The 2020 Streaming Media 50: The 50 Companies That Matter Most in Online Video
Welcome to the 2020 Streaming Media 50, our annual list of the most important, most innovative, and most interesting companies in the online video space. It’s the third year we’ve capped the list at 50 companies, because as the online video industry continues to grow, it’s more important than ever that this annual list highlights both the veterans whose staying power remains strong and the startups that we think have what it takes to stick around for the long haul.
Before we get to the list, a few qualifiers: As usual, we’re focusing almost exclusively on technology vendors, rather than content companies. This list has always been about recognizing the companies that enable video services to deliver great content to consumers reliably at the highest possible quality on every device and hopefully to make money from it.
Once again, this year, we took the video production segment of the market, the one covered by Streaming Media Producer, and gave that its own list. We published the 2020 Streaming Producer 25 in the April/May issue.
Also, the Streaming Media 50 focuses exclusively on companies with headquarters in North America. Later this year, we will publish a similar list, the Streaming Media Europe 101, focusing on companies with headquarters
So how do we arrive at the list? We ask our regular contributors to look at a master list of all of the vendors in the online video marketplace and rank them on a scale of one (doesn’t belong in the Streaming Media 50 at all) to five (no list of the most important companies would be complete without it). The top 50 make the list. Simple, right? Our Streaming Media judges might disagree.
Without further ado, here’s the 2020 Streaming Media 50. Congratulations to all.
TOM LEIGHTON, CO-FOUNDER AND CEO
It’s the original content delivery network, and you could make the argument that it’s the original edge network. And even if video has become table stakes while the company has emphasized its focus on security and business continuity, its stable of engineers continues to push the envelope when it comes to advances in video delivery.
JEFF BEZOS, PRESIDENT, CEO, AND CHAIRMAN
When you think cloud video, you likely think AWS. And when you think encoding and transcoding, AWS Elemental is surely one of the first companies that comes to mind. And AWS Elemental keeps making state-of-the-art hardware too, including the new Link, a remote-control device for real-time video transport.
TIM COOK, CEO
It’s a good thing we’re not focusing on content, because while AppleTV+ hasn’t exactly been a failure, it hasn’t shaken up the OTT universe. And although it’s been a while since Apple has introduced a consumer device that’s blown anybody’s minds, behind the scenes, the company is still one of the biggest drivers of change in the streaming industry. But on the tech side, where Apple leads, other follow, even if they’re not always happy about it. When Apple introduces something like Low-Latency HLS, content companies and other tech providers have no choice but to start using it.
SHARON CARMEL, FOUNDER AND CEO
Beamr is a perfect example of a company that follows Wayne Gretzky’s famous maxim, “Skate where the puck is going, not where it has been.” As one of the earliest encoding companies to embrace HEVC, Beamr got out ahead of the game and continues to innovate with big-name customers like Netflix.
STEFAN LEDERER, CO-FOUNDER AND CEO
Since its founding in Austria in 2012, Bitmovin has expanded geographically—moving its headquarters to the U.S.—and technologically—moving from a clear focus on encoding to providing player and analytics products as well. Along the way, it’s garnered high-profile customers like fuboTV, the BBC, and iflix.
JEFF RAY, CEO
After a bit of a bumpy first half of 2019 with its acquisition and integration of Ooyala, Brightcove roared into 2020 recharged, refocused, and rejuvenated. The OG OVP is now one of the few online video platforms left standing, and it remains the market leader, with an emphasis on monetization, marketing, and enterprise communications.
CHRISTOPHER LEVY, FOUNDER AND CEO
Speaking of OGs, BuyDRM has been providing digital rights management since around the turn of the century. In 2019, the company delivered more than 10 billion DRM licenses, and in 2020, it revealed that it’s a central partner in the Oscars voting screening platform. You can’t get much more
secure than that.
JEFF STOREY, PRESIDENT AND CEO
CenturyLink and Level 3 Communications (which the former acquired 3 years ago) form a telco-CDN powerhouse, but it’s still the company’s Vyvx Cloud Connect—which connects studios and venues to Amazon Web Services and Google Cloud—that brings it back to the Streaming Media 50 year after year.
KEN KLAER, EVP
No major company is doing more to advance the quality, reliability, and effectiveness of online video advertising and bridge the gap between broadcast and digital. Its comprehensive CTSuite is a soup-to-nuts collection of digital entertainment services for advertisers, broadcasters, OTT services, MVPDs, and operators, and its list of technology and channel partners is a who’s who of streaming luminaries.
BILL DEMAS, CEO
With its proprietary sensor technology, which is currently embedded in 3 billion streaming video applications and analyzing 1.5 trillion transactions daily, Conviva offers more data-driven insight into the state of streaming video than anyone else. Its quarterly “State of Streaming” reports are required reading for anyone who wants to better understand what’s going on in the networks, especially when it comes to video advertising.
STEPHANE ROULLAND, CEO
DaCast’s customer roster might not boast the biggest names in the business (although eBay and The Weather Channel are nothing to sneeze at), but it’s precisely the company’s commitment to small and medium business that has made it a Streaming Media 50 mainstay.
RICH MAVROGEANES, PRESIDENT AND CEO
Started in 2008 by Rich Mavrogeanes, one of the earliest streaming video innovators, DiscoverVideo is the little engine that could, with hardware, software, and a video management platform (DEVOS) that serve the education, corporate, healthcare, and government markets.
KEVIN J. YEAMAN, PRESIDENT AND CEO
Dolby is the David Bowie of streaming tech companies, focusing equally on sound and vision. Dolby Vision offers state-of-the-art High Dynamic Range, while Dolby Atmos offers immersive sonics no matter what device you’re viewing and listening on. And don’t forget its Hybrik cloud media processing division.
LASZLO ZOLTAN, FOUNDER AND CEO
DVEO doesn’t waste money on flashy marketing campaigns. (Those Hawaiian shirts they wear to trade shows—remember trade shows?—can’t cost that much.) Instead, they sink all of their investment into cutting-edge, robust streaming hardware for encoding, backhaul, streaming, and more.
GREGGORY HEIL, FOUNDER AND CEO
The very first cloud encoding and transcoding service is still a market leader. Its customers, such as Time Warner, UFC, and Discovery, and its wide range of services, features, and partner integration will likely keep it there for a long, long time.
DAVID EISENBACHER, CO-FOUNDER AND CEO
EZDRM’s goal with its DRM as a Service is to make the DRM process easier. It covers all the bases—DASH/CENC, PlayReady, Widevine, and FairPlay—on their own or in a multi-DRM solution called Universal DRM.
ARTUR BERGMAN, FOUNDER, CHIEF ARCHITECT,
AND EXECUTIVE CHAIRPERSON
No CDN has done more to advance the cause of edge computing than Fastly. Combine that with great customer service and a unique approach to data insights, and you’ve got a (relatively) small CDN player with big, big upsides.
ANDRÉ CHRISTENSEN, CEO
A first-time entrant to the Streaming Media 50, Firstlight Media bought Quickplay earlier this year; bolstered its executive team with veterans from Disney, Comcast, and NeuLion; and is pushing the boundaries of OTT personalization and time to market.
SUNDAR PICHAI, CEO
Google has its fingers in almost as many segments of the streaming world as does Amazon, and a few that Amazon doesn’t—namely, user-generated content (via YouTube) and advertising. And now it’s pushing Google Meet as a better alternative to Zoom.
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Companies and Suppliers Mentioned