Sunday, October 24, 2010

Online Video Platform News Update, More Serious Business

The Online Video Platform Summit is only about a week away, and the market has seen significant change since the inaugural event held last year. According to a recent research report from Strategy Analytics, the online video platform (OVP) industry is an overcrowded space with numerous players competing in a still nascent market, yet it soared past $200 million a year. The report, “Online Video Platforms: Battling for Supremacy in a Fiercely Competitive Market," predicts continued rapid growth and consolidation in this sector, which could potentially reach more than $1 billion by 2015.

Earlier this month, Will Richmond noted that another $150 million was raised by video companies in Q3 2010, which included OVPs, IP-video technology companies, media and content companies. The largest amount of funding went to Chinese video platform Tudou ($50 million), followed by Ooyala ($22 million), Envivio ($15 million), and Conviva ($15 million).

In 2010, as many predicted, the online video industry would mature with multiple screen delivery, TV Everywhere, the rise of OTT and set-top boxes, mobile video and business models for paid content. There were several high profile acquisitions in 2010, that included: Google acquiring EpisodicKIT digital acquiring Multicast Media, Highwinds acquiring BandconLimelight Networks acquiring Delve Networks and Cisco acquiring ExtendMedia. The market saw new entrants from Dovie.tvTvinci and VP Factory, and competition between the OVPs got both fierce and ugly, in particular between Brightcove and Ooyala. But as Martin Olausson, Director of Digital Media Research at Strategy Analytics noted, competition is coming from other sectors:
“As tech giants such as Cisco, Microsoft and others increase their efforts in the fast growing OVP market, incumbent market leaders, such as Brightcove and thePlatform, will come under considerable pressure. The key to long-term prosperity for OVPs will be the ability to offer flexible and increasingly sophisticated solutions to a progressively divergent set of customer needs.”
HTML5 and H.264 video became one of the hottest topics as the online video platform industry geared up for the April 2010 launch of the iPad. But who could have predicted that the release of Apple's iPad, would create a disruption that would be felt throughout the industry?  Battle lines were drawn between Flash and H.264, with Apple, Adobe and Google, on the front lines in the war for the user experience. While Apple built on it's popular iOS, Google had disruptive plans of their own, with the release of their open source WebM video format and Google TV.

But we are still in the beginning stages of a seismic change in how we create, manage, publish and consume video content. Business models are being developed and tested, and next-generation media companies are expanding their reach across the web and mobile devices, and online video is showing promise as a replacement for the traditional television and cable industry. For businesses and organizations, video has become an integral platform for communications, marketing, PR and education.

Stay tuned for upcoming news on the Online Video Platform Summit to be held November 2 and 3, in Los Angeles. See Troy Dreier's post, Online Video Platform Summit Combines Speakers from Funny or Die, Microsoft, Zappos, for an overview of the event. Register for the OVP Summit here.

For now, here's small sampling of recent OVP news releases: