Don’t Be Fooled by the Digital Video Boom

We’re seeing a lot of digital entertainment startups these days, noted the New York Times in an article this weekend, but don’t expect many of them to become the next Hulu or Netflix.

“The problem is the same as in every gold rush: the gold is easier to see than to mine,” the Times quoted Lindsay Conner, a lawyer at Manatt, Phelps & Phillips who specializes in entertainment finance, as saying.

The article mentions a few recent startup announcements by name, including i-Trailers, which works with movie advertising online and on mobile devices; Diva Mobile, a cross-platform video-on-demand service; and, which offers behind-the-scenes videos from movie sets. While SulSet began as a fee site, the story notes, it ran into trouble with the Screen Actors Guild and had to offer its videos for free.

The reason for the rush of startups is that advertising revenue is returning and technological changes are making online video easier for people to access, even from mobile devices. Everyone can see that streaming high-resolution video is the next big wave for the Internet, and many smaller players are trying to craft their own angle on it, to ride that wave.

Those companies often aren’t backed by serious venture capital, however, or staffed by experienced executives. While they try to sell themselves as digital revolutionaries, many will end up as forgotten footnotes before the year is through.


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  1. This is the the apple under the crust. I have been going directly at this since 2003. The technology is still not quite there at a reasonable price point.

    There are issues with providers streaming their stuff with their own custom encode (h264 @ 3000kbps) running smoothly. Bandwidth is over taxed right now so the web needs better delivery system as a hold.
    Hardware is not allowing for 50mbps as an average, instead we average out at about 10mbps in my area.

    Mobile units need to get up to 7g speeds and allow for faster access. I mean, even the fastest phone is still too slow to smoothly and in useable time (5-10second load times or so) access a video. Mobile phones are also touting 1gh and 1.5gh processors as the cutting edge but to get to a point were video is readily accessible to mobile they need to be at 3gh processors ON AVERAGE. Otherwise they will not be able to interact with the rich media and video interfaces.

    The web is going to carry everything communication and for it to be a boom it must have better bandwidth getting to our cpu’s and to truly take over it must reach mobile users. It is a fast growing area and i am a part of it. I can easily see a 500% growth in 10years, as hardware and access improves.

    Posted by Jeff R. | July 27, 2010, 4:44 pm
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