Who is Powering the Rise of Online Video?
A confluence of technologies, evolving business models and changing consumer lifestyles are converging to propel the rise of online video and fundamentally transform TV, advertising and content delivery methods. Here are the online video ecosystem segments and companies that are giving rise to this transformation.
Network Equipment Providers
Network equipment companies provide communications service providers with the infrastructure to efficiently deliver the surging volumes of content coursing over the Internet — especially bandwidth-intensive content like online video.
Without advances in routers, switches, streaming servers and other gear, the Internet experience would be frustratingly slow and unreliable.
Transparent Caching Providers
Much like CDNs, Transparent Caching systems reduce an operator's network load but do so without the knowledge or consent of content owners and publishers. Transparent Caching helps network operators defer capital expenditures and save money, while still enabling low latency delivery of high quality online video.
See how network operators can combine CDN and Transparent Caching into a dynamic duo
Video Ad Networks
Video Ad Networks aggregate online video content — often from thousands of websites — and provide the scale and targeting capabilities that advertisers demand. They help many video content creators and distributors to more efficiently and predictably monetize their assets.
These benefits have resulted in a migration of ad dollars to online video which, in turn, enables the production of more online video content.
Over-the-Top (OTT) Content Services
OTT services bypass traditional distribution channels like cable and satellite by providing their content "over the top" of broadband networks. OTT services are the catalyst for much of the growth in online video consumption, leading some consumers to cancel their cable and satellite TV subscriptions (cord cutters) or pare back to more basic subscription packages (cord shavers).
A new wave of social video services like Vine and Instagram Video are also emerging that feature very short user-generated clips tailored for viewing on smart phones and tablets.
See a larger list of OTT providers
Video Content Discovery
The abundance of online video has made it difficult for viewers to easily find content tailored to their tastes, which has given rise to content discovery services that aggregate and curate content. These services make it easier for viewers to find relevant, engaging online video content.
Broadband Streaming Devices
Broadband-enabled streaming devices enable consumers to tether connected devices to their broadband networks and play back media files. They make it particularly easy to stream video content from PCs and tablets directly to TV sets, further fueling the rise in OTT content consumption.
See a more detailed list of broadband-enabled streaming devices
Demand-Side Platforms (DSPs) and Supply-Side Platforms (SSPs)
DSPs enable ad buyers to manage multiple ad exchanges from a single user interface and to programmatically bid on ad inventory in real time. SSPs enable publishers a secure and more automated way to make portions of their ad inventory available to ad exchanges.
These two forces are creating a more targeted, efficient way for video ad buyers and sellers to conduct business, further spurring the migration of ad dollars to online video.
Content Delivery Networks (CDNs)
CDNs reduce the load on a service provider's network by duplicating content from participating media companies, caching it on geographically distributed edge servers situated close to end users, then redirecting client requests to the closet edge servers.
Without CDNs, users would experience significant startup delays, buffering and lower picture quality.
Traditional Commercial CDNs:
Many communications service providers are building and operating their own CDNs. Because they own the last mile, operator CDNs can cache content deep in their networks and deliver it much closer to the end user, avoiding network congestion upstream. This results in faster content delivery and better video quality that closely approximates the experience that consumers have come to expect from cable and satellite TV.
See a larger list of operator CDNs
Read the 4 Keys to Telco CDN Success
Online Video Platforms (OVPs)
Online video platforms provide end-to-end tools to manage, publish and measure online video content. They usually include a breadth of features and functionality including encoding and transcoding, content management, digital rights management, content distribution and monetization, and analytics.
Without OVPs, the workflow for digital media companies and enterprises would be significantly more cumbersome and unwieldily; online video could not be quickly and efficiently published to be compatible with lots of device types.
See a larger list of online video platforms
Advances in DRM have enabled content owners and MVPDs to securely distribute online video and protect playback across devices and platforms. This increased security and level of control has, in turn, helped establish online video as a viable revenue source and led to the proliferation of business models, including digitally delivered rentals, subscriptions and downloads. This has eased the migration of video to over-the-top delivery.
Flash and HTML5 Video Players
Open source Flash and HTML5 video players provide a great alternative for businesses that may not want to use online video hosting services like YouTube or use an OVP media player. The no cost / low cost, flexibility, extensibility and customization options have allowed millions of websites — especially in the long tail — to quickly and easily publish online video.
Web TV Producers
A new wave of high quality, targeted programming specifically produced for online video is creating viable competition for attention that might otherwise go to cable and satellite TV — especially since it can be easily streamed to TV sets. This premium content also helps stoke the rise of ad networks and exchanges.
Smart Phones and Tablets
Connected devices like smart phones and tablets have introduced the concept of anytime, anywhere access to video content. This is not only convenient for users, but attractive to advertisers who can more efficiently target messages.
Cable and satellite companies have had to respond to this threat with TV Everywhere, the ability for authenticated subscribers to access programming via their connected devices.
Skytide is doing its part to transform online video too. Our analytics and reporting solutions allow network operators and digital media companies to manage and optimize online video performance.