Sunday, January 22, 2012

2012 Predictions from Around the Web, and Why OVPs Should Give a Puck

Each year the predictions on what the new year will bring start to appear on the web as the current year winds down, and by January they're in full swing and just keep on coming. I've been collecting, sharing and curating the predictions for the online video, social media and technology industries the past four years, and now that we're several weeks into 2012, I present another collection of predictions from around the web. Some are bold, some are obvious and most are simply best guesses based on current and emerging trends. Many are saying that there will be a big transformation in TV, more US households will be watching Internet video in the living room, multi-screen experiences will mature, content producers and advertisers will turn up the dial on social video, YouTube may finally become a media company, more brands and retailers will embrace video marketing, video content production will shift from UGC to professional quality, video advertising will move beyond the pre-roll to interactive ads across all screens, HTML5 video will take center stage, and recently at CES YouTube's Robert Kyncl claimed that very soon 90% of Internet traffic will be video and that the web is poised to become the premium channel for entertainment.

As part of VidCompare's third annual Online Video Platforms (OVPs) Predictions piece, 2012 Online Video Predictions – OVPs « Online Video and Video Providers - VidCompare, I shared my thoughts on what OVPs should focus on in 2012. The OVP space has over 100 companies that provide similar services that include: video hosting, encoding, custom players, syndication, analytics, as well as interactivity and monetization through a variety of online advertising options typically 3rd-party ad-servers. Many of the OVPs have differentiated themselves with new products and services like Brightcove's cloud-based application management, Ooyala's integration with Facebook on Social TV and real-time video analytics, Kaltura's open source app exchange, RealGravity with syndication and its content marketplace, Unicorn Media and Twistage on video workflow, DaCast with streaming as a service, and so many other examples within the crowded space.

But as we move into 2012, we're going to need more than just tools to publish video online and measure ROI, because publishers will need to create fully immersive transmedia experiences for viewers across multiple screens. It won't be enough for companies to just provide the standard suite of tools if they want to stay in the game. So I drafted the following advice for OVPs, based on conversations with my good friend @zbutcher who inspired this post.

Why OVPs Should Give a Puck
“A good hockey player plays where the puck is. A great hockey player plays where the puck is going to be.” – Wayne Gretsky

The rapid growth of online video industry is one the biggest stories that continues to write itself. Major developments of the past year shape the future and the tools we use to collect and share information. As our connected lives intersect on the web, living room and mobile, we’re moving away from traditional methods, static pages, formats and styles to fully “immersive HD experiences”.

Rather than reading and clicking, viewers now want to see and experience. The presentation layer is about storytelling and for video to move forward in 2012, the OVP industry should pay attention to the three I’s: immersion, integration and implementation.

Immersion – It’s time to go beyond the frame, box, blog and immerse ourselves in storytelling. People want to personalize it and interact with the stories. Applications that offer seamless HD video experiences across the web, tablets and mobile devices will inspire storytellers to expand their narratives to reach every audience. Second screen and web back channel applications will set the pace for great opportunities, innovation and growth in the coming year.

Integration – While video has seen astounding growth over the last year and is predicted to be over 90% of the Internet traffic in the next few years, it’s still a second class citizen. We still have multiple files, formats, players and countless work arounds to make video work. OVPs need to support immersive experiences through an integrated approach and offer value added, forward thinking services to differentiate themselves.

Implementation – No matter how good your integration is, it’s only as good as your implementation. It comes down to user experience and user interface. Producers and publishers are looking for consistency across all platforms and devices. OVPs need to execute on products and services and keep an eye on where the puck is going to be, not just where it is.

2012 Predictions from Around the Web

Online Video
2012 prediction: The slow death of coax begins — Online Video News
2012: The Year Of The Video View Standard
2012 Trends: Video Leads Online Ad Growth - eMarketer
2012 Video Commerce Predictions
2012 Video Trends | VMakers
2012 Year of the Video | The Online Sage | Online Marketing Indianapolis
12 Things That Won’t Happen In Online Video in 2012 | TechCrunch
12 Online Video Predictions For 2012 | Spidvid's Blog
12 predictions for social TV in 2012
7 Online Video Trends to Watch in 2012
7 Predictions For Online Video In 2012 -
Five Predictions For Online Video In 2012 | TechCrunch
4 Predictions for 2012 - TDG Opinions
A Look Ahead to 2012 in Online Video
Expect More Broadcast Quality Original Online Video in 2012 | VideoMind
Mr Video’s Video Predictions for 2012 |

Top 3 Video trends for 2012 - Viral Marketing - BizReport
Trends For 2012: Cord Cutting, Tablets Go Mass Market, Twitter Takes Over
Video Marketing Trends in 2012 - Search Engine Watch (#SEW)
Video Prediction Mashup for 2012
VideoMind’s Top Online Video Trends | VideoMind
"Virtual" Cable Coming on the Web in 2012: Rich Greenfield - Peter Kafka - Media - AllThingsD
Will 2012 be the year of the virtual MSO? Don’t bet on it — Online Video News

Daisy Whitney » Three New Media Predictions for 2012
In many ways, 2011 was the year of the tablet, while social TV and online video partnerships enjoyed a robust twelve months as well. Looking ahead to 2012, keep an eye out for standards in tablet measurement, advanced online video deals in measurement, and an increased use of social TV for Web TV discovery. Those are the 2012 predictions in the final installment of the New Media Minute this year.

HipMojo 22: 2012 Predictions |
HipMojo is a raw and unedited weekly show covering timely news in the world of business. In show 22 of HipMojo, CT offers his predictions for 2012 while Ash counters with his anti-predictions, based on his latest Techcrunch article on the subject.

Online Video Industry Forecast 2012: Streaming Media Magazine
This is Streaming Media's collection of sponsored articles appearing in the December 2011/January 2012 issue of Streaming Media magazine.
Digital One/ClickStream
Digital Rapids
Discover Video
Edgecast Networks
Front Porch Digital
Grass Valley
Haivision Network Video
Ignite Technologies
Media Excel
Sorenson Media
Soup Digital Innovations

Video Predictions for 2012: A Year-End Series
Will Richmond - 'I've reached out to a number of media and technology executives to ask for their top 3 video predictions for 2012. I was very open-ended in my outreach: predictions can be big picture or small picture, business model or tech focused, serious or humorous, etc.'
Jim Louderback, CEO, Revision3
YuMe's Jayant Kadambi
AdoTube's Steven Jones
Irdeto's Jan Steenkamp
RAMP's Tom Wilde
HealthiNation's Raj Amin
FreeWheel's Doug Knopper
AEG Digital Media's John Petrocelli
TidalTV's Scott Ferber
Kantar Video's Bill Lederer
thePlatform's Ian Blaine
YouTube's Suzie Reider
Jivox's Diaz Nesamoney
Tremor Video's Team
LiveRail's Mark Trefgarne
AOL's Ran Harnevo
Metacafe's Erick Hachenburg
LongTail Video's Dave Otten
Thought Equity Motion's Kevin Schaff
CineSport's Gregg Winik
Digitalsmiths' Ben Weinberger
Summarizing the 2012 Video Predictions Series

Online Advertising
2012 Online Video Advertising Forecast - Industry Experts' Predictions
2012 online video advertising predictions by Goviral
12 predictions for online video advertising in 2012
5 Key Digital Media and Advertising Trends for 2012 [VIDEO]
3 Online Advertising Trends To Watch In '12
How Online Video Advertising Will Evolve In 2012
Pre-Roll, Mobile Top Video Ad Formats for 2012 - eMarketer
The Big 2012 Prediction Round-Up: Video Ad Trends By Theme | VAN -

2012 Predictions, Mobile Edition: Dan Rowinski
2012: Predictions For An Increasingly Mobile World | TechWeekEurope UK
16 predictions for mobile in 2012 — Mobile Technology News
12 prediction for 2012
Twelve Mobile Predictions for 2012
Ten Mobile Social Trends For 2012
Mobile phone predictions for 2012 - The Operating System |
Mobile Video Vendors Boost Their Ad Offerings for 2012

Social Media
30 Social Media Predictions for 2012 ‹ Orlando Video Production, Social Media, SEO | GreenHouse Social Media
7 Social Media Predictions for 2012
5 Predictions for Social Media Law in 2012
What’s in Store for Social Video in 2012?
2012 Social Media Marketing Predictions [Charts] | Heidi Cohen
So-Called Predictions For A Social 2012

2012 And Beyond: A Mega, Meta Mashup Of Predictions | Fast Company
2012: Nine business tech predictions | ZDNet
2012 Predictions: Bluechipworld MD Simon Hassell
2012 Predictions: CCS Insight chief of research Ben Wood
2012 predictions: It’s doom & gloom for Amazon, RIM and Zynga | VentureBeat
2012 Predictions: What Will Be Big in Small Biz Tech This Year
2012: Siri Is a Stunner, Amazon Is Amazin' and Security Gets Spendy - Arik Hesseldahl - News - AllThingsD
2012: the year back-end enterprise systems open up to the world
10 tech trends to watch for in 2012 | News | TechRadar
Seven Technology Predictions for 2012
Five predictions for the communications world in 2012 | Technology |
Five big things to watch out for in 2012 — Tech News and Analysis
5 trends to watch in 2012
5 Predictions for Online Data in 2012

A tech toy timeline for 2012 (video) | Digital Media - CNET News
Analyst Predicts 'Monster' iPhone 5 Launch in 2012 | PCWorld
Connected Consumer 2012: A year of consolidation and integration — GigaOM Pro
Curation and amplification will become much more sophisticated in 2012 » Nieman Journalism Lab
Experian's digital and marketing predictions for 2012 | The Drum
I Predict: Five 2012 predictions for the coming year in apps - iPhone app article - Dan Kricke | Appolicious ™ iPhone and iPad App Directory
IBM Predict Home Electricity From Your Bike, Mind-Reading Computers - Arik Hesseldahl - News - AllThingsD
Importance of Content Recommendations Predicted in 2012 « The Outbrain Blog
McAfee predicts more high-profile, targeted attacks in 2012 | ZDNet
Marc Andreessen: Predictions for 2012 (and beyond) | Digital Media - CNET News
Mashable’s Digital Predictions for 2012

Next Wave with Gary Vaynerchuk: 2012 predictions - YouTube

Gary V. makes bold predictions for the technology business scene in 2012, including big moves for Twitter and Facebook, bad tidings for BlackBerry and an explosion of what he calls "box mania."

Predicting 2012: Rapid implementation in focus
Predictions for 2012 | Guardian Sustainable Business | The Guardian
Tablets in 2012: what to expect | News | TechRadar
TechRadar's phone and tablet resolutions 2012 | News | TechRadar
Time for some 2012 predictions …
Unisys Releases 2012 Enterprise Technology Predictions - MarketWatch
YouGov releases consumer predictions for 2012 | Econsultancy
Zynga CTO: Four predictions for 2012 | Digital Media - CNET News

The Big List: 226 Marketing Trends, Predictions & Resolutions For 2012

"For the third consecutive year, we’ve collected all the articles we could find related to online marketing tips, trends, predictions and resolutions in 2012. We had 80 links in 2010 and 168 last year. We shattered that collectively this year. Here’s our 2012 Big List: 226 articles covering tips, trends, resolutions and predictions about online marketing in the new year..."

Facebook, Google, Twitter and More: 12 Predictions for 2012 - Forbes
No. 1: Facebook Goes Public, But Won’t Start IPO Landslide
No. 2: Facebook Ad Business Booms–But Not at Google’s Expense
No. 3: Image Ads Finally Find a Home on the Web
No. 4: Data-Driven Advertising Accelerates
No. 5: Web-Native Brand Ad Formats Will Remain MIA
No. 6: Twitter (Almost) Becomes a Real Business
No. 7: Mobile Ads Finally Get Moving
No. 8: Becomes an Online Advertising Player
No. 9: App Overload Sets In
No. 10: Tabzines Debut
No. 11: This Revolution Will Be Televised
No. 12: The Web Startup Bubble Will Start to Deflate

CMO Predictions for 2012 -- Part 1: Dominos, Motorola, Progressive, RadioShack Say it's Mobile, Mobile, Mobile! - Forbes
CMO Predictions for 2012 -- Part 2: Dell, Diageo, Saks, Tory Burch Double Down on Social Media - Forbes
CMO Predictions for 2012 -- Part 3: General Mills, Gogo, L'Oréal, NASCAR, Visa Hail Content as King - Forbes

Lastly, the big question, will the world end in on December 21, 2012?
My prediction is no, it's extremely unlikely.

Disclaimer: VidCompare is sponsor of this blog

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Online Video in 2011: A Look Back - Part 4 (Conclusion)

I didn't plan to make this a four part series, but I guess 2011 was just one of those years that needed a little more attention. I think we would agree that it was an amazing year of progress, innovation along with many triumphs and failures. Either way you look at it, everything we did throughout the year moved us further along into the new year, and that brings about the new cycle, and the energy to put out new products, services and business models. When looking back on the 2011, what did we learn? What were the big stories and trends that caught on? It's pretty obvious that online video, mobile video, tablets, connected and smart devices, social media apps, video advertising and marketing were big, and of course, YouTube's domination of the online video market, will be even bigger in 2012.

And what will be the footnotes to remember online video in 2011?
Probably the biggest news of the year was the sad and untimely death of Steve Jobs. In an article on ReelSEO, I noted that Steve Jobs was a pioneer in bringing digital media to the masses with the launch of the Macintosh, which focused on making it easier to do create, curate and distribute our content. He helped grow video on the desktop from a postage stamp size video to a full HD video that can be produced entirely on a mobile device. Apple revolutionized the professional video editing industry and proved that thinking differently about how the computer could be designed – from the aesthetic design of the hardware and user interface, to the easy to use software tools – helped spawn a new generation of independent video producers that could compete with the Hollywood studios and big publishers.

Other notable news in 2011 focused on; more cord cutting, cloud computing, mobile video, numerous funding announcements, mergers and acquisitions and global online video spend was said to hit $3.5B in 2011. Ustream raised another $6M, Roku raised another $8M, Jivox raised $8.5M, Taboola raised $9M, Innovid raised $9.5M, YuMe raised $12M from Samsung, Thought Equity raised $25M, Qwilt raised $25M, Brightroll raised $30M, Tremor Video raised $37M, CNN bought Zite for approx $20M, 24/7 Real Media acquired Panache for undisclosed sum, Microsoft bought VideoSurf for $70M, Cisco bought BNI Video for $99M, Adobe bought Auditude for over $100M, Akamai bought Contenda for $268M, Google bought Admeld $400M and Motorola for $12.5B, Time Warner bought cable operator Insight for $3B and AT&T failed in its bid to acquire T-Mobile, Vudu came to the iPad, Hulu expanded to Japan and Netflix expanded into Latin America, Amazon experienced major network outages, AOL restructured again, Zediva shut down it's DVD streaming business, relaunched its buy-side service, Fox pulled its shows from the web, Ooyala won ESPN as a customer; got social with Facebook integration and raised an undisclosed funding round from Motorola Mobility, Vimeo got into the OVP business with Vimeo Pro, Brightcove filed for a $50 million IPO, MobiTV and Synacor each filed for a $75M IPO, KIT digital released its new social TV platform, Google+ Hangouts arrived in YouTube.

ReelSEO launched its weekly online video series The Reel Web, spun off Socialcam to simplify mobile video sharing, Apple pulled Final Cut Pro Studio out of the dead pool in response to Final Cut X's poor reception, Netflix and Starz went their separate ways, social TV and multi-screen experiences started to emerge, Hulu, Netflix and Yahoo! all got into the original web content business, foul-mouthed CEO Carol Bartz was ousted from Yahoo!, Zixi announced its cloud-based streaming service, Netflix's tried to break off its DVD business as Qwikster but backtracked after serious market uproar, WeVideo introduced its cloud-based video editing platform, SpotXchange announced full real-time bidding capability, Apple released the iPhone 4S, Verizon and Microsoft inked a deal to bring OTT content to the Xbox, Rimage acquired Qumu, Microsoft completed its $8.5 billion acquisition of Skype, Sesame Street's YouTube channel got hacked to show porn,  online video ads reached 50% of the U.S. population, Netflix's stock dropped 40% in one day after losing 800,000 subscribers and was downgraded by S&P.

Skytide introduced analytics for Federated CDNs, Amazon Kindle debuted to rave reviews, Livestream upgraded its platform to live events platform, YouTube took a swipe at cable by launching over 100 channels with celebrity partners, SeeSaw shut down, LG ad YuMe partnered on connected TV ad platform, teamed up with Roku on channel creation, Zencoder and Highwinds partnered on HTTP video streaming, Kaltura partnered with Gogo for online video in flight, Mixpo introduced Frameworks for interactive online video ads, Zediva was forced to shut down its DVD streaming service, the Boxee box got a live TV tuner, Adobe abandoned Flash on mobile and TV (see below), CDN pricing dropped 20%, tablets rose above desktops for 30% longer online video viewing, Netflix made up for past mistakes by resurrecting Arrested Development, MPEG DASH emerged as a possible online video standard, YouTube did major channel-centric redesign of the site, Dailymotion expanded its cloud video delivery service, Twitvid launched its new social video network, and finally for the first time the Super Bowl would be streamed live over the Internet.

While that wasn't all the big news of 2011, it's what caught my my attention and set the stage for 2012. So now, let's get back to what happened here at Klessblog...

In August, where I attended the 2011 Liveclicker Video Commerce Summit in San Francisco. I recorded a number of interviews with speakers at the two-day event for Liveclicker's blog. Andy Stack, YouTube Product Manager, outlined the 5 things he has learned about successful online video campaigns in his experience at YouTube. Kenna Hurd, Video Content & Product Manager of PETCO, talked about the top initiatives of PETCO’s video strategy, specific examples of where the company is seeing success with video. Melissa Salas, Marketing Director of and Co-host of BuyTV, shared some of the lessons she has learned about video commerce since she started hosting BuyTV in 2006. My good friend Mark Robertson, Founder and CEO of, gave his take on why retailers should explore beyond the product video. Justin Foster, Co-founder and VP of Market Development at Liveclicker, shared his thoughts on the emerging video commerce trends and predictions.

After that event, I followed up with a few posts of my own on this blog and on expanding on what Jen Fahey wrote on

Mark Robertson says online video is the swiss army knife of online marketing,  and social video can help eCommerce retailers move from conversions to conversations with their customers. In his keynote at the Video Commerce Summit Mark provided a high level overview of how social media has changed search, the state of V-Commerce and what tactics and tools eCommerce marketers can harness to move beyond product videos. Mark says that SEO has evolved over the last 10 years, and now social media engagement enhances SEO rankings, a lot. Universal video search is becoming less effective for e-commerce transactional queries, and that marketers’ must embrace social video throughout the customer life cycle and produce video that lends itself to social.

Online video is massive in its reach and scale with 6.9 billion videos watched in the U.S. in July and August of 2011, and has quickly grown into a major component of what people do online or how they consume information and entertainment. Andy Stack, Product Manager at YouTube says, online video is a valuable tool to drive brands, and is transforming the way consumers engage and conduct commerce. The use of online video in e-commerce is an opportunity you can’t afford to miss or not fully understand. His main message to the brands and retailers at the Liveclicker Video Summit, is to create content, not commercials. Stack says that it's important for retailers to develop a content strategy and not necessarily an advertising strategy, and sponsor content that matters to your community and spend money to promote content that's tested and works. As the world’s largest focus group, online video lets you know if the creative or videos that you are running on TV and elsewhere are making an impact when people choose to consume your brand and spread the word. Retailers can use video like a sand box to experiment and use the variety of tools available from YouTube to find the right mix, then rinse and repeat.

In October, I caught up with Marc Scarpa, veteran director and executive producer of live interactive media events, who had just launched the first of it's kind social TV network with Comcast Xfinity On Demand, called VidBlogger Nation, that brings popular local YouTube talent into the living room of millions. VidBlogger Nation is shot on location by local video bloggers in 10 key markets in the U.S. The episodes are short 3-5 minute narrative shorts by unique voices from across the country who share colorful stories of people, places and things in their city from a first-person perspective. Scarpa was in San Francisco where he met with several of his local VidBloggers, including Zennie Abraham (Zennie62), who joined Scarpa in the interview. See Zennie's article here: Comcast VidBlogger Nation New Video TV Network | City Brights: Zennie Abraham | an blog. Scarpa says that the overall goal of VidBlogger Nation is to have a new forum for very talented people, like Zennie and his fellow VidBloggers, who have a voice and help them extend beyond the web into a new market, and a traditional broadcast environment like Comcast provides access to 60 million homes.

That same week, I attended the TVNext Con 2011 conference in San Jose that brought together hundreds of media, technology and entertainment companies to explore the future of TV, video and multi-platform entertainment services and platforms. Experts agree that nearly every facet of the TV experience and TV business models will be impacted over the next 5 years. One of the main drivers is that more consumers are using IP devices to supplement linear TV viewing, and that by 2015 the average U.S. resident will have 7 connected devices. We're starting to see the decline of the stand-alone set top box with the rise of game consoles as the number one hub for digital entertainment and OTT content, and connected TVs and innovations just announced last week at CES like the Roku Streaming stick that makes a regular TV a smart TV. And don't forget Apple's highly anticipated iTV that is predicted to be the big game changer, due out later this year. We'll also continue to see big deals in the content industry as studios and networks create sustainable business models that don't cannibalize their existing services. I interviewed a handful of people at that event as well, including Joan FitzGerald, VP at comScore, Inc and Tim Street, VP of Mobile Video at mDialog, (to be featured soon on this blog), and Jim Louderback, CEO of Revision3 and Matt Smith, VP of Internet Television at Envivio, (see below).

I followed up with an interview with Suranga Chandratillake, CEO and Founder of blinkx, who I met earlier in the at OTTcon. Chandratillake founded blinkx in 2004 and has helped pioneer video search on the Internet. He describes blinkx as "the world's largest and most advanced video search engine" and unlike other search engines that focus on text web, titles and metadata, blinkx uses a unique combination of patented conceptual search, speech recognition and visual analysis to find and qualify online video. Chandratillake noted that the the online video and OTT space has come of age after so many years of video on the Internet. What's different, he says, is the momentum at which the idea is gaining. More and more of us are watching Internet video on our television sets or contemplating the purchase of a connected device to watch OTT video.

In November, I went to Streaming Media West in November to discuss Webcasting Tips and Tricks From the Enterprise, wearing my day job hat as a webcast producer for Kaiser Permanente, as I did years earlier when I first spoke at Streaming Media West. I shared some of the best practices that I had previously blogged about here, that address the technical and logistical challenges for webcasting, and how to put the right team and the right technology in place for a successful virtual event. The panel focused on best practices from enterprise corporations have adopted and implemented for live video across their organization.

With all the growth, it's also been stagnant, in regards to the ongoing video format wars, spurred on by Apple's exclusion of Flash on its popular iDevices and negative press it received from Steve Jobs' Thoughts on Flash. While HTML5 and H.264 encoded video have been gaining momentum as an emerging standard for online and mobile video, publishers have had to deal with the lack of a standardization, which has caused a great deal complexity and fragmentation. So we were all surprised with Adobe's  announcement that it would abandon future development of Flash Player for mobile devices following the next release 11.1, and will be more aggressively contribute to HTML5 innovation with key players, including Google, Apple, Microsoft and RIM. Adobe will continue to support its current Flash development. Adobe had developed Flash Player to run on Google's Android and other non-Apple mobile platforms, but its official statement from its blog post said,"HTML5 is the best solution for creating and deploying content in the browser across mobile platforms."

The news broke during Streaming Media West, and while Adobe was at the conference in full force, it was tight lipped about why it decided to withdraw Flash from the mobile market. I caught up with Jan Ozer, Video Producer, Writer, Publisher of and author of Video Compression for Flash, Apple Devices and HTML5to get his perspective on the implications of the announcement for the online video industry, mobile developers and consumers.

Ozer told me Adobe made this move for several reasons. 1) They were fighting against the current, at least with Apple, and then with Microsoft's recent announcement about their tablet oriented operating system, and couldn't fight this. 2) Adobe wasn't getting then support it needed from Google and other vendors to make Flash work effectively on mobile platforms. 3)  As computers get more powerful people are building applications that require more power and faster CPUs to run smoothly, and Flash-enabled tablets and phones simply don't have the power to run smoothly and deliver a quality experience. Ozer says, this doesn't mean that Flash on the desktop is going away anytime soon, and that it will actually create a tale of two websites, with a web version that is completely immersive Flash experience, and the other more simple and targeted for mobile devices.

It was more than a year ago when I met Merton, the Piano Chat Improv Guy and I finally published his interview in December. The improvisational piano player, became an Internet sensation when he first appeared on Chatroulette playing piano and serenading the strangers he'd meet on the video chat website. His videos have attracted over 25,000,000 views on YouTube and he has performed in London, Montréal. I caught up with him at NewTeeVee Live where he spoke about his experience as a web celebrity and how he planned to further develop and evolve his improvisational social and musical style. Merton says that he's played piano and done improvisational music for a long time, but Chatroulette gave him the mass exposure to freestyle in real-time with random strangers and become a viral video phenomenon. He now has a live, interactive, webcam show that airs weekly on Wednesdays at 10:00 PM ET called The Merton Show.

I caught up with Jim Louderback, CEO of Revision3, at the TV Next Con 2011 where he talked about the changing video landscape and the great unbundling of services. Louderback says that we're in the end game of the of the great unbundling of video services, as next generation television channels shift from traditional models to IPTV video networks. Louderback says that within the next few years most of the video we consume will be delivered over an open IP network, ending the long monopoly of proprietary services delivered through cable, satellite and broadcast streams. But even though our favorite shows will be delivered mostly on-demand, we'll still have bundles of services - but it will just be offered in new ways.

One of the biggest stories of 2011 is, what will the future of television look like as service providers, consumer electronics manufacturers and content aggregators all jockey for the prime position in your living room. According to Todd Weaver, CEO of ivi, OTT has been an emerging market for some time and that market has been stifled by a number of issues, and today, those issues primarily relate to content. I caught up Weaver earlier this year at OTT Con in San Jose to get his perspective on what the PayTV operator and online video experience will look like in the OTT era. Weaver says, one fear that content owners are grappling with is the "cannibalization" of their existing cable TV subscriptions with their Internet subscriptions. As more content moves online, Weaver says, content owners will to figure out the pricing models and OTT providers are going to have to either educate or cooperate with content owners to set and adjust prices to help settle out the disturbance in that area. Weaver's company, ivi, has been embroiled in a lawsuit with broadcasters seeking to stop it from rebroadcasting their content online. Earlier this year in February, a New York federal judge ruled that ivi was infringing on broadcasters copyrights by not paying retransmission fees and ordered ivi to shut down.

To round out my online video conversations for 2011, I caught up with veteran webcasting executive Nick Balletta, CEO of Talkpoint to talk about the latest enterprise video trends. He shared the latest real world data his company had collected over the last two years, that showed a significant growth in both the adoption and expansion of video within enterprise communications. A year earlier, I had spoke with Balletta at Streaming Media East, where he told me that webcasting for enterprise communications may finally be reaching a tipping point. Talkpoint supports some 15,000 annual webcasts and it's data shows that the number viewers is growing along with the number of individual webcasts. So, what's driving the growth? Balletta says, media players are now built into operating systems, broadband is pervasive, computers are faster and people are comfortable watching video on their computers, and overall, watching video online has gotten much easier to do than in the early days. A few anecdotes Balletta shared were, self-service video webcasting is on the rise, Flash viewership is on the rise, and the battle for video standards creates opportunity. Balletta also says that social media and enterprise webcasting don't mix. He says right now all the agencies are making money helping corporations with social media, but in a couple of years it's going be the lawyers cleaning up on the mess created by social media.

In my final online video conversation, I got an education in Adaptive Bit Rate (ABR) streaming 101 from Matt Smith, VP of Internet Television Strategy & Solutions at Envivio. As the demand to deliver content to consumers on multiple screens continues to grow at a rapid pace, companies adapt their methods and means to meet the demand consumers want for any content on any device, anytime and anywhere. This is both exciting and worrisome for service providers and content owners – but new trends and tactics like adaptive bit rate (ABR) streaming is changing it all and making it easier to deliver content. ABR streaming is a new and dynamic approach. Smith says that with ABR, you're essentially creating similar number of streams, but in a different part of the network. You get significant scale gains and you should plan to deliver to every possible screen. The workflow not for every organization and where channel count is low, "old" models work, but ABR is emerging as a new standard for content delivery.

This concludes my look back into online video in 2011. With 2012 now in full swing and a lot of news already in the making, I have no doubt that it will be another amazing year for the online video industry. I want to thank you all for your continued support, and my best to everyone in the new year!

Editor's note: This concludes Online Video in 2011: A Look Back. Stay tuned for more Online Video conversations in 2012.

• MediaPost Publications Biggest Trend Of 2011 In Online Video 12/20/2011
• Online Video Trends in 2011: From YouTube Mobile to Major Redesign - Search Engine Watch
• A Look Back at 2011: Begun the Online Video Turf War Has
• Top 20 Online Video Ads Of 2011 According To Shares
• Relive 2011 With Amazing Google Video: Zeitgeist 2011 Year In Review
• Highlights Of 2011: The Year In Paid Content, By The Numbers | paidContent
• The 10 stories that defined tech in 2011 — Tech News and Analysis
• Three New Media Lessons Learned In 2011
• 2011 Year in Review | Home Media Magazine
• Google and Facebook are Nielsen's top online US destinations of 2011 | The Verge

Monday, January 9, 2012

Online Video in 2011: A Look Back - Part 3

As 2011 progressed, consumers became increasingly connected and mobile, and wanted video on all screens all the time. Video companies were challenged to evolve services faster, differentiate the experience, offer services on any device, any network, manage and monetize infinite content and manage increasing complexity in the home. Operators started seeing connected devices as an opportunity and not a threat, and began to partner with content owners and advertisers on social video and multi-screen solutions. The online video industry saw more roll ups and funding announcements, video companies pursued the OTT market with TV Everywhere solutions, Nielsen reported that while mobile video use grew 40% but growth rates declined, Cisco forecasted that video would comprise of half of the Internet traffic by the end of 2012, for the first time in 20 years US household saw a drop in TV set ownership, YouTube reigned as the king of video views with 3 billion/day and got even more serious about original content channels and live streaming for partners, Apple unveiled a controversial update to Final Cut Pro X, media buyers continued to warm up to video, second screen viewing Tubemogul rebranded as a video advertising platform, Brightcove made the news with its patent for digital content delivery and expanding beyond video into mobile 'App Cloud' development and its IPO announcement, Ooyala and YuMe partnered to deliver video ads, other OVPs like DaCast, RealGravity, Unicorn Media and LongTail Video diversified their offerings with live streaming, syndication, ad networks and monetization, Hulu was for sale and then not-for-sale.

And that wasn't all...

In May, I kicked off a series of interviews I had conducted over the past year at online video industry events. Within the year I attended Online Video Platform SummitNewTeevee LiveOTT Con, Liveclicker's 2011 Video Commerce Summit, TV Next Con and Streaming Media West 2011, and met so many incredible people along the way who all great insight and advise to share. In 2011, I produced a total of 31 videos for this blog, several of which also ran on, and also 5 videos which I produced for I have a lot of videos still to post which I plan to get back to within the next few posts.

According to Internet marketer and professional musician, Austin Brooks, if you are a small business and you're looking to establish yourself online, you really need to start working on some kind of video strategy and figure out a way to constantly publish content on a regular basis. Brooks uses online video as a marketing tool because video is the best way to demonstrate his magic act and full range of what he can offer to potential clients. For Brooks, it was important to have a professional looking website to showcase his magic act and having high quality video was definitely a trick he wanted to have up his sleeve.

The explosive growth of user-generated content on YouTube has spawned a new generation of amateur video producers which has, in turn, made it more acceptable for lower quality productions. It's true that anyone with the right tools and know-how can shoot and edit video. And, to some degree we are all able to craft an interesting or even compelling story. But what about the art and craft of producing a professional video production? Does knowing how to use a Flip camera make you a video professional?

Bruce Alfred, Principal of Cobblestone Inc., is asked over and over, how important is it to create high quality video? Can I just use my consumer HD camera to make something and put it up on my business website? As professional video producer and web video consultant, Alfred's answered that question many times and his answer is no, that's not the best idea. Certain content requires high production value and other content may not. It all depends on your audience. But for brands, you want to make sure you're above the fray and not just another low quality YouTube video. While there could be places on your site where you have user-generated video, when it's your creation you want it to reflect well on your brand. Alfred says that a professional video producer is an expert that every brand should hire.

Curt Van Inwegen, VP of Client Services at LEVEL Studios, offered his insights on what you should consider for selecting the appropriate OVP for your business. Van Inwegen suggests that when you're choosing an OVP you need to look at several things. You're not just looking at the technology, you're looking at the ability to gather data on who is looking at your content, what devices they are using, desktop or mobile and what type of mobile, iPhone, iPad, Android or Blackberry, and can your content can actually play on those devices or can it be produced from those devices. With everything going mobile, Van Inwegen, notes that the ability to ingest that content and view it on a variety of different platforms is really what's critical, and an OVP will help you distribute your content to all those platforms and devices within the complex and fragmented video landscape.

I caught up with CEO and co-founder Mike Hudack who says the world has fundamentally changed since the early days of television, and that we've gone from an economy of scarcity where you can only put out one show at a time, to a world where you can put out any number of shows. There are more independent show producers today than there have ever been in history, which Hudack attributes to the less expensive production costs, and has given rise to a new generation of stars and producers. was founded in May 2005, by a group of five friends who love web series, and has grown to become one of the Internet’s largest independently owned and operated video properties. Hudack says that what they've doing all along is building the next the generation television network. (Blip has seen some changes recently with news that co-founders Mike Hudack and Dina Kaplan would be leaving the company. Hudack is taking a medical leave and will likely be back at Blip when his health returns, and Kaplan's departure is unrelated.)

Over the last several years live video streaming has become a powerful marketing tool for artists and brands. Max Haot, CEO and Co-founder of Livestream, says it's been interesting to watch the growing trend of brands adopt live streaming to market their products. Content brands like movie studios, use Livestream to market the release of a new movie within social networks like Facebook and Twitter through a live broadcast of the red carpet premiere. Haot says that working with brands and content owners drives content quality and revenue and is core to Livestream's mission to build a next-generation live cable operator. But the bigger goal of Livestream is to unlock every event around the world, from major events like red carpet interviews at the Oscars or the Royal Wedding, to prosumer events from a church, a small baseball game, or even a smaller conference.

Core to any good video content strategy is a blend of ingredients that compel and engage viewers to discover and share your content. You can have the most compelling content in the world, but if people aren't aware of it and can't find it easily, it won't make any difference. According to Patrick Starzan, Vice President of Marketing and Distribution for Funny or Die, its recipe for success is a combination great content, search engine optimization and social media. Starzan says that it's all about really having a comprehensive strategy. You shouldn't look at just one, search over social media, as two different things, or two different variations of what's important. They're both just as important as the other. Because at the end of the day, you want to have your content discovered as quickly as possible by relevant audiences.

As the current trends in online video continue to show massive growth, so does the opportunities for online video publishers and marketers. For businesses, there's no other tool more important than online video analytics to capture how your video content is consumed on the web. Dan Piech, Senior Product Management Analyst with comScore says, the best way online video publishers and marketers create and sustain value is through differentiation, and the way you do that is through your data. Piech says that it's not just about understanding your audience, but then putting together a pitch that sells that audience to advertisers. Piech says that online publishers will not have the reach of a television audience, and for small publishers it will be even harder. He suggests that publishers find that niche audience, develop it and sell that niche based on what you've learned about it from your metrics, because the agencies are not going to do that for you. He says that digital market intelligence services like comScore help you better understand your audience.

Content delivery continues evolve and it's been 10 years since Bram Cohen, Chief Scientist and Co-founder of BitTorrent, Inc. first invented the revolutionary peer-to-peer (P2P) file-sharing protocol for transferring large files over the Internet. While the P2P file-sharing protocol has long been associated with digital piracy, BitTorrent has worked with a variety of filmmakers, musicians and authors over the past year, to help distribute films using the company’s P2P technology. I caught up with Cohen at last year's NewTeeVee Live where he discussed BiTorrent's future in P2P live streaming.

When Wowza Media Systems first was conceived, Dave Stubenvoll says he and his co-founder, Charlie Good, saw a market need for a better media delivery solution which incumbent media server providers (Adobe, Microsoft and Apple) could not address. When Wowza Media Server 1.0 first came to market in February 2007 it was originally offered as a low-cost alternative to Adobe's Flash Media Server and had great success. But when Wowza Media Server Pro 1.5 was released in May 2008, it expanded its abilities by introducing H.264 video and AAC audio streaming support. Today, Wowza Media Systems provides a flexible multi-platform media software for streaming of live and on-demand video, audio, and RIAs (rich Internet applications) and is highly regarded within the online video community having recieved numerous awards, including multiple Streaming Media Readers' Choice Awards, Streaming Media Editors' Pick and 2010 and most recently, the best AV Over IP Distribution System by AV Technology Magazine.

One of the biggest pain points for video publishers is how to deliver video to every user on any browser or mobile device. As the fractured video landscape continues to grow in complexity and scale with no standard across platforms, cloud encoding start-up, created an innovative solutions to help ease that pain with a product called released it in early 2011 as a beta version and after a successful launch and overwhelming market response, was released as a Pro version primarily targeting the tens of thousands of media brands, agencies, and application developers. is both a clever and unique service that allows publishers to upload videos and get back a universal video url that will play your video everywhere, on any desktop browser or mobile device.'s President Jeff Malkin says, takes on the heavy lifting that is usually done by OVPs by delivering important and basic functionality (transcoding, storage and delivery through partners) along with device and browser detection  all wrapped up in a single url. takes care of it all and when viewers click on the url, detects the device or browser type and delivers the correctly formatted and optimized video.

In between all the online video conversations, I paused to answer the question, Where's Klessblog? For many of you who have followed this blog, you may have noticed that things slowed down here a bit in 2011, and that was mainly due to an extremely busy work schedule at my day job. Outside of my busy work schedule, I tried to spend more time with my family and less time online. That trend continued through the rest of the year and my goal moving forward is to achieve a better work and life balance. Stay tuned for more details on that.

Editor's note: This ends Part 3 of Online Video in 2011: A Look Back. Stay Tuned for the conclusion, Part 4.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Online Video in 2011: A Look Back - Part 2

In just the first two months of 2011 the online video industry erupted in a serious wave of mergers and acquisitions, funding announcements, new product releases and massive growth. The year began with a deluge of news about the growing trend in cord cutting, connected TVs and tablets. Codec wars erupted with Microsoft joining the fight and MPEG-LA calling for patent claims on the VP8 video codec, Netflix's dominance in the market and subscriber bandwidth consumption grew forcing ISPs to cap services, Amazon announced its video streaming service, smartphone sales surpassed PCs for the first time, Steve Jobs went on medical leave at Apple, Larry Page replaced Eric Schmidt at Google, real-time bidding emerged as the hottest new online video advertising sector, Comcast completed its takeover of NBC Universal, Time Warner acquired Navsite, Tremor Media acquired Transpera, and in the online video platform space released and Sorenson Media launched Squeeze 7 to help publishers make sense of of video encoding chaos, while other OVPs provided solutions and education around publishing video for HTML5.

In early March, I caught up with Scott Puopolo, Vice President and Global Head of Cisco's Internet Business Solutions Group (IBSG), at the OTTCON where he presented Cisco's predictions on what the future of television might look like in 20 years from the study, The Future of Television: Sweeping Change at Breakneck Speed. According to Puopolo "The concept of consumer, controlled, increased, immersive, interactive experience is going to be the future of television and the consumption of our content is going to be ubiquitous. We'll be able to access it anywhere, anytime, from any device in any format."

Consolidation within the online video space continued its serious trend in March 2011, with CBS announcing that it had acquired, the "Internet TV Guide to What's on Online" and hired Jim Lanzone as its new President of CBS Interactive, to head up CBS Interactive's worldwide operations and roster of Internet properties, including and

After months of rumors and speculation Google officially announced that it had acquired Internet TV platform Next New Networks in its first content deal to strengthen and grow out YouTube's platform to support its Partner Program of over 15,000 partners worldwide. Many YouTube partners had been making over $1,000 a month and hundreds of partners making six figures a year, but YouTube said that's not enough so it would taking it to the next level with YouTube Next. YouTube said that" Next New Networks will be a laboratory for experimentation and innovation" and the team will be working with a wide variety of content partners and emerging talent to help them be more successful.

With so much news about cord cutting, I spoke with my friends at Skytide, an Oakland, California-based company specializing in performance analytics for CDNs and digital media providers, to get an inside perspective on what is cord cutting, the term commonly used to describe the trend of consumers who cancel their cable and satellite television subscriptions and "cut the cord" in favor of receiving their television programming from Over-the-Top Television (OTT) solutions available through the Internet. While this is a growing trend fueled in part from the wide availability of content from Netflix, Hulu, YouTube and millions of other video sites, there is an existential crisis facing the telcos (telephone companies) and cable companies, also known as MSOs (Multiple System Operators), that could threaten the continued growth of the next generation television industry. Skytide's Roy Peterkofsky provided a detailed background of the situation in this online video conversation.

One of the questions that has been under debate within the online video industry is, what constitutes a video view? Is it considered a view just when the stream is called up and served to the viewer, even though only a portion of the video is viewed? Does the entire video need to be viewed to be counted? After several years of inconsistencies, the online video industry has not yet adopted a standard definition for a view. So to get some insight on this subject I spoke with David Burch, Director of Marketing at TubeMogul, Inc. According to Burch, while the industry standard is to count a view once someone clicks play and the streams starts, there still is a lot of misconception among media buyers on constitutes a view.

Also in March, another big acquisition within the online video space was announced with Polycom's acquisition of Accordent Technologies for approximately $50 million. Polycom is well known in the enterprise video industry as a leading provider of unified communications solutions in telepresencevideoconferencing, voice and streaming products. Accordent has specialized in video capture, content management, and delivery solutions more than 1200 organizations in the enterprise, public and government sector, including 150 of Fortune 500 companies. Unlike other major companies within the space that have been on buying sprees over the last few years, this was Polycom's first acquisition since 2007. I spoke with Mike Newman, co-founder and CEO of Accordent, the day after the acquisition announcement about the synergy between the companies and how Accordent will be integrated into Polycom.

One of the Internet's best kept secrets is that the most popular and ubiquitous media players, the JW Players, were created by an unassuming Dutch internet entrepreneur named, Jeroen "JW" Wijering.  Jeroen is Chief Digital Architect of LongTail Video, and his media players have generated millions of downloads since their launch in 2005. He helped changed the face of the online video industry with his open source JW Player which can be found on tens of millions of websites. Even YouTube ran on the JW Player for the first 18 months of its existence. Jeroen is considered a rock star within the online video industry and also the subject of a new full-length documentary titled, WHO IS JW? Through interviews with his parents, colleagues, university teachers and voices from the online video space, the documentary uncovers the secrets behind the success of one of Holland’s most viewed and yet least-known export products, to answer the question, “Who is Jeroen Wijering?

In April, I celebrated a milestone with my 600th blog post. I started this blog in 2007 to join the voices of the streaming media community as a way to share my knowledge, ideas and analysis of the online video industry. This blog has helped me develop my voice and define my brand, and become my main channel of conversation. But more than anything it's helped me connect with so many amazing people in communities all over the world.
As I approached my 600th post I thought a lot about what I should say and how best to reflect on own experiences and the massive changes within the online video, technology and social media landscape. I decided that I really to say thanks to all my friends, followers, readers, subscribers, community members, colleagues, people who I've interviewed, PR people who've kept me up to date on the latest news and really to everyone who has helped contribute, support, read my posts, comment, retweet, watch video and share something.

The online video platform market has exploded in the last few years, with dozens of new vendors offering solutions. Different platforms offer different features and target different kinds of content and customers, and with more than 100 online video platforms on the market to choose from. "An OVP provider is typically a SaaS (software as a service) solution providing end-to-end tools to manage, publish and measure online video content for both on-demand and live delivery. Typical components of an OVP provider include video hosting, encoding, custom players, syndication, analytics, as well as interactivity and monetization through a variety of online advertising options typically 3rd-party ad-servers/networks. Most OVPPs offer scalable product packages for both self-serve SMB publishers up to large media companies." (from VidCompare)

I posted a series of videos from the 2010 Online Video Platform Summit, that I co-chaired with Eric Schumacher-Rasmussen which was designed for video publishers of all types and sizes, whether small businesses looking to publish content for the first time, independent entertainment content creators, large media organizations, or anywhere in between. How to Choose the Right Online Video Platform for Your Business features a panel of online video platform users comprised of a cross-section of independent entertainers, business, and education who discussed their decision-making process and the features they looked for to help them advance their goals speak and best fit their needs.

But What About the Content? Curation, Aggregation, and Creation examines the growing field of video curation and aggregation services, as well as offer pointers for getting your own content made quickly and inexpensively. According to panelist Steve Rosenbaum, an evangelist on the power of curation who recently released his new book, "Curation Nation: How to Win in a World Where Consumers are Creators", we are drowning in data and curation is the only way to remain competitive in the future. Rosenbaum says that information overload has led to publishers to shift from being an authority, to curating a conversation.

You can have the most compelling content in the world, but if people aren't aware of it and can't find it easily, it won't make any difference. From search engine optimization to social media marketing, there are myriad strategies for getting your content in front of as many people as possible. If You Publish It, Will They Come?, assembled some of the brightest minds in online video search and discovery, social media optimization and entertainment to examine the art and science of getting your videos seen.

Businesses that sell product online can benefit greatly with an online video marketing plan. Studies show that video is more effective than any other medium for building brand recognition and generating sales. New Strategies for Marketing and E-Commerce was moderated by Justin Foster, Founder of the non-profit Video Commerce Consortium, who was joined by a panel of retailers that are each using their own innovative strategy with video and social media to create brand awareness and loyalty, and to increase sales conversion rates.

Delivering Content to Mobile Devices features three industry experts in the field of mobile video delivery who discuss why you need to care about things like HTML5, Adobe Flash Mobile, and other video format-and standards-related topics, as well as provide an overview of how online video platforms can help you publish once and deliver everywhere. Online Video by the Numbers: Analytics, Reporting, and Metrics features an all-star panel of experts that examines what is the important data you should be collecting and how to use that data to improve the effectiveness of your video and increase your ROI.

The Online Video Platform Showcase: STREAMOTOR by IMAVEX, KickApps features presentations by Ron Yekutiel, Chairman, CEO of Kaltura, Kevin Yahl, President of ClickstreamTV, AJ McGowan, CTO of Unicorn Media, and Edgardo Nazario, VP of Products for Video Platform Solutions of Limelight Networks. While each of these providers have similar offerings, they all differentiate themselves by their video publishing platforms, analytics and monetization features, scalability, integration, pricing, strategy and market presence.

Finally, Brightcove CEO Jeremy Allaire, presented his Keynote: The New Video Landscape: Multi-platform Distribution, Monetization, and Fragmentation, which he discussed the broad themes involved in the complex and fragmented landscape for online video publishing, and the strategies organizations need to have in place to achieve success with their video initiatives. Eric Schumacher-Rasmussen provided a great summary of Allaire's keynote in his post, Brightcove: “Everyone is an Online Video Publisher” on, which highlights Allaire's view of the changing face of video and content monetization, as more and more publishers look to expand their video initiatives to all three screens.

Sometimes products come along that just simply hit the mark. Whether it's based on filling a business or consumer need, or for its ease of use, innovative simplicity or aesthetic quality, these products have helped shape that industry. They've also spawned competition within its market which has given us more choices and better products. But that particular product, while it may not be the first, will be remembered as the one that defines that market space.

Such can be said for Flip Video camera, that met its unfortunate demise in April 2011 – which I covered on

Just as Cisco surprised everyone with it's $590 million purchase of Pure Digital, the makers of the world's most popular pocket video camera, just 2 years earlier – the networking giant stunned the masses with its announcement, that as part of its consumer business restructuring plan, it would be shutting down the Flip Video business unit and kill the popular consumer device and 500 Cisco employees unfortunately would also be trimmed from their ranks.

The announcement was met with mixed feelings throughout the Internet, with many eulogizing the consumer device that revolutionized the camcorder industry and became an easy to use tool for online video publishing. Many have pointed out that the rise of HD recording capabilities in the iPhone 4 and the Droid have eroded then Flip's market share and triggered its decline. One the big drawbacks of the Flip has been the inability to capture good quality sound. The lack of a microphone input jack really limited it to being more of a "one trick pony" consumer device unlike its competitor Kodak's Zi8 which includes a mic input jack, 1080p recording and HDMI connections.

But the Flip challenged the industry and pushed smart phone makers like Apple, Samsung, HTC and others to make devices with HD video recording capability which many have said was part of its decline. That may be true to some degree, but it really comes down to the fact that Cisco failed at the consumer market because at its core it's really a B2B company and not a B2C company. More evidence of Cisco's retreat from the consumer market came earlier this week when it quietly pulled the plug on its consumer home Telepresence system, Umi.

Editor's note: This ends Part 2 of Online Video in 2011: A Look Back. Stay tuned for Part 3.