iPlayer, Kangaroo JV, and More in 2008 Year-in-Review

Jake Ward has written a dynamite retrospective looking at the key developments across Europe in the last year; you can find it on the StreamingMediaGlobal.com site. In addition to talking about how the fortunes of the iPlayer in the U.K. offer a microcosm of the trends and challenges facing catch-up and IPTV across Europe, he also looks at the mobile landscape, particularly the troubles facing DVB-H.

The article also appears in the 2009 Streaming Media Industry Sourcebook, due out in February. For your free copy and a subscription to Streaming Media magazine, click here.

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Streaming Media Industry Sourcebook Coming in February

We got such a positive response to the inaugural issue of the European Edition of Streaming Media magazine that we’re going quarterly in 2009, beginning with the 2009 Streaming Media Industry Sourcebook, which will publish in February. It’s our biggest issue of the year, and it includes comprehensive year-in-review articles looking at the most notable developments in 2008, as well as a look forward at what’s likely to come in 2009. It also includes case studies and a slew of how-to and buyer’s guide features, including the following:

  • Choosing a Camcorder
  • Selecting the Right Nonlinear Video Editor
  • Picking a Content Delivery Provider
  • The 2009 Video Encoder Shoot-Out
  • How to Add Closed Captions to Online Video
  • How to Generate Automatic Speech Transcripts in Flash Video
  • Making Sense of the H.264 Licensing Labyrinth
  • The Live Mobile Video Landscape

Also featured are a roster of case studies from each of the major verticals: entertainment, education, enterprise, government, and advertising. You can subscribe to the magazine here, and if you’re interested in advertising, contact Sjoerd Vogt at sjoerd.vogt (at) in4m.com.

Here’s a video that gives an even better sense of what the Sourcebook is all about.

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iPlayer, Google, and Investment Talk from FutureMedia 2008

More from Streaming Media Europe Conference Development Director Katherine Allen on the FutureMedia 2008 conference held in London last week:

Social networking features, such as friends’ recommendations, will play a major part in the development of the BBC’s iPlayer, according to Anthony Rose, Controller of the BBC’s Vision and Online Media Group as he kicked off day 2 of the FutureMedia conference in London. “Last year the BBC chose what you watch; this year you decide what you watch; and next year your friends will choose what you watch” commented Rose, speaking just hours after iPlayer started simulcasting all the BBC’s channels and launched iPlayer Labs. As ever, though, iPlayer controversy wasn’t far away, as Telegraph TV’s Guy Ruddle argued forcefully that the publically-funded BBC should open up the iPlayer platform to content from other providers.

Patrick Walker, Google/You Tube’s director of video partnerships revealed that YouTube’s “click-to-buy” feature, which enables quick access to digital downloads or DVD purchase and launched in the US in October, will be rolled out in the UK in the “next few months”. The recently launched Monty Python channel has been one of the first beneficiaries, according to Walker, launching its click to buy link just last week and seeing Python DVD sales reach Amazon’s top 5.

A panel discussion on the impact of the credit crunch on digital media brought delegates back to earth, although there were seeds of hope even here. The consensus was that marketing spend would continue to migrate online. “If you’ve got to choose a media sector to be in, this is the best one, unequivocably” noted Simon Nicholls, MD of Ingenious Corporate Finance.

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FutureMedia 2008: Broadcast Facing a Perfect Storm

FutureMedia 2008 is going on in London this week (last day is Friday), and they’ve got a terrific roster of speakers from the broadcast industry who are addressing the challenges and opportunities presented by online video distribution. Streaming Media Europe Conference Development Director Katherine Allen is attending the conference, and she shares these reflections:

Broadcast entertainment is facing a “perfect storm” created by the convergence of the global economic crisis and a dramatic change in audience behaviour as consumers move online, according to  Jon Gisby, Channel 4’s Director of New Media and Technology, speaking today at the FutureMedia conference in London. In Gisby’s view, to keep pace with this change, the broadcast commissioning model must evolve to embrace true multi-platform ‘360 degree’ content. Channel 4 are putting their money where their mouth is with their digital fund 4iP, which aims to develop a new generation of talent through multi-platform projects – rather than from the starting point of TV content. Gisby declined to comment in detail on Project Kangaroo while the Competition Commission enquiry is ongoing, but did state there would be no connection between Kangaroo and the recently announced Channel 4 cutbacks.

Matt Locke, Channel 4’s Commissioning Editor expanded on the theme of multi-platform programming in an all-digital, all-the-time world. “I get very annoyed when people talk about platforms”, he commented. “I’m  commissioning editor for attention.” According to Red Bee’s Jonathan Wilson, “we have to move away from the TV versus online debate”. Instead, he argued, content owners need to evolve “from sheepdogs to sherpas”, taking on the role of trusted guide leading content consumers from one platform to another.  

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Video: Streaming Media, The View from Financiers

With the global economic crisis still on the top of everyone’s minds, it’s a good time to take a look at one of the best-attended panels from last month’s Streaming Media Europe. James Enck moderated a discussion among a panel of financiers—Alain-Gabriel Courtines from Intel Capital, Taavet Hinrikus from Ambient Sound Investments, and Frederic Court from Advent Venture Partners—about what 2009 holds in store for venture capital and merger & acquisition activity in the online video space.

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Times Online and Sky News Announce New Video Project, Will Use Brightcove

Sorry for the radio silence; been out for a couple weeks after having carpal tunnel surgery. Dan Rayburn noted some interesting news today over on his Business of Video blog: 

This morning, Sky News and Times Online announced they are teaming up to develop video content to be shared between the Times online and Skynews.com websites. Starting today, Times Online articles will include daily co-produced and co-branded videos. Sky News says the new co-produced videos will focus on two areas: business and home and foreign news. With Sky’s expertise in video production and the Times editorial staff, it is a smart use of both company’s resources.

For the new video service, I have confirmed that they will be using the Brightcove 3 platform. This is another big customer win by Brightcove who last month also won a large deal with AOL. For Brightove, they continue to lock up the UK market for online news sites with the Guardian and Telegraph already using their system and now the Times online, which does 20 million monthly unique viewers.

With so many new customer wins being announced by Brightcove, the company should see some very good revenue growth next year. And while some want to predict that Brightove will not be profitable by mid 2009, like CEO Jeremy Allaire said they would be, I’m willing to bet that Brightcove can be profitable in the next 6-8 months

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Streaming Media Europe Videos Now Available

Videos from all of the breakout sessions at this year’s Streaming Media Europe are now available here. Unfortunately, we’re not able to present videos of the keynote sessions, but if you take a look at the player, you’ll see that all 18 sessions are now online for viewing; you can also embed links to individual session videos on your own sites if you wish. I’ll be highlighting and discussing individual session videos in future posts.

Also, speaker presentations from the sessions and several of the pre-conference workshops are now available on the Streaming Media Europe programme page. If a particular presentation you’re looking for isn’t there, please let me know, and I’ll do my best to track it down.

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Streaming Media Europe by the Numbers

Thanks to everyone involved—speakers, sponsors, delegates, visitors—for making this year’s event a resounding success. We had 768 attendees, which is a whopping 54% increase over 2007; what’s more, those attendees represented 23 countries and a who’s who of prominent organisations across all market verticals. Attendees were present from the likes of Alcatel-Lucent, BT Media & Broadcast, GlaxoSmithKline, ITV, TV 2 Danmark,Télévision Suisse Romande, TV 4 Group Sweden, the University of Helsinki, and King Saud University. We also had 35 stands in the exhibit hall, which is nearly twice as many as last year. 

Soon, we’ll start planning for Streaming Media Europe 2009, so if you’ve got any comments or suggestions about how we can make next year’s show better, please note them in the comments section.

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Jet Stream Named Readers’ Choice Award Winner

One of the highlights of Streaming Media Europe was presenting the first-ever Readers’ Choice Award for Regional (European) Content Delivery Network. The finalists were Global-MIX and Stream UK, both from the UK, and Jet Stream from the Netherlands. Showing the truly pan-European nature of the show, Jet Stream was the winner for its Streamzilla content delivery service. Congrats to Stef van der Ziel and everyone else at Jet Stream.

Next year, we’ll be presenting an entire awards program specifically focusing on the European market. Watch this space and the Streaming Media Global site for details to come!


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How to Create a Customized Flash Video Player

Thanks to everyone who made last week’s Streaming Media Europe event such a success. We’ll have official numbers from the event soon, and we’ll also be posting video of all the sessions. In the meantime, we’ve got a great video for you from Adobe. They were set to present a session at Streaming Media West in San Jose, Calif., on “How to Create a Customized Flash Video Player,” but had to cancel that session. Kevin Towes from Adobe was kind enough to record that presentation and post it online—you can get it here, along with contact information for Kevin if you have any follow-up questions.

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