Entertainment Device Deals Reshape the Streaming Industry Yet Again

A debate that's continued for the entire history of streaming is whether corporate or entertainment streaming will drive widespread adoption. This debate, at a level equivalent to the format wars, raged hot and heavy in the first few years, with MultiMediaCom and other "corporate" trade shows taking the stance that the enterprise would be the primary driver, while shows like the Streaming Media show moved back and forth between the camps, with a heavy emphasis on corporate, then entertainment, and now to a combination of both, one in which the lines between the two are sometimes blurred.

Like the personal computer industry, though—where the power of computing shifted from the corporation to the home, with gaming leading the way in the late 1990s and early 2000s for the home computer to outstrip the desktop machine in the enterprise—streaming video entertainment continues to gain ground both in dollars and in viewers.

Online Video Viewing Up 64% Over a Year Ago
Measurement firm comScore announced its March 2008 online video numbers recently. Video views jumped 13 percent from the previous month to a total number of views for the month of 11.5 billion, an increase of almost 64 per cent over the same time last year. Google accounted for 38 percent share of all videos viewed (4.3 billion) which was a marked increase from the previous month. Entertainment hotbed YouTube.com accounted for 98 percent of all Google videos.

Most interestingly, the average of 235 minutes of video per month per online viewer suggests either a significant dose of short clips or a rise in long-form entertainment streams, or a combination of both. To that end, then, it's not surprising that we heard several major entertainment streaming announcements over the past two weeks.

TiVo, Amazon, and NetFlix all made headlines with their various moves in the streaming or progressive downloads. Even Blockbuster made news, but for the reason that it’s latest offering doesn’t include a streaming solution.

TiVo announced a deal with Disney for the use of TiVo boxes to receive 24-hour rentals of Disney content. While these are progressive downloads (video is temporarily stored on the TiVo hard drive) it puts TiVo at a point where it now has over 30,000 titles available. Disney and Amazon puts the number of TiVo accessible titles to 30,000-plus.

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