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.
Online video players speaking at MIPCOM in Cannes this week made some tongue-in-cheek comments to TV industry executives. But there was a challenge within the statements by Netflix, Maker Studios, Sohu and others. The online video industry, they were saying, is no longer just an upstart disrupter. It's the king of the hill.
The writing was practically on the wall for Redbox Instant a few weeks ago. Unable to sign up new customers for more than three months after a credit card fraud issue, news outlets pointed out that the company hadn't yet come up with a fix for the problem--indicating that either its parent company Outerwall, or its joint venture partner Verizon, wasn't interested in putting the time or money into a solution.
For the past few years, YouTube has been the go-to platform for enterprises to house their online video content affordably. For many companies, it serves their needs just fine. But for media and entertainment-focused businesses, especially those that monetize some or all of that video content, YouTube is an increasingly crowded space with limited earning options.
IBC, arguably the Continent's biggest broadcasting and media conference, can be a bit dizzying. Going over notes in the wake of a five-day whirlwind of conference sessions, meetings and networking events is a somewhat herculean task. But paging through two notebooks' worth of material revealed a few underlying trends at this year's event.
If you can't beat 'em, join 'em. As we've noted recently, over-the-top providers like Hulu and Netflix are no longer stealing a march on traditional distributors. Broadcasters like CBS, cable operators, channels like A+E Networks and others are finally making multiscreen a bigger priority--as long as the technology fits within their current moneymaking model.
The streaming-device market is looking pretty saturated right now, but there are still more device announcements to come. Sony said it will debut its PlayStation TV device on Oct. 14 in North America. And Google is still working on its Android TV platform, which will run on smart TVs--it hasn't announced a release date yet. But according to analysts, neither of these products is going to shake up the streaming market.
How accessible is online video to the hearing-impaired and those who speak other languages? Thanks to developing technologies, it's getting better all the time--something we explore in today's feature on closed captioning. We take a look at some of today's closed captioning providers, including startups challenging the captioning status quo.
As predicted, this year has been a contentious one for both online video and the Internet. Aereo tested a new way to deliver broadcast content, and lost. ISPs and online video providers, meantime, struggle with meeting the demand for OTT content.