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Editor's Note: No Doubt

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When we launched the first annual Streaming Media Readers’ Choice Awards a year ago, I have to admit I had my doubts. Doubts about whether or not enough people would vote to give the awards substance. Doubts about whether or not we’d be able to separate legitimate nominees and winners from the companies that simply knew how to spin a good PR and get-out-the-vote campaign. And, most importantly, doubts that anyone beyond the winners would really care.

Oh me of little faith. More than 3,000 people voted in the 2007 awards, which is equivalent to about 15% of this magazine’s readership, so the question of "statistically significant" never even came into play. Oh, and that number is after we discarded votes that were obvious examples of ballot-box stuffing. We’ve got nothing against a company rallying its customers to vote, but when the number of votes is utterly disproportionate to a company’s known customer base, well, let’s just say this isn’t a Chicago mayoral election.

Most satisfying, though, was the turnout of more than 350 people who attended the awards reception held at the landmark Saint Claire Hotel during Streaming Media West. Many of them were genuinely thankful for the awards, not so much because of who won, but because of what the awards symbolized—a public celebration of just how far our industry has come in the past decade, and all the hard work on the part of vendors and end users alike that’s brought us to where we are today.

So, needless to say, we’re doing it again. By the time you receive this magazine, you’ll likely only have a few days to vote for your favorites in the 2008 Streaming Media Readers’ Choice Awards. The first thing you notice when you visit www.streamingmedia.com/readerschoice is that we’ve got 18 categories instead of 16 and that we’ve changed them up a bit to better reflect where our ever-changing industry is today as opposed to 12 months ago. There’s more emphasis on content this year than last as well as an acknowledgment that internet TV has really come into its own in 2008.

Here are this year’s categories:

—Content Protection/DRM Solution
—Encoding Hardware
—Encoding Software
—Global CDN
—Internet TV Platform
—Internet TV Set-Top Box
—IPTV Hardware
—Mobile Video Platform
—P2P Delivery Network
—Regional (North American) Delivery Network (non-P2P)
—Regional (UK/Europe) Delivery Network
—Reporting and Analytics
—Search and Indexing Platform
—Server Hardware/Software
—Streaming Radio Solution
—User-Generated Content Platform
—Video Advertising Network
—Video Advertising Platform
—Webcasting Platform
—Webconferencing Platform

Voting will remain open until Aug. 25, and we’ll inform the winners soon after that. Unlike last year, though, we won’t be revealing the winners publicly until the opening of the Streaming Media West show in San Jose on Sept. 23. Look for a full write-up in the October/November issue of Streaming Media magazine.

The Readers’ Choice Awards aren’t the only big announcement coming from our quarters this summer. Streaming Media is going international, with the first issue of the U.K. and Europe edition of the magazine set to publish in time for IBC in Amsterdam in early September. The issue will include an exclusive look at the content delivery market in the U.K. and Europe as well as hands-on features focusing on Flash Video, webcasting with Windows Media, and producing content for mobile devices. If you’re in the U.K. or Europe and want to subscribe, go to www.streamingmedia.com/magazine/UKEurope.asp. We’ve also expanded our editorial coverage on www.streamingmediaglobal.com.

Finally, we’re coming up on the Streaming Media Europe show to be held Oct. 15–17 in London. This year, we’ve got a blog devoted entirely to news about the show, including some stellar keynote speakers, such as Volker Glaeser, director of internet services and global head of online for Vodafone, and Claude London, digital director of BBC Worldwide and Kangaroo JV.

These are exciting times for streaming media, and for Streaming Media. Thanks for sharing them with us.

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