Tuesday, January 2, 2007


Tuesday, December 05, 2006

WEB 2.0 VIDEO: Nov. 8 iBreakfast Moderated by Lydia Loizides, Interpublic Group

The Nov. iBreakfast captured the rich, emerging field of Web 2.0 video. What makes this different from Streaming of old, is that it has taken on a whole new dimension of user interactivity. This varies by vendor but clearly, the success of YouTube, has informed every company, whether they were aiming at consumers or business: the user or viewer is part of the equation. Vidavee cofounder, Tom Gilley, who began as an early Apple employee and among the creators of QuickTime, noted that YouTube taught everyone that using open source tools, hiding complexity and enabling all video sources to be uploaded and be viewed, was critical. That, and spending a fortune in bandwidth with no remuneration until the lucky moment when a company like Google acquires you.

Most video companies have a different view, vidavee, wants to offer, technically, what YouTube offers but for the purposes of business and corporations distributing their content either on their sites, syndicating them to their partners adding to. Typically, customers pay and both companies share ad revenue - the system even helps determine where best to place the ads.

Whiteblox and Bright Cover offer much the same thing although Bright Cove, with the pedigree of Jeremy Allaire of ColdFusion and Flash fame, has had a lot of attention. They offer a free or paid service, depending on who wants to own the revenue and control the flow of ads. Whiteblox is only about being paid but it offers various social features like chat. BrightCove, which was predicated on the idea that it could make anyone or any company a video broadcaster never quite got the idea of user uploading junk and then aggregating a huge audience. But they are now working on that. PalTalk is all about videochat. With several million users, CEO Joel Smernoff site has quietly become a meeting place for viewers who just chatter and stare. But the system is well hosted, self-policing and quite viable. A good example of the "Wisdom of crowds" ethos not merely to rate but to keep the site clean.

The Wow factor of the iBreakfast probably went to Montionbox.com, which wants to be a better YouTube as well as useful corporate delivery mechanism of video. The rave factor is that the co-founder, Douglas Warshaw is both a former TV talent exec, as well as a hands-on Avid editor, who figured that people want to edit intuitively and just get out the highlights. Same for the viewer. So their tools enable uploaders to simply highlight what they like in their under 100MB video clips and the systems expertly complies them into a succint video: no time code, not cuts and cueing up and so on.

Based on the enthusiasm for this event it is clear that the standard website of tomorrow will have plenty of video for all kinds of things, customer service, explaining products and even taking feedback. Whether this eclipses TV, as we know (unlikely) or expands it in whole other way (more likely) is the subject of our upcoming Web 2.0 NY Conference in February.

1. Web 2.0 Cocktail [now iEvenings]. Upwards of 600 execs from Digital Media, TV, Web Development and VC companies visited with us and our Web 2.0 companies at the Time Warner Center. Culture Catch, Gen-9, MyTriggers, HappyHours, LiveTechnology, zRecord, SCI2 and Urban Prestige were some of the featured companies.

2. Local Ad World 300 execs witnessed the emergence of a new wave of billion dollar companies as keynoter, Nick Grouf of Spot Runner, followed the event by announcing a $40 million investment from the WPP Group.Why the Buzz? Local advertising generates 10 times more than national advertising, says Live Technology CEO, Wayne Reuvers, which bills itself as a corporate version of Spot Runner with over 50 blue chip clients.Thanks to a new wave of technology which makes it easy to aggregate, manage and micro-advertise, this estimated $600 billion market is opening wide and Madison Ave. may never be the same again.One notable sign at the event, more VCs per square inch than any ad conference....ever (we think). Expect to see this conference in multiple cities soon!

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