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Futurewatch: Media & Entertainment

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As we come to the end of 2007, it’s time to reflect on the forces that shaped the internet TV industry during the last year and the trends that will define it in 2008.

Internet video surged into the mainstream in 2006 with the explosive growth of consumer video-sharing sites. The leader in the category, YouTube, became a household name, and everyone watched in awe as it was swallowed by Google for $1.65 billion.

But 2007 showed us that video isn’t just for aggregators—it’s fundamental to the web. Those 12 months saw an explosion in video publishing across a wide array of websites. Video is becoming so pervasive that if you have a web property without video, something is wrong with it.

The deep investment in online video publishing and distribution by media companies in 2007 brought a new category of online services into the limelight: internet TV platforms.

Internet TV platforms give media owners the ability to control how video is published on their own sites and syndicated across the internet. Rather than existing at a single destination, internet TV platforms underlie thousands of properties and brands creating economies of scale in technology, delivery, and distribution.

As an example, Brightcove is now helping thousands of commercial media owners deliver hundreds of millions of internet video streams to more than 120 million unique viewers every month through tens of thousands of websites. Using Brightcove, hundreds of major newspaper publishers, record labels, cable and TV networks, magazine publishers, and website owners became internet TV publishers in 2007.

2007 was the Year of the Platform. So as we walk into 2008, we have an internet video market divided into two major groups: aggregators and platforms.

Aggregators. Aggregators bring consumers together at a destination. Three big categories of aggregators are shaping the internet video landscape:
- Consumer video-sharing sites
- Commercial video portals
- Social networks

Platforms. Platforms enable website publishers and content owners to build their own online properties, syndicate video to other properties, and monetize their content. The relevant platforms for internet video break out into three major categories as well:
- Internet TV platforms
- Community platforms
- Über-Ad platforms

Before we look at how the new internet TV ecosystem that emerged in 2007 might play out in 2008, it makes sense to dive a bit more deeply into each of the six major categories that define the market.

Aggregators
All three categories of aggregators share the same core business model, which is to aggregate consumer traffic at a destination and monetize it with a variety of advertising strategies.

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