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2010 Editors’ Picks

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Kyte is one of (at last count) more than 50 online video platforms on the market. So what sets it apart from the rest? In a word, vision. It started out as a consumer-focused platform, but one of the few (at the time) that allowed for mobile video uploading and publishing. In the last year, it's expanded even more, putting increased resources behind the professional version of its offering, landing major broadcasters such as MTV and superstars like Lady GaGa. It's also been making a big push among nonmedia brands like HomeAway.com, providing the video for the vacation-home-listing company's "Hotel Hell" microsite, which was featured in an ad during the 2010 Super Bowl. In just the last few months, it's added wireless live broadcasting and upgraded its video management console to simplify the workflow and improve mobile and social video distribution.

Livestream LivepackLivestream Livepack
Livestream is another one of those more than 50 (or maybe the number's gone up since you read the last paragraph) online video platforms, and its strength can also be captured in a single word: focus. Live isn't all that Livestream does, but it's what it does best, whether red carpet interviews at the Oscars or even much more highly celebrated events like the Streaming Media Readers' Choice Awards. In 2009, it became the first North American reseller of LiveU's LU-30, which the company accurately describes as a "satellite truck in a backpack." Just plug in a DV camera and broadcast live H.264 at data rates up to 1Mbps over any 3G/EVDO network (or Wi-Fi or Ethernet, if you want to kick it old school). Webcasting from the field just got a whole lot easier. (To be fair, just before this issue went to press, Kyte also started reselling the LU-30 under the Livepack name. Still, props to Livestream for getting there first.)

This is the Editors' Pick that's had the biggest impact in the "real world," if by "real world" you mean 3-year-olds watching
The Wiggles on a laptop while mom and dad (that'd be me) watch Putney Swope on the big screen, both streamed over the internet. Of all the entertainment brands that are delivering their content via streaming, Netflix is doing the best job of making it accessible via as many devices as possible-PC, Roku, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and soon the Wii. NetflixWhat's more (and now we're back in the the business of online video world), it's doing it for a rock-bottom delivery cost of about 6 cents per SD movie and 9 cents per HD film, according to Dan Rayburn's calculations. That doesn't take into account licensing fees, but clearly Netflix is looking at streaming as a way to bolster its bottom line. The one negative is that the number of films and shows available for streaming is still a small percentage of those available on DVD (still, I've got 301 items in my "Watch Instantly" queue, so there's plenty to choose from). But when it comes to making "content anywhere" mainstream, Netflix is clearly the leader, and if the rumored Netflix iPhone app comes to fruition, it'll only put the company farther out front.

visiblemeasureVisible Measures Trends
If you're looking to evaluate the effectiveness of online video advertising, there's no better tool than Trends, which Visible Measures introduced in February. Trends tracks the reach of ad campaigns-as of this writing, nearly 300 of them-and lets users see the cumulative or interactive reach of those campaigns as measured by the company's True Reach metrics. It also lets you see the number of comments and ratings, as well as how many points of distribution each campaign has achieved. Campaigns are sortable by brand, agency, industry (automotive, financial services, etc.), and type of creative (the 15 categories include humor, sex appeal, market challenge, and product demo). The results are not only fascinating but actionable, letting agencies and advertisers see what's working and where.

Winnov Cbox S1Wininov
The Cbox S1 certainly isn't the only presentation capture appliance out there. In fact, it's often overshadowed by competitors with more name recognition. But it's about time it gets its due for all the power it packs into its relatively tiny form factor. Just about the size of a tall shoebox, the Cbox S1 offers all the input options needed for most applications (four composite, two S-Video, one VGA, and one DVI-I), DVI-I output, four USB ports, a FireWire port, 500GB of storage, and a DVD drive. But its ace in the hole is its text recognition capability on the RGB source, allowing it to detect slides and extract the text. It's also powerful enough that Qumu made it the hardware core of its Video Control Center. Who says big things don't come in small packages?

In early 2010, 6-year-old YuMe achieved the dream of every startup: profitability, even as it raised another $25 million in funding. It's done so by delivering more than a billion in-player video ads per month, according to comScore, on sites like MSN, Funny or Die, and FOX News. Those videos aren't just being delivered to the PC either; YuMe has led the way in mobile and set-top box advertising. It's all powered by the company's ACE video ad management platform and 14 different ad formats.

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