YouTube, Hulu, Vimeo and other online video providers have enjoyed significant success. But other OTT video players haven't been so lucky. Why, in an increasingly all-digital world, did these providers fail? Here are 10 online video companies either gone before their time, or that are struggling to keep from fading into the Internet ether.
Recent multibillion-dollar sales of multichannel networks have caught plenty of attention. However, for smaller MCNs and for individual content creators, YouTube is a challenging space to turn a profit. Enter the next generation of online distributors: companies that are providing ways for content creators to post and publicize their videos beyond YouTube.
In the wake of FCC rules that require TV programs, movies, and clips to have closed captions even in the online video space, OTT providers are scrambling to make sure their online catalogs are captioned. Can startups do it better than established caption providers?
This week, we take a look at 10 online video services that either died an untimely death, or are struggling in today's super-competitive environment. As disrupted as the online video environment is, it's easy for pundits to predict the demise of other hopefuls that are on the verge of going all-in on the OTT gold rush. You know, young upstarts like HBO.
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More online video news from across the Web:
> Yahoo's failure to make key online video acquisitions like Twitch, Maker Studios and Hulu are among the many reasons the company may soon become acquisition prey. Story
> Nick Thexton, currently VP and CTO for Cisco's Video Software Solutions Group, is leaving the manufacturer to take on the role of CTO at YouView, starting Nov. 2. Story
> Disney movies are once again available for pre-order at Amazon as the two giants are reportedly close to settling their differences. Story
> What the freak is cloud computing? Amazon Web Services posted an online video to educate the uninitiated in 3 minutes in a soothing voice. Video
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The dominance of Netflix's online streaming service came to light once again this week as the provider announced that it will be closing one of its call centers devoted to helping DVD customers, and either relocating or laying off 188 employees.
Viewers are starting to understand TV Everywhere, it appears, as usage of multiscreen options provided by pay-TV providers jumped 388 percent in the second quarter compared to the same time last year. That's according to Adobe's bi-annual Video Benchmark Report, which measures authenticated online video viewing through its customers' TV Everywhere services. FierceCable breaks down the numbers here.
Over-the-top providers are apparently taking into their own hands the growth of online video advertising, with Ooyala as the latest to acquire an advertising services platform. The provider announced this week that it had entered an agreement to buy Videoplaza, which offers premium video ad serving platforms and programmatic trading to companies in the Asia-Pacific and Europe regions. Terms of the deal weren't disclosed.
YouTube is riding high as advertisers continue to buy into its online video offering--particularly its premium Google Preferred ad category. The primarily short-form online video service's partner revenues are up 60 percent from 2012 and 2013, company executives revealed in an earnings conference call on Thursday. And as more viewers access the service through their television screens, Google is looking to invest in content that will keep viewers tuned to the big screen.
Programmatic display ads--advertising sold online using automated means, often auction-based--has seen its biggest year yet, and should pass $10 billion in 2014. But online video ads aren't yet playing a big role in that growth.
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