Video Way to Go, Here to Stay July 11, 2009Posted by Joanne KY Teoh in Civic Media, News, Social Media, Trends, Web Video, YouTube.
Online video is unstoppable and breaking barriers between TV and the Web. 14.3 billion videos were watched online in Dec 2008 in the United States alone, according to ComScore. Google is by far the most popular destination for video, with a 43 percent share of the US market in January.
Video is here not just to stay, but moving images have become a commodity on the Web, especially for news sites. Video exhibits classic long-tail distribution. While YouTube remains dominant, video is rapidly moving from destination sites to the rest of the web, with millions of sites streaming video as the new mode of communication.
The conversation is shifting from the technological to the value aspects: not how to build a player or convert between formats but, how to foster audience engagement and monetize on these billions of streams.
The bottom line is, if you are a publisher, a developer, a creative shop, a content owner or a media company, should you join the open source video bandwagon, and start driving more value today? Open source proponents say it is the key to creating a robust, innovative new online video market, rather than influence an old market.
Much is happening around open source video today. Open-source video companies and project have banded together to form the Open Video Alliance to show that open source can not only innovate, but also surpass proprietary software and standards in innovation.
Members include Kaltura, a pioneer in the area of open source video, Participatory Culture Foundation (creators of the popular Miro software), Wikipedia, the Mozilla Foundation, and 20 other organizations.
The OVA is centered on raising awareness and developing standards that promote open source video and coordinate members’ activities. Other initiatives in the market include Akamai’s as well as several other open source video player and transcoder projects.
Open-source video lets individual developers focus on their respective core competencies, while customers get lower costs and reduced lock-in. It may be a viable, free-market alternative to how the monopolistic media industry has traditionally formed: one big vendor corners the market, and the rest of us spend decades trying to get out of its grip.
For anyone who is part of the video universe, the key question that remains open is what drives value in this brave new world. How can publishers, advertisers, and technology enablers make money in a world in which delivery is commoditized, display opportunities are abundant (driving CPMs for video advertising down), and audiences expect to get everything for free? The short answer, I believe, is to focus on innovation–of formats, user experiences, content, or delivery.
And here is where open-source video enters the picture: It is a development methodology and distribution strategy that allows each company in the ecosystem to focus on what it does best, instead of replicating the efforts of others. Open-source video…is being adopted at every level of the ecosystem by industry leaders such as Akamai, Mozilla, and Wikipedia.
Its premise is simple: Video is too important of a medium to be controlled by a single player. By espousing the principles of openness at all levels, including formats, technology, and content, and by collaborating in the development process, video can enjoy the force multipliers that we have seen in other areas of open-source software. The result is a better user experience, a reduction in the total cost of ownership, and a focus on innovative value-driven results.
Dr Shay David
Co-founder and Chief Technology Officer of Kaltura, an open-source video company.
On a related note, the BBC Two has launched a collaborative documentary series, Digital Revolution, which uses open source to produce the content.
We don’t want this to be one medium reflecting on another from a safe distance. We want to bridge the gap. So we have decided to adopt a radical, open-source approach to the production process. We don’t just want to observe bloggers from on high; we want to blog ourselves and get feedback and comment on our ideas.
Series Producer, Digital Revolution
Watch Tim Berners-Lee’s keynote speech at the launch of Digital Revolution, an open and collaborative BBC documentary on the way the web is changing our lives.
The concept of a [TV] channel is going to be obsolete on the internet – it’s not relevant…
When you use the Internet it is important that the medium should not be set up with constraints. The Internet should be like a blank piece of paper. Just as governments and companies cannot police what people write or draw on that sheet of paper so they should not be restricted from putting the web to their own uses. The canvas should be blank. While governments do need some powers to police unacceptable uses of the web; limits should be placed on these powers.
Inventer of the World Wide Web