Saturday, November 8, 2008

Video Platform companies - is it a crowded field?

Over the past few years, we have seen a proliferation in video platform companies - these are your traditional platform plays allowing other companies to create derivatives. As video has grown in popularity, every publisher wants to show video, however the expertise around creating a rich video experience is now getting more complex than simply displaying a player and its playlist.

Do we have too many companies addressing the similar needs with minimal differentiation? Is it too crowded?

  1. Summary of the key players in the market today -

    the Platform. Target segment: white label publishers, premium publisher. Value proposition: ingest video and manage metadata. Tie-up with ad networks and player vendors for an end to end offering. Owned by Comcast. Metrics (month): 65M streams and 10 M UUs.

  2. Brightcove. Target segment: white label publisher, premium and mid market (torso) publishers. Value proposition: ability to customize player, great toolset for publisher, open APIs for customization, tie up with ad networks. Private with around $90M funding. Metrics(month) : 31M streams per month, 10M UUs. Customers: Showtime, WSJ, and AOL.

  3. Move network. Target segment: white label publishers, premium and mid-market publishers. Value proposition: high end streaming needs - HD. Customers: ABC, Discovery, Fox, CW.

  4. YouTube. Target segment: tail publishers. Value proposition: get your video on YouTube. Value proposition: access YouTube audience.

  5. Ooyala. Very similar to Brightcove.

And there are new players in the market - Kaltura, Fliqz, Marcellus. As you'll note, there is not much of a differentiation between the players. Few of them are beginning to differentiate on price vs. value - a dangerous strategy leading to price wars.

What would be ideal is that they bring out a value proposition for their target customer semgent and focus on it. Too many of them are simply creating "me-too" products. I predict an industry shake-down in the next year or so, the five players listed above should make it out all right, the rest will face a very tough climate.

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