Consumers have no shortage of online video sources to get up to speed on their favorite show or consume a whole series in marathon watching sessions, but many OTT video providers are now trying to differentiate themselves by offering their own original content.
With the upcoming Netflix release of the fourth season of "Arrested Development" making virtual waves across the Internet, it's worth taking a look at the increased amount of original content being produced, marketed and--in some cases--sold by online video purveyors.
Netflix provided nearly a third of downstream Internet traffic during peak usage hours in North America, according to new Sandvine figures.
Executives at some of the largest media companies weighed in on several online video topics during quarterly earnings teleconferences this week. They were asked by stock analysts about topics such as Aereo's online distribution of TV signals and Netflix's plans to be more selective about the programming it licenses.
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Netflix said it believes HBO will be its biggest long-term competitor among TV networks. HBO has bid against Netflix on many original projects and recently won long-term exclusive domestic movie rights from Universal and Fox, Netflix said.
Developing original programming was a good gamble for Netflix according to the company's first quarter earnings, which credited shows like "House of Cards" and "Arrested Development" for a subscriber growth spurt of 2.03 million customers and a subsequent share value surge of 24 percent. The streaming services company posted a net income of $3 million in the first quarter versus a loss of $5 million a year ago.
The increased presence of Internet-connected consumer electronics devices helped drive the over-the-top video market past the $8 billion revenue mark internationally in 2012, a 60 percent year-over-year growth, according to statistics compiled by ABI Research in its "OTT and Multi-screen Services Research Service."
Netflix has had enough of Microsoft's Silverlight media player and is replacing it with three HTML5 extensions--Media Source, Encrypted Media and Web Cryptography API--in an effort, it said, to smooth the video browsing experience by sublimating the need for plug-ins.
Cord-cutting is only attractive if there's lots of quality content and it's not expensive. Both of those factors could be going away soon--or at lease be substantially diminished--according to Darren Feher, CEO of Conviva, who expects that higher fees and less content will become the norm as the online video space finds its footing.