Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Daisy Whitney's New Media Minute: The Five Online Video Companies to Watch in 2009

As 2008 draws to a close the predictions for 2009 are in full swing. In this episode of the New Media Minute Daisy Whitney highlights five online video companies to watch in 2009. They are entertainment studio and content site, new media measurement service Quantcast, open source technology firm Kaltura, how-to video site 5min and free, open-source software platform

My Damn Channel launched in 2007 by Former MTV exec Rob Barnet as an entertainment studio and new media platform created to empower artists to co-produce, distribute and monetize original, episodic video content. Similar to Funny Or Die they have signed up high-profile creators and content curators to produce smart and funny videos from the best comedians, actors and musicians. Notable channels include the viral phenomenon "You Suck At Photoshop," (created by three-time Webby winner Big Fat Brain) and the evil, comic soap opera "Horrible People" (created by A.D. Miles). Last month they announced a distribution deal with creating

Read more at Tilzy.TV » Atom and My Damn Channel Announce Distribution Partnership.

Mediaweek recently reported that Quantcast was heating up the online video metrics space signing deals with ABC, Hulu and BBE (formerly Broadband Enterprises) to provide them all with comprehensive audience viewing metrics. Writer Mike Shields said that, "Some publishers and agency executives predicted the Quantcast coup would force incumbents Nielsen Online and comScore to speed up their own video measurement efforts." He spoke with several CEOs of online video companies who conveyed that Quantcast moved quickly to fill the void needed to provide overnight ratings like you'd get with TV spots.

According to Sam Baltrusis of Contentinople, "Quantcast, which launched in late 2006, boasts 85,000 publishers now participating in its Quantified Publisher program, directly measuring more than 10 million unique Web destinations, including Websites, videos, widgets, and games. It's clear that comScore Inc. won't take Quantcast's offensive sitting down, though. The company has accused Quantcast of using less reliable measurement tools, posting a blog response to Quantcast's numbers"

Besides Quantcast, both TubeMogul and Visible Measures have been developing innovative tools for robust reporting metrics for online video. More on Quantcast on Crunchbase.

Kaltura just released version 1.0 of its "All in One” video module for Drupal. According to the press release, "With more than 15,000 sites already using our solutions and hundreds of new ones every day, it is clear that our open source platform is filling a void in the online video space" said Ron Yekutiel, Kaltura Chairman and CEO. "The Kaltura Drupal module is the perfect solution for integrators and site builders to easily add advanced integrated rich media functionality to their sites. It is also another great example of how our open source development platform can be used by the community to create integrated rich media extensions for other platforms. We invite providers of other platforms to add to our arsenal of open source video solutions, including extensions for MediaWiki, WordPress, and Drupal, and build their own rich media extensions using our flexible, available, and free development tools.”

More about Kaltura on Crunchbase.

How-to site 5min describe their online video start-up as a place to find short video solutions for practical questions and a place for people to share their knowledge. Their goal is "to create the first communal Life Videopedia allowing users from all over the globe to contribute their knowledge by sharing visual guides in areas such as arts, business, fashion, sports, health, tech, food, and much more." Israeli start-up now based in New York raised $5 million earlier this year from Spark Capital and has expanded beyond being a destination site by introducing a new Smart Player that can handle text, video, and images in an embeddable widget and by launching a semantic syndication platform called Videoseed to deliver videos to partner web sites and through semantic search.

From Adweek earlier this month , "5min has in recent months signed syndication deals with sites reaching more than 110 million unique users. Via its VideoSeed platform, it can provide its how-to video content by semantically matching it to relevant, on-topic partner sites and offer it up via its proprietary SmartPlayer. Unlike YouTube and others, the company tags videos and provides metadata itself rather than leaving such tasks to users." 5min Enters Distribution Game by Georg Szalai,

Competitors in the How-to space include DIY Network, Expert Village, Instructables, Graspr, Howcast, VideoJug and Wonder HowTo.

More about 5min on Crunchbase

Boxee is free open source cross-platform social media center software and entertainment hub that runs on a PC or Apple TV and lets users manage their local or online content. At it's core it's an XBMC (formerly named "XBox Media Center") fork in a custom skin with social networking features that integrates content from local drives or from popular Internet destination sites like Hulu, Netflix, CBS, Comedy Central,, YouTube,, and Revision3 and Flickr all in an easy-to-use remote control interface. It's received rave reviews and won $50,000 in October at the i-stage competition and a free booth at at CES.

Boxee has been in a closed alpha but is opening a release of Mac and Ubuntu (Linux-based operating system) to everyone on the Jan 8th. They also plan to release their own set-top box in 2009.

This video explains how cool Boxee really is.

quick intro to boxee from boxee on Vimeo.

The Boxee wikipedia page has a lot good background information.