History, Current Trends, and Future of Online Video
The world changed several years ago, when more television shows, movies, and videos of anything you could possible think of at the tip of your fingers. Several years ago were the world’s first look at online videos in the masses. Being able to browse millions of videos online from your own home was just the start. With the launch of YouTube came the most popular places to upload, view, and talk about videos from around the world.Hulu had also caught people’s eyes and is starting to be more popular than YouTube. Online video makes it easier for anyone with a computer and internet to access some of their favorite TV shows and movies. From the start, to today, and in the future, the world can share, watch, and stay connected because of online video.
Ten years ago the world of videos online was just an idea. They were used mostly by professionals and were known for having slow connections and the equipment was bulky and very expensive. Today, anyone can go online and find thousands of different video sites and other services. The goal is to make it possible for every person on the planet to participate by making the online video process, whether it is uploading, downloading, or just viewing simple and quick. Chad Hurley, CEO and Co-Founder of YouTube believes that in ten years, online video broadcasting will be the most accessible and omnipresent form of communication out there. The tools used for video recording will steadily become smaller and more affordable to the average Joe. These new media devices will be interconnected to one another and universal creating an even greater opportunity available for people to record and share video with others around the world.
In 2009, there was a list created by Alex Castro, the CEO, and co-founder of Delve Networks. This list was a list of predictions for online video in the year of 2010.
These predictions included a record year for video content consumption, YouTube loses market share as market fragments, advertiser dollars will shift to more measurable and targeted online video, video monetization becomes a reality, on-demand video platforms gain as the economy slumps, and semantic web technologies emerge and prosper (Castro, 2008).
As of August 2009, the video content consumption has risen up to 41% more than 2008 in the United States. Users are spending more and more of their time on the computer viewing and sharing online video. Even though YouTube was predicted to lose its market share as market fragments, this online video website dominated users’ attention. The streams from their website alone were over 60 percent. Hulu came in a close second however it didn’t quite make the cut (Marshall, 2009).
Now the advertiser dollars shift to more measurable and targeted online video hasn’t really began to pick up speed yet. Advertisements, I have found, are only short 30-second commercials that can be found on websites that offer online TV shows. According to Eric Franchi from Online Video Insider the reason why is because “Big brand advertisers want scale. TV delivers it, and cheaper. It’s hard not to justify just buying more rather than investing online.” This statement points out that the supply and demand imbalance that comes with online video has been struggling. In 2009, the CPMs (cost per mile) are lower across the board, yet TV still wins out in the battle of television and online video. Now it is definitely clear that that supply/demand is growing and over time it will become the more common use for advertising (Franchi, 2009).
Monetization of video has definitely begun to grow in the past year mostly within advertisements on online videos. There are several different ways to monetize your online video. This includes overlay ads, pre-roll, mid-roll, and post-roll ads, skin ads, companion and sponsorship ads and video commerce. Overlay ads are clickable ads that appear in the video player while the video is playing. Pre-roll, mid-roll, and post-roll are advertisements that appear before, during and after a video. Skin ads appear in the video player skin. Companion and Sponsorship ads run alongside or around a video and offer visibility of the sponsor throughout the videos. Video commerce is when you use a video as a way to create an electronic transaction through links (Stern, 2007).
On-demand video platforms have exploded onto the online scene in the past year. Everywhere you look there are on-demand online video options to choose from whether it is Netflix, or Red Box. On-demand video is gaining in popularity because it is so easy to access and it is a convenience for those who don’t have transportation, or are even just too lazy to get up and make the trip to the video store. I personally think that the on-demand online video will grow even more in the future because well it’s simple, convenient, and even cheaper in the long run.
Somatic web technologies is a basically a new kind of world-wide-web. The Semantic Web would make it possible for the entire web to be treated as a master database. This new technology is still in the construction stages according to Tim Berners-Lee, the creator of the world-wide-web, and designer of the Semantic Web “The last ten years we've been building the foundation of the Semantic Web in the sense of building the data formats and building the ontology language and all the things related to them.” So basically it is a work in progress at the moment. The Semantic Web has too many benefits available for too many people to not grow and prosper (Rapoza, 2007).
Projecting the growth rates of anything online is a very difficult and quite frankly no one can “predict the future” so there really is no way of telling what the future holds for online video. However, I do know that these technologies can only move forward for here on and personally I am anxious to see where they will end up 10 years from now.
The sudden boom of online videos has changed the way we as a society obtain information and view entertainment on a daily basis. Following a great increase in uploaded home videos, pictures, and other forms of entertainment several new websites were added. Programs such as YouTube, Hulu and Tv.com have grown rapidly after a sudden increase of these “grass root” videos. Before the growth of this new idea movies were only seen in movie theatres or purchased in stores. But eventually from the convenience of your own computer, we are able to watch new released movies, TV shows, and even home videos.
Every good idea comes with an influence. Prior to the creation of YouTube, programs known as grass root videos were rapidly growing popularity amongst the internet. A grass root video is simply an ordinary citizen capturing video for social, economical, political, etc. Then they share these videos through social media, whether that is internet, email, or other devices. It was gaining a lot of attention and many people began to send home videos at first just through emails to friends. Later this trend started to grow and that’s when a few guys realized its potential for success. Former PayPal employees Chad Hurley, Steve Chin, and Jawed Karim caught on to the idea and eventually made the biggest social network domain on the internet, known as YouTube.
The hassle free video uploading web domain was added to the internet for everyday use on February 15th, 2005. Through the opening months of this site they three ran it out of a garage trying to get the number of users up. With several loans and maxed credit cards, they went to desperate measures to win over members. A promise was made that the winner of each daily contest would receive an IPod Nano delivered to their home. The rules consisted of a point system in which you could receive points for signing up, uploading videos, recommending friends and other techniques in order to build their customer base. The contest continued for two months and they delivered their promise by sending out IPods each day. The initial target audience that the creators were hoping for consisted of teenagers, college students, hobbyists, and filmmakers.
On October 9th of 2006 it was declared officially that YouTube would be purchased by Google for an amount of 1.65 billion in stock. This was the second largest deal made in history of the Google Company. After the deal was official on November 13th the company decided to keep their original employee base of 67 people. The stores original location still remains in San Bruno California. YouTube begins to expand rapidly in users proving to be one of the most popular search engines for online videos.
Another popular site that hit the internet in March of 2007 is known as Hulu. Hulu is a website that offers commercial-supported streaming video of TV shows and movies from NBC, Fox, ABC and many other networks and studios. Currently the only country that can access this program is the U.S. In order to obtain no international users the website blocks anonymous proxies and private networks. The Hulu website was announced in March 2007 with AOL, MSN, Facebook, and Yahoo! planned as “initial distribution partners.” In order to test the program out they decided to invite people to join them for a private testing, and eventually the members were allowed to fully access this programs services. On March 12, 2008 after members were allowed to invite friends, the website went for public access in America.
The company gained popularity by appearing on some Superbowl commercials and other TV ads. Some other strategies consisted of many celebrity testimonials about how they adore Hulu. Shortly after on April 30th 2009, Disney purchased 27% of the stock in the companies venture to online videos. Their next step towards becoming even more successful is to start evolving more like a business. You can expect to see some sort of charge for this program by 2010 in order for them to meet their desired profit.
Another website known as TV.com works more as an exposure website in that you can view almost any program out there. The only catch is that it is played right on their website therefore nothing can be pirated off to a DVD and sold for money. In order to have full access to all of the episodes and TV shows, one must first sign up with the website. Similar to any other thing you have ever signed up for; they want some contact information along with a few random facts to recognize you as the user. This also makes it easy to see if any users are misusing the website in any way. Tv.com is a good program for someone that wants to advertise and expose one of their shows. There are many short clips of a preview for another season of some show that appears on the home page daily. I feel that this website is a little more professional and business like, just due to the fact that not everyone can post videos on it. To where on sites such as YouTube you may find a lot of junk due to the fact of its members being able to post whatever they feel, granted that it meets the guidelines. Also one other feature that was added to this program was a forums page in which its members are able to chat with each other about videos attached to the website.
Since the beginning of Hulu several different companies have joined to air their TV shows and movies on this website. Not only does this site include shows and clips from the creators, NBC Universal and News Corp, but also USA, FX, SPEED, E!, Oxygen, Bravo, PBS, G4, Comedy Central, and others (McGuigan, 2009). Disney, which also includes ABC, joined with Hulu. After Disney joining CBS Corp is the only major TV network that has not jumped on the Hulu bandwagon. This could be because of the feud that started between the makers of Hulu and CBS that started TV.com.
“Hulu has emerged as an unexpected triumph, home to thousands of top-shelf episodes and movies (Wallenstein, 2008).” One reason why Hulu is so popular is because of the wide range of shows, movies, and clips they provide. These range from dramas, comedies, and horror all the way to documentaries and operas. The episodes that tend to catch people’s eyes are the current TV shows; however, older shows have started to show on Hulu. Classics such as “I Dream of Jeannie” and other sitcoms form the 1960’s and 1970’s are also hits on this internet site. The most popular TV shows on Hulu of all time include “Family Guy,” “The Office,” and “Saturday Night Live” and the most popular movies that are provided on Hulu include “Saints and Soldiers,” “Strictly Sexual,” and National Lampoon’s Spring Break.”
Currently, Hulu only allows five episodes of a show to be available for the popular and current shows. These five episodes would be the most recent episodes. They do this in order to not interfere as greatly with DVD sales and reruns on TV. This does help individuals who have missed an episode of a TV show to get caught back up with the happenings of the show. Also, many people who do not have cable watch TV shows on Hulu.
Like on cable TV there are advertisements while watching the show online at Hulu. There are 15 to 30 second advertisements that will play periodically during the playing of the video. Usually the advertisements during an episode tend to be for the same product and could be the same ad playing multiple times. Also, for some shows there is an option for the user to play a longer advertisement that tends to be around two minutes.
Some people questioned Hulu and felt that it was going to be a major flop; however, these people were wrong. A survey completed by Silicon Alley Insider states that in July of 2009 38 million people viewed Hulu as where only 34 million people viewed Time Warner Cable (Eaton, 2009). People could look at this in a negative way since Hulu is offered to viewers for free this is taking away from cable programming. Laura Martin, a media analyst, said, “If you give away your premium content for free, you are basically hastening your own demise, signing your own death warrant (Chmielewski, 2009).” This could be true but NBC Universal’s president of digital distribution Jean-Briac Perrette stated, “Hulu has certainly exceeded all of our expectations. We’ve come a long way from Clown Co (Chmielewski, 2009).” The future will just have to show if the makers of Hulu and the others who jumped on the Hulu bandwagon were signing their own death warrant.
The layout of Hulu and how Hulu works is another reason why there are a great amount of viewers. The layout of Hulu is simple and effective therefore it is not difficult to locate the TV shows and movies that one is looking for. As long as one has a Flash 9 or better installed then they should be able to view Hulu’s programming. One can view the thousands of videos in a pop up window, full screen, or regular screen settings. There are also several convenient settings that are not essential in the viewing of videos but makes using Hulu much smoother.
There are other sites that are not as well-known as Hulu but have wide ranges in videos. These sites include Joost, Miro, Babelgum, Veoh, and the other well-known site TV.com. These sites include peer-to-peer based sites that include videos such as home videos to movies and TV shows. Miro is a bit different than some of the other video sites in the way that the videos have to be downloaded entirely before the video can be viewed by the user. This does have a perk because the video won’t have jitter but it does require more time and is not as spontaneous as other sites.
YouTube has been a sensation for the past several years all over the world.But, what determines a good video in today’s world and what happens to all the videos that are not watched.On YouTube, almost 90% of all the videos uploaded are not viewed (Crane, 2008).This leaves just 10% of the videos on their site usable and good videos.Although, you still have three different classifications for videos that are watched on YouTube, which are junk, quality and viral (Crane, 2008).Each different classification is viewed and spread in different ways over the web.Depending on who is viewing the video also determines how the video is spread throughout the web (Lubomirsky, 2009).With people who post videos, they will leave more feedbacks and want feedback on the videos they have posted, where some just want to watch the video no questions asked (Lubomirsky, 2009).With the classifications of the videos you start with junk videos.These videos are viewed often but are not spread over social sites such as Facebook (Crane, 2008).These videos would be a sexy video or commercial that catches your eye when surfing the web.The second of these classifications is Quality.These videos get attention from viewers who are interested in the topic being viewed (Crane, 2008).Hobbyists would fall under this category, with the circulation being between hobbyists, but not outside their circle.A quality video would be a video on how to make a great chocolate soufflé.Not everyone would want to watch this video, but if you like to cook or need to learn about this topic it would appeal to you.And the third classification is viral.These videos are the fastest spread videos that are shared over many social networks (Crane, 2008).These videos would be funny videos or jaw dropping videos, which anyone can watch without any background or explanations behind the video.An example of a viral video would be something such as the Numa Numa dance, which was an Internet sensation.It wasn’t specific to anyone, but something that everyone could enjoy.
With YouTube growing daily as the top search engine on the web, the world can only watch to see what online video will evolve into. Now, more than ever, with a fast convenience online video is on the top of many people’s priority list. Online video has no place to go but up. With the popularity of Hulu skyrocketing it’s hard to imagine where the ratings will go and what the next step for online video will go.
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