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Commentary: SM East 2007—More Substance, Less Hype

While the major content players are entering (or in some cases re-entering) the streaming marketplace, the small players are faring better than could be expected, thanks in no small part to the lowering of a significant barrier to entry: the cost of quality production and distribution.

A Changing Landscape
Of course, the technologies were also more rudimentary back in the early days, focusing primarily on low-latency, low-jitter delivery of videoconferencing (and a bit of collaborative computing when DataBeam introduced FarSite, which is now the Lotus Sametime product that IBM is touting as its collaborative, VoIP and streaming solution). But the real reason that Streaming Media emerged as a show on its own right was lack of interest by incumbent shows in the new upstart that was streaming. DVC and Telecon shows focused so much on videoconferencing that they weren’t paying much attention to streaming. DVC did make an attempt in 1999, changing its name to MultiMediaCom, but by then First Conferences had kicked into gear and the rest, as they say is history, as both of the other shows shut down around the early 2001 timeframe.

It’s worth noting that shows like SXSW (the tech portion, not the music portion) are the upstarts now. By placing a heavy emphasis on all forms of user-generated content, not just video, they’re beginning to reshape the landscape for events like the Streaming Media shows.

And it’s a sign of how much that landscape is changing that Streaming Media East drew attendees like John Pike, defense pundit and director of GlobalSecurity.org, who are finally looking at video as crucial to their business. "We have been looking at online video for the past 18 months, and looking hard at online video advertising for the past six months, and we think the next six months will be a critical period in this sector," Pike said. "For us, the show was a must-attend event, for both very practical hands-on buttonology, as well as top level market trends. We had been looking forward to it for months, and were quite pleased with both the panels and the exhibits."

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