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Wowza: 2016 Online Video Industry Predictions

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Rio Strengthens the Citizen Journalism Revolution

The 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro will be the first massive-scale, global event since participation-media apps such as Periscope hit the big time. Fans at the Games will want to share their experiences and behind-the- scenes stories and perspectives with their friends—and potentially millions of strangers—around the world.

I’m sure some are worried that citizen journalism will redirect viewers from the big broadcasters’ live streams and undermine ad revenue. In anticipation of that, the International Olympic Committee and the traditional broadcasters who hold the online video and television rights to the Games may try to stop these indie streaming-video reporters. However, strongly worded warning signs at the venues, oppressive onsite network constraints, and Internet takedown notices probably won’t discourage determined social streamers.

More likely, the IOC and savvy broadcasters will work hand-in-hand with the social media masters, pulling some of that informal content into their own programming. Rather than fighting the tides of change, they may even offer free downloads of customized streaming apps, perhaps hosting the resulting videos on their own sites or companion second- screen apps. With such an approach, everyone wins. Users generating content can point friends and followers to a broadcaster’s page to see their streams. With the streams under the broadcasters’ control, they can attract more viewers to their sites, increase official coverage of secondary stories, block truly objectionable content, curate the best streams and stories on highlight pages, and monetize the whole experience with on-site or in-stream advertising.

No matter how the details shake out, streaming video will reshape the Rio Olympics and vice versa. Rio’s time zone means popular events  will draw large crowds during both business and prime-time hours in North and South America.  Expect to see record-busting streaming numbers, from both the big players and the independent streamers.

See the rest of 2016's Executive Predictions in "Related Articles" below, or you can download the entire batch as a PDF.

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2016 Online Video Predictions: An Introduction

Leading online video industry executives share their insights into what to expect in 2016