Thursday, July 26, 2007

Next-steps for Video: The Consumer’s in Charge!

Summary information from Day 2: CONNECTIONS™ May 2007, hosted in Santa Clara, CA

The role of video providers is evolving rapidly. This panel discusses emerging technologies and business models for video delivery through a variety of networks.

Mary Coller Albert, CMO, Movielink, Inc.
Mark Bowles, VP, Business Development and Corporate Marketing, Staccato Communications
Patrick Harr, President, Streamload
Keith Kocho, Founder, ExtendMedia, Inc.
Ed Lee, Vice President of Business Development, Akimbo
Jim Taylor, Chief of DVD Technology and General Manager, Advanced Technology Group, Sonic Solutions
Moderator: Kurt Scherf, Vice President, Principal Analyst, Parks Associates

Summary of this session:
Hollywood studios, television networks, and aggregators of user-generated video content have made significant strides (and news) in experimenting with Web-delivered video content. Kurt Scherf discussed these trends in his opening remarks, stressing the following points:
  • The television networks have realized that the Web is a friend – and not a foe – in their efforts to build and retain primetime audiences. They have not experienced cannibalization from their regular audiences, and online content can supplement their ad revenues.
  • Download-to-burn will be a key area to watch as Hollywood considers whether to take a full-fledged leap into digital distribution. This distribution method still keeps content on tangible and copy-protected DVDs but is more efficient for retailers and the studios.
  • Parks Associates is watching key trends in this space, including convergence between Web video and social networking, mobile content as a complement to both traditional and Web video content, and the role of aggregators, including such TV-on-Internet companies as Brightcove and Joost.

The panel represented a broad spectrum of actors in the online video and value-added services space. Mary Coller Albert from Movielink discussed the continued push by the studios to embrace online distribution. Mark Bowles from Staccato Communications indicated that wireless personal-area networking solutions such as ultra-wideband will increase consumption of mobile video content. Patrick Harr at Streamload predicted that 70% of all data kept by consumers will be user-generated content, making storage an important issue. Keith Kocho from ExtendMedia indicated that the costs to deliver video over the Internet have dropped tremendously, fueling the growth of online distribution. Ed Lee at Akimbo said that they have been surprised by the lure of niche content, including anime and other culturally specific programming. Tim Hogan from Sonic Solutions stressed the importance of secure delivery of content. The panelists agreed that user interfaces will change radically as content and service providers deploy a wider array of video offerings.

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