Saturday, January 1, 2011

2010 Was a Breakout Year for Online Video: A Klessblog Year-End Review - Part 2

In part two of this 2010 year-end review, I pick up in April with online video well on its way to becoming mainstream. Monthly video views were on a momentous rise with a billion views a day on YouTube, and long tail video sites captured half of the video views. Video viewers grew more tolerant of video advertising – even the hated pre-roll, Flash vs. HTML5 war heated up with the release of the iPad, Chatroulette captured the public's fascination, OTT video consumption continued to grow, more SMBs and marketers got on board with video marketing, VC money kept pouring into video startups, and online video platforms continued to expand into new markets with major growth in Europe and Asia-Pacific markets.

The month of April started for me with the news that I'd be going to the Streamy Awards thanks to my friends at Popscreen, and I was also going to make my first trip to New York City to go to Streaming Media East.  I was excited to go to the Streamy Awards where I met up with my good friend Mark Robertson, and we actually ended up having front row seats to what's been called, "the train wreck awards" or as Kevin Pollack called "the best rehearsal award show." Aside from the technical difficulties which were forgivable, there was a fair amount of outrage from the web television community by the tone of show, which came off as sophomoric, tasteless, self-deprecating humor that included LisaNova and Chris Hardwick getting molested on stage by Shaycarl and HiimRawn. I know the organizers meant well and worked hard to make the Streamy Awards a success, but the overall execution of the show, which for many went from bad to ugly, set it on a collision course with the devoted web television community.

Aside from the show itself, the Streamy Awards were a great time, and I got to see a lot of friends and meet many new friends too. Several highlights included live performance by The Gregory Brothers of "Magical Streamys Remix" and "Auto-Tune the News #8" and also getting to meet some of the stars and creative team of Safety Geeks: SVI who told me that Season Two will go 3D and John Cleese would be joining the Cast!

Streaming Media announced their third annual Announcing the 2010 Streaming Media All-Stars of people who do their part to advance, evangelize, and expand online video and audio – unsung heroes, visionaries and industry veterans. I was honored to be a 2009 Streaming Media All-Star, and I was pleased to see Mark Robertson among the list that included: Steve Garfield, Lisa Larson-Kelly, Kevin "Nalts" Nalty, Jan Ozer, Andy Plesser, among others.

As April turned to May, I noted that I wasn't able to keep as current on this blog with news and information, as I had been focusing my energy on other areas, including: webinars, meetups, and travel to new places. I did though, get in a CEO Conversation with Seth Kenvin, Market 7 about how his company was making the video production process more collaborative. I also returned to a reoccurring them on the blogm when Don McMillan released a new and expanded version of his classic Life After Death by Powerpoint 2010, which provided a hilarious excursion from all the Flash bashing and Google world domination news.

In May, I participated in Reel SEO's first educational webinar yesterday on, Encoding Video for the Web with the amazing Robert Reinhardt of and @flashfreaker on Twitter who dropped major video encoding science and Mark Robertson who organized and moderated the event. I shared tips on "What Producers Need to Know about Video Compression." We had 263 attendees from all over the world who stayed with us for the scheduled hour, and 140 or so stayed on for the additional half hour of Q&A.

The following week, I was in New York City for Streaming Media East 2010 to both attend the event and moderate a panel discussion, Media Framework: Video Publishing Platforms. I packed my Kodak Zi8, microphones, tripod, cables, connectors, batteries, etc) to capture interviews throughout the two-day event. I was joined again by my comrade Mark Robertson, who I thank for hanging out with me, working with me on team coverage of the event and for showing me a great time New York City.

Many thanks as well to Dan Rayburn, Joel Unickow, Eric Schumacher-Rasmussen and the management and staff of Information Today Inc. for putting together great shows, and congratulations on the launch of their new website According to Eric, focuses on hands-on tips and how-to information to help you get the most out of your online video initiative, it's "Streaming Media for the rest of us." Eric worked closely with writer Troy Drier to fill the site with new content, which as he noted, their other online and magazine publications have become essential reading material for the streaming video industry.

While there were no major industry shaking announcements at Streaming Media East, there was a fair amount of buzz around Adobe's Flash Access 2.0 delivery news and video support on the iPad using the HTML5 video tag. I spent a considerable amount of time on the exhibit floor interviewing online video platform providers, technology gurus, video evangelists, fellow bloggers and friends I've met at the many industry events over the years. Everyone I spoke with shared their unique perspective on the industry, and why video is such an important communication medium.

Following my trip to New York City, I was a featured speaker on a webinar hosted by Ragan Communications on, "How to produce Flip videos that inform, engage and entertain your employees." I wore my day job hat for this event, as a multimedia professional for Kaiser Permanente, and was joined by my colleague Elizabeth Schainbaum, a staff writer in our Corporate Communications department. We discussed how we're using Flip and Kodak pocket video cameras to capture important employee news to post on our company's Intranet portal. I shared a few important and helpful helpful tips to produce a better videos - such as,  use a tripod or hold the camera steady, interview a few people, make sure they introduce themselves and keep their answers concise, also have them include your question in their answer for context, try to have an interesting background, stay close since the microphone is built in, shoot some B-roll so you can edit in some cut-aways, just to name a few.
A few days later, I spoke at the Eastbay LocalPreneurs Meetup Group about how to, Quickly and Easily Master Online Video Promotions and Watch Your Sales Skyrocket, and covered the online video industry and trends, tips for producing online video for business, specific platform you can use to broadcast yourself and, some of my favorite online video resources.

I also had a great Twitter conversation about Choosing an Online Video Platform with @JustinEdmead of TDot TV. I met Justin through Twitter and we had exchanged a number of messages around the video industry and Online Video Platforms (OVPs). One evening, we had an interesting conversation on Twitter about his exhausting process of selecting an OVP to power the video on his lifestyle video destination site, TDot TV. Justin wanted to replace the platform he built on his own with a scalable hosted video solution. He ultimately selected Brightcove and explained his rationale in a series of 140 character messages which we exchanged over the course of a few hours. Our conversation proved to be a great case study of a publisher who went through the process of comparing and selecting an OVP that was the right fit for his video portal. Justin learned a lot in the process and openly shared his findings with me and the Twitterverse through our open conversation.

In other industry news, Google released VP8 as an open source royalty free video codec, and launched with broad support from the online video industry. The announcement was aimed at making high-quality, open video freely available to everyone as noted by Google's vice president of product marketing Sundar Pichai who said, “We think video should be a great, free and an open option for all.”

It's been more than 6 months since the WebM Project launched at Google I/O and the project nears a major release of VP8, code named Aylesbury, WebM Project Manager John Luther gave an update at Streaming West 2010. Overall, WebM has seen an incredible adoption rate and is supported in some way by all the desktop browsers. It's become part of FFmpeg, runs on all the major platforms and has been integrated into Skype 5 multi-party conferencing and YouTube HTML5 beta (80% daily videos available in WebM). In addition, 20 new partners have joined long list of software and hardware companies that support the WebM ecosystem. So the future looks quite bright for WebM, and is a clear competitor to H.264 as a standard for online video. But will it pose a major threat to H.264? Stay tuned as the story develops.

Editor's note: This ends Part 2 of Klessblog's 2010 Year-End Review. Stay tuned for Part 3 tomorrow which will conclude this series.
Additional note: Updated 1/29/11 since I forgot to add my Twitter conversation about Choosing an Online Video Platform with @JustinEdmead of TDot TV.