I attended a small, but informative event today put on by Mashery, called The Evolution of Distribution.

The event focused on the growing need to distribute information to a multitude of Internet connected devices using APIs.

As Mashery says:

Everyone is vying for the attention and eyes of the consumer. It is a new world and consumer expectations have changed when it comes to the way content/data/inventory is distributed, discovered and consumed.

Providing some real-world examples, Mashery invited four leaders in the API space to speak:

  • Daniel Jacobson, Director of Engineering for Netflix API who walked us through how APIs are allowing them to stream video to over 200 devices, resulting in Netflix dominating in their space.
  • Kumar Kandaswamy, Director, Open API Platform Business for Best Buy showed us how APIs have enabled them to extend their brand with the help of partners in ways they never could have done on their own.
  • Adam Kleinberg, CEO of Traction and Mashable.com Tech Writer demonstrated why brands need to focus on having an open API for developers and not get lured into distractions like building apps for single devices.
  • Edwin Aoki, Chief Architect of PayPal/eBay explained how APIs enable you to be more agile, and accelerate new forms of business development, even when your building a global commerce platform where 18% of the worlds online transactions are conducted.

I would say the one point I heard repeated over and over was the importance of understanding who the target audience of your API is. Designing and delivering your API in a way that caters to this audience will help keep development costs focused, network overhead as low as possible, and deliver exactly the tools and resources the most important segments of your audience will need.

These were just some of the interesting insights given, into how some of the most successful brands in the space, are using APIs to enable better distribution to consumers, partners and expand their brands globally.

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