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A Decade of StreamingMedia.com

"Globix was very pleased and impressed with the quality and quantity of business that was generated as of a result of showcasing our services at the Streaming Media West show," said Dan Rayburn, Worldwide Product Manager of Streaming Media, Globix Corporation [an early content delivery network —Ed.].

For the first Readers’ Choice Awards (then called the People’s Choice Awards), almost 50 companies—including Amazon, ABC.com, and On24—were selected by StreamingMedia.com during an initial 3-week online nomination. Criteria used included user-friendliness, interesting and informative content, interactive content, visually appealing design, and overall experience.

"We feel it’s time to acknowledge the enormously talented people in this field who will no doubt continue to make their place in Internet history," said Jeff Morris, president and CEO of Yack.com, in a press release about the awards. "I know this event will build in popularity and importance as streaming media and broadband technologies continue to make inroads in the content delivery arena."

"With broadband streaming rapidly becoming a reality, content creators are increasingly challenged to differentiate their offerings. The Streaming Media People’s Choice Awards are given by viewers to content pioneers who are truly breaking down barriers in this new interactive medium," said Richard Bowsher, CEO, First Conferences, Inc.

The Middle Ages
The news hit just before Streaming Media East 2000, held at the New York Hilton in June 2000: First Conferences was looking to sell off the ultra-hot Streaming Media show. However, one of the things that First had to do to hit the strategic sale number was to show continued growth, which was difficult given the ramp rate in attendee numbers at the Streaming Media West 1999 show.

But First was able to make it happen, putting on a Streaming Media East 2000 show that was so cramped it took several minutes to move down a single aisle in the multifloor exhibit hall at the New York Hilton, the same location that Streaming Media East is now held.

Penton Media’s leadership was suitably impressed and completed the acquisition of the Streaming Media property in November 2000, having the money to purchase the Streaming Media brand based upon dropping out of the Miller Freeman USA purchase competition. An article from that era spells out the sales criteria:

Gaining entry into what is now a red-hot area of technology, Penton Media recently bought Streaming Media Inc. from U.K.-based media company First Conferences for $100 million. As part of the deal, a cash payment of $65 million will be made upfront and—contingent upon Streaming Media attaining its revenue and EBITDA growth goals in 2001—an additional $35 million will follow.

Penton will own Streaming Media East, Streaming Media West, and Streaming Media Europe trade shows; the StreamingMedia.com Web site; and two Streaming Media newsletters. The acquisition also includes Streaming Media Magazine, which is set to launch in December. A fourth trade show the company plans to debut in Hong Kong in 2001 has been tossed into the package, as well.

That "as well" never materialized, as First hadn’t officially launched the Hong Kong show, and cracks immediately began to appear in the Penton model. One of the first shows I attended after the change in ownership was the Streaming Media Europe 2001 show in Berlin. As a strong advocate for putting the Streaming Media Europe show in Europe—not in the U.K. as it had been before the Berlin event—I attended to see how the European crowd took to the show. Response was good—great, in fact—but Penton decided the show should be integrated into the Internet World show. Integrated, though, would be too strong a word, as the Messe Berlin space was quite large, and Internet World attendees who wanted to go to Streaming Media conference sessions or show floor exhibits were required to ride a bus to the back of the Messe grounds or walk about a quarter mile. To put it in perspective for those of you who have attended trade shows in Las Vegas, it would be like going from the lower South Hall to the far corner of the North Hall, with no exhibits in between. It was almost like the integration of Streaming Media into the Penton fold was given as much thought as an illegitimate child.

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