Nothing To Say

OK, maybe I do have a few things to say about startups and technology...

Posted at 9:53 am

2008 Feb 19

Video Inflection Points 0

There’s been a lot
happening lately in the online/offline video world in the last few months, for
example:

 

1 – The writer’s
strike
  was big news and was resolved after 100 days, but it only seemed to accelerate
the demand for alternatives, and online video content was there to
deliver. This survey shows how overall
US visits to online video sharing sites between Dec ’06 and Dec ’07 rose from
33% to 48% of total internet users, with strong increases across the age and
income demographics that advertisers desire.

 

Videodemos06to07_2

 

2 – The TV/Internet
connection is finally starting to happen, especially with digital movie/tv rentals and purchases. Last year Amazon released their service Unbox,
and then they announced a marketing partnership with Tivo so that Series 3
owners could have their Amazon purchase/rentals delivered to their Tivo/TV . Last year Apple TV  was
announced to unusually tepid (for Apple) reviews, but they just announced a software upgrade,
and now both the Amazon/Tivo and AppleTV solutions are really strong, with a
quality experience that can be driven fully from the TV and the remote. Comcast has announced a portable TV/DVR for
2009, Neflix is working on set top boxes and partnerships with LG and beyond ,
most XBOX/PS3/Wii game consoles are connected to TV’s and video capable, not to
mention Joost, Media Center/Vista equipped PCs and more – so there are LOTS of ways to
get video into the home onto the TV outside of YouTube and Cable/Satellite
providers.

 

I think the winners
will be driven by ease of use/interface, and they’ll leverage existing physical
connections to the TV and existing billing relationships. I also expect to see rentals, and
eventually ad supported free rentals, as a larger opportunity than digital
purchases, since disk space is cheap but still limited and too precious to store
infrequently watched movies. Apple’s
done a great job with iTunes movie rental portability to iTouch/iPhone/iPod
mobile devices, and I really like the best of both worlds approach from
Fox/Apple where a DVD purchase includes a free digital version for iTunes.

 

3 – In the High
Definition DVD wars, Blu-Ray won and HD-DVD is gone after knockout punches from Warner Bros, Target, Netflix and Wal-mart. Now the industry can get behind a standard
and move forward, but I think the real news is that consumers don’t seem to
care yet (except for those who already bought $1,000 HD DVD players). Now they’ll see if they can recapture the
momentum they should have had years ago, and if they can get people excited
enough to repurchase content they already own in a new format, just like they
did with CD’s and first generation DVD’s.

 

Each of these is
interesting on its own, but together they seem to be part of a larger trend and an acceleration towards the way consumers will enjoy their video in the
future.

 

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