Connected devices -- which include smartphones, home entertainment consoles like the Xbox 360, and now Apple's tablet, the iPad -- are everywhere. All of the above support video, and as iTunes has shown, users will pay to download movies. The rise of connected devices, and with them the pay-for-play model, represents a challenge to traditional cable broadcasters, who are making not-particularly bold choices when it comes to "TV Everywhere"-style distribution models.
I tend to lump video viewership into traditional "offline" and "online" buckets. My rule of thumb over the years has been that the more complex the video delivery solution, the larger the audience it serves. For instance, when watching broadcast television, the video signal is transmitted via satellite transponders, turned around onto an antenna, and fed via fiber to the cable head-end: a complex and expensive process when compared to Internet delivery.
With 2010 just beginning, there are several interesting themes emerging within the media space. One is the notion of paid media models: asking users to pay for media that they currently access for free, or perhaps don't have access to at all. What started as a movement by a vocal minority of a few major media companies -- most notably, News Corp. -- is now being seriously considered by entities of all types.
In the 30-plus years that I've been covering the video marketplace, I don't think I've ever seen our industry as confused as it is now about what should, at first thought, be its simplest issue of all: how the people who create, package and distribute video programming plan to make money from it.
Quick question for all you power-marketers out there: Is Flash any good for SEO? If you answered in the negative, have I got news for you.
It seems everyone in the online media business is bullish on the prospects for online video in 2010. This enthusiasm stems from the large market size, aggressive growth, quick rebound from the recession and the large number of profitable businesses that have been created in the category. However, few folks have been willing to put a stake in the ground with their predictions for 2010.
I'm a fan of technology in general, and of CES in particular. With so many big players and so much energy on the floor, it's hard not to get swept up in all the excitement. While I was at CES this year, three trends specifically stood out for me concerning the world of digital video.
If you believe the forecasters, 2010 will be the year of the long-awaited inflection point when TV budgets begin to shift to online video in a meaningful way. In 2009, advertisers are projected to spend $699 million on online video ads, an increase of 32% from last year, "outpacing growth rates for most other emerging media platforms," according to a forecast from Brian Wieser, Global Director of Forecasting for Magna.
Last year was an exciting one for video ad nets and for video livestreaming, which both enjoyed stellar growth. In 2010, these two industries will catapault each other to a higher plane across many vertical markets, as livestreams, with their newly emerging capabilities, gain recognition.
It doesn't take many creatives to argue the short-sightedness of allowing marketer procurement departments to drive down, or discount, the value of developing big brand-building ideas. After all, what are ideas except the cultural currency that ultimately differentiates one brand from another for a marketer? The problem is, we're not the ones sitting down with these folk to remind them that ultimately, we agency folk are not only "agents" - but we are all of us fundamentally in the IDEA business.