and reflect on that last sentence. One might think that buffering and loading times are a thing of the past, with load times down to less than 2 seconds in most cases, but there’s something called "fatigue" that is still very much in effect. Everything’s moving extremely fast these days, with people multitasking constantly, and we’re only as fast as our internet connections (which are not nearly as fast as our computers). So if a video doesn’t load immediately (and I mean immediately), those small delays start to weigh on the viewer, and after the first couple delays, they start to lose interest very quickly. You don’t realize until you’re actually presented with pre-downloaded videos, but it is incredibly refreshing to have videos just play as soon as you click them.
This also means that, like a DVR, you can control how much space these videos take up on your laptop. I set mine to only take up 2GB of my laptop’s hard drive, so when new videos roll in, the old ones are deleted. Later on, you’ll have even more control, like a DVR, to have videos delete after being viewed, delete after a certain amount of time, delete when running low on space, or never to never be deleted at all.
Currently, the DeskSite for the Clippers does not have any ads, but that will eventually change. Like the other video portals (Hulu, YouTube, ESPN, etc.), DeskSite needs to advertise to keep the lights on. But unlike the other video portals, DeskSite does NOT use click-based advertising (where every 5th click of a video, you’re going to be hit with an ad). DeskSite, instead, uses viewing-time-based advertising (where exactly 10% of the time watching videos is going to be advertising, or 30 seconds of ads for every 5 minutes of viewing).
The big difference here is that on something like YouTube, if you click a video, but after 10 seconds decide you don’t care, you’ve already used one of your 5 clicks. Or more to the point, if you watched 5 10-second clips with a 30 second advertisement, you’ve just had a 60% ad-ratio. That’s terrible! When watching full-length TV shows on Hulu, this isn’t as annoying, but when watching 15 second Chris Paul highlights, click-based advertising can be incredibly frustrating. We can’t escape advertisements anymore, so a 10% flat ad-ratio sounds more palatable.
DeskSite is primarily a "big screen" application. That means it’s not going to be on your phones any time soon. But it is going to be available on Windows, Android, and Apple tablets soon, in addition to currently the supported PCs/Macs.
Types of Videos
As mentioned before, from game highlights, to dunk line videos, to post-game interviews, to behind-the-scenes videos, to Clipper bowling events, there are all sorts of videos available on DeskSite. All of them are "short-form" videos for now, which mean that they aren’t longer than a few minutes, as these are most popular, but I’ve been told that longer videos will likely be available later on (e.g. full press conferences) as the DeskSite programmers determine the best way to deliver these. You wouldn’t want the application automatically downloading 30 minute clips and using up all of your allotted hard drive space, thus deleting everything else. But it’s in the pipeline. I’ve also been told that while all of the current videos are being delivered to DeskSite by the LA Clippers, DeskSite will be hiring their own videographers soon that will provide videos completely exclusive to DeskSite.
You can also choose which types of videos are downloaded at all. If you don’t care about off-the-court events, you can prevent them from being downloaded at all. If you don’t care about anything BUT dunk lines, you can make those the only videos appear on the application. You have a lot of control over what shows up and what doesn’t show up, and again it’ll never take up more hard drive space than you tell it to, so you don’t have to worry about your computer slowing down from all of these automatically pre-downloaded videos. It’s very plug-and-play like that.
One neat thing I noticed, if you are playing one of the dunk line videos, for example, and you want to see it in slow motion, you can right-click and the option is available. I’ve been told that this, and other more enhanced features, will be added to the interface soon.
Why the Clippers?
Before I wrap up, I wanted to touch on why the Clippers were chosen as the first NBA partner. It’s fantastic that the Clippers are a team that companies like DeskSite would choose to partner with first. That’s just not something that happens a few years ago, particularly under the previous owner who shall not be named. Sure, location had a lot to do with it (DeskSite is headquartered in Orange County), but the Clippers’ recent success and their shiny, new, techy owner made them the logical choice for DeskSite’s first partner. DeskSite has grown exponentially since its inception, through all of its partnerships with the NFL, so one can expect similar growth with NBA fanbases. And to be on the forefront of that is exciting stuff.
If you want to download DeskSite and give it a whirl, head over to www.clippersdesksite.com. The folks at DeskSite want as much feedback as you can provide and are open to both positive and negative comments to help improve the functionality, so if you have any questions or recommendations about the application, you can shoot them an email at support@DeskSite.com (or even leave a comment below, and I’ll forward it along). Honestly though, try it out, it’s pretty cool.