Ebaumsworld, Break.com, Then YouTube, Now What?
The online video industry has evolved from small online video companies to giant entities over the last 6 years. This growth is reflective of technological advances and the power of broadband technology. The first online video was produced in 2004 and the ability of broadband speeds to allow playing flawless flash animations engendered the online video industry. In 2005 several online video companies were started and to date the industry is thriving.
One of the most popular online video companies is Ebaumsworld. Ebaumsworld is a site where videos, flash cartoons and video games can be accessed. The site gained its popularity because it allowed users to access videos, flash animations and other media collected from all over the internet. Ebaumsworld remained at the top of the industry until new players like YouTube gained ground. Today Ebaumsworld receives about a million hits per day compared to YouTube’s one billion. The loss of Ebaumsworld market leadership is attributed to several unethical practices, involving sourcing of their content. While YouTube had a clear strategic direction and internal stability, Ebaumsworld has suffered legal battles and internal instability which negatively affected its public image. Such weaknesses came at a time when a more creative and fairly ethical YouTube was rising.
While Ebaumsworld provided content to its users, YouTube took a different approach. The inventors of YouTube ensured that the users of their site would upload, share and view videos. This was unheard of with Ebaumsworld. The approach is customer-focused, allowing anyone to upload a video and has attracted millions of users. You will find video clips from BBC, CBS and other large media companies on YouTube. Potentially offensive content is only available to registered users above 18. Currently YouTube controls about 43% of the US video market and has over 35 hours of new videos being uploaded per minute. YouTube is likely to remain the largest online video company for the time being. But to keep this spot, the company must continue to be innovative. It must also find ways of avoiding uploading copyrighted and defamatory material. It is possible that the rise of Salar Kamangar this year as the new CEO will create space for innovative ways to address some of these issues.
Generally it is expected that the industry will continue to grow, especially as broadband technology becomes more available and affordable. For any online video company to come up and face the likes of YouTube, its proprietors will have to be more creative and innovative. They will have to offer diverse information, entertainment and education in more innovative and ethical ways. They have to generate a deeper industry foresight, distinguish themselves from the rest and position to compete for opportunities. Greater online video opportunities lie ahead as the world becomes a digital village, with today’s digital natives becoming tomorrow’s investors and inventors. Expect more innovations from these digital natives over this decade. Already new online video companies are around the corner.
New companies have come on the scene of the online video business at a time when copyright and ethical issues continue to haunt the market leaders. The company comes as an aggregator of all Web 2.0 video sites to make them available to users at the lowest cost. Xyz.tv joins the industry with a unique approach that will allow its users to access virtually all videos on the net. Yes, all videos from all around the net! Xyz.tv is likely to be the next rival of YouTube over the next ten years. Let’s watch the space and see what happens next.