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 VideoRx.com 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.
OnlineVideo.net. According to Eric, OnlineVideo.net 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 Streamingmedia.com 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.
- Jeffrey Hayzlett, Kodak's former celebrity CMO told me "How Video and Social Media Helped Kodak Get Its Mojo Back". Hayzlett said that in today's media landscape, it's vitally important to be where your customers are and that's why Kodak immersed itself in social media - to engage in a two-way conversation with customers.
- Jeff Whatcott, SVP of Marketing at Brightcove, demonstrated the new HTML5 video advertising solution available through partnership with Brightcove and FreeWheel.
- Bismarck Lepe, Ooyala Co-Founder and President of Products gave me a demo of Ooyala's new YouTube video management tool. Ooyala tapped into the YouTube APIs to give publishers the ability to search and discover YouTube video directly from Ooyala's Backlot interface and deliver them within the Ooyala player.
- Kaltura Co-Founder and CEO Ron Yekutiel said that flexibility and control are the key differences between Kaltura and the other online video platforms on the market, with full control of Flash, Silverlight and HTML5 video content, and the flexible new Kaltura Exchange which fosters third-party development for their open source video platform.
- Sam Blackman, CEO and Co-Founder of Elemental Technologies, demonstrated Elemental Live and Elemental Server, two enterprise-class video processing systems for live and on-demand streaming that use GPUs (Graphics Processing Units) and other massively parallel chips for video processing. Andy Beach explained, "What the heck is H.264 SVC?", Peter Csathy President and CEO of Sorenson Media, talked about the latest release of its OVP solution and said Sorenson 360 v2 Ready to Take on Enterprise OVP Market. Sorenson rewrote the CMS – moving away from Adobe Flex and fully embracing web application technologies of AJAX and HTML5 – with the goal was to bring greater functionality, speed and customization to video publishers.
- Nick Balletta, CEO of TalkPoint Communications said that webcasting for enterprise communications may finally be reaching a tipping point, and that Talkpoint sees webcasting a business and workflow tool. Years ago it was something nice to do, now it's become a critical part of people's businesses.
- Eric Armstrong, President and CEO of Kontiki, said that video is the most effective way to reach and engage employees. According to Armstrong, simple media, like email or voicemail is fine for communicating basic facts. But if the message is complex, if there's a lot of changes going on in an organization or if there's a vision or a strategy that needs to be communicated, a leader needs to stand behind the message – and video is the most effective way to communicate those types of messages. Video makes you the owner of the message.
- Jeff Malkin, President of Encoding.com, talked how his company's cloud-based encoding business model works, and how the company and customer base has shaped up over the last year and half. Malkin described Encoding.com's value through cost-savings, quality, and a scalable solution.
- Lou Schwartz, Head of the Americas for KIT digital, shared an update on the recent merger of Multicast Media with KIT digital. Schwartz discussed the rationale for the merger transaction, and KIT digital's product roadmap strategy focused on multi-platform delivery and greenfield markets.
- Andy Plesser talked about the launch of Beet.TV in 2006, Beet.TV's unique style of news reporting, how distribution and sponsorship has grown and his perspective on the state of online video today. Beet.TV is generally recognized as the first business-oriented video blog publishing an average of two new videos per day. You can usually spot Andy or his West Coast correspondent and Senior Producer, Daisy Whitney and her husband Jeff Brooks at conferences and industry events, interviewing many of the shakers and movers in the online video industry.
- David Wadler, CEO of Twistage, often pitches Twistage as a glue company – a series of disjointed pieces that they glue together to give publishers a customized video workflow. Most online video platforms, he said, are vertically integrated applications in silos and consumers are generally not given a choice to customize their video workflow. Twistage is built on a core set of open, REST-based APIs, and can seamlessly integrate into any existing workflow as a white-label product.
- Bill Curci, VP of Marketing at VMIX, talked about the new video analytics and reporting suite, which they call 3D Analytics. Curci explained that their personal 3D analytics suite helps publishers make decisions on a predictive basis – to track what's working and what's not working and make changes to a campaign based on the performance of the specific video(s).
- Steve Vonder Haar, Research Director and Founder, Interactive Media Strategies talked about how the business video market continues to rise despite the recession. He said, with the rise of hosted video solutions, SMBs found it even easier to deploy video applications, through the robust and scalable SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) offerings of online video platform providers. This has helped fuel the growth of online video communications — with a trend toward moving from internal communications behind the corporate firewall to outward bound audiences.
- Finally, Jim Lanzone, founder and CEO of Clicker.com, talked about how Clicker got started cataloging what's on online to become the "TV Guide for the web," and that with OTT video we're in period between the old world of cable and the coming world of online television. He noted that there are a lot of in between solutions right now, with many different OTT solutions, boxes along with TV manufacturers, cable companies, online portals all fighting to control your experience and that the future will become more dispersed and more fragmented in terms of content providers, while destination sites, like the ABC.com iPad app will grow stronger as they consolidate the viewing experience and disintermediate (cut out the middleman) the market.
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.
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.