Curated by: Luigi Canali De Rossi

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Online Video: Why 2006 Will Be The Year Of Video

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Yes, 2006 will be the year of online video.

This is what I wrote not more than a week ago here, while attempting to bring in to focus my first set of predictions on the upcoming web and new media future.

Video will indeed be a disruptive media force on the Internet, as it will further allow the entry and participation of smaller and independent players in both global and local markets.

Photo credit: Ben Goode

Online Video will affect news consumption, will change television viewing patterns and habits, and will give ways to new forms of entertainment and training.

The number of changes and transformations that video is just about to bring to the online world are too many and too significant not to be paid attention to.

So, not only I am fully confirming my belief that 2006 will be the year that video will establish itself on the Internet well beyond its present pioneering status, but I want to bring to the table a number of specific innovations that will see happening and that will definitely affect the way we use and consume video-based contents.

Those who will best understand and appreciate the key implications of the many deep changes that video is about to enable are those that, free of prejudice and past media views, will start to experiment, research and ride some of these formidable forces that are powering video media to be the most irresistible force in Web communication to rise up to wide popularity in the coming months.

  • P2P Television.


    Just like Napster and later Kazaa started the P2P music file-downloading, a bunch of new tools, most of them created in China, will give way to access most any commercial television channel out there directly from your personal computer. HBO, CNN, ESPN, Star Channels, Sky, you name it. If you want to see it you will not be needing anymore to have a TV set, a set-top-box, a decoder or anything of that nature. Downloading a small free software tool(be careful with what can come within these) and selecting the channel you want to watch is all tat you will be needing to do. Tools that already do these have been around already for a few months and they are just being tested and refined at the moment. 2006 thus looks like the year that some of these, or new entries in the same field wil provide the QoS, reliability, packaging and polish that this early pioneering tools generally lack.

  • Micro-TV.
    Micro-TVs or nano-TV stations will make their debut. These are not just podcasts or videoblogs but very small independent TV stations with their own programming. Many of these though will not adopt the outdated and inappropriate programming approach of traditional network TV, but will be offering on-going live direct from the streets reporting of news and events with mobile news reporters equipped with digital camcorders, as well as ample archives of thematic and historical recordings of their own programming to be seen at any-time and on many different devices. That's the Micro-TV future format.

  • New monetization opportunities for video-makers.
    Many, many new opportunities for independent video-makers, producers, movie entrepreneurs and anyone with the skills to well communicate with video as well for those who own access and rights to uniquely characterized video and film content archives. Publish, resell, license, re-distribute and benefit from multiple possible revenue streams: contextual advertising, clip sponsorship, subscription, direct sales of premium material, and more. The upcoming Brightcove launch will open up the eyes for many.

  • Video content sold to and among content publishers.
    Photo credit: The News Market
    Video-based content will increasingly be part of the stories, article and reviews that bloggers and other online independent publishers will use online. It will be increasingly easy and inexpensive to do so with seemingly good results and new companies, large and small, will enter the market offering themselves as clearinghouses for such based and much in-demand quality video content. In the end many mainstream publishers may be able to provide unique video news content, editorials and technical reviews to small independent publishers (I see myself buying excellent tech reviews from PC Magazine Labs) while video bloggers may be able to soon leverage some selling power to established mainstream media if their reporting and content is credible and well-produced.

  • Video mashups.
    Photo credit: Boing Boing
    New tools and online services will make it very easy to capture, edit, remix and dub much of the huge quantity of video content that will be freely accessible on the Internet. Set yourself for lots of mashups, remixes and artistic montages of all kinds of content. Beyond the initial surprise, video mashups and remakes will become by itself a new genre of communication for many, and from my viewpoint, a highly effective one applicable to many different realms.

  • Citizen-TV.
    Though some recent launches and promotion campaigns have had us believe that participatory, grassroots, citizen-television was already here, these initial experiments, while innovating on many aspects of the traditional TV paradigm have remained attached to too many traditional programming schemes and top-down vertical programming approaches are yet far from giving a good idea of what citizen-TV will be truly like. But I do think that you will not need to wait beyond 2006 to see the first examples of such new television model. How to tell genuine citizen-TV from unrealized early attempts? Look for two things:
    1) how much video content is actually "live"
    2) how much of that video content is originated by true grassroots citizen reporters.

  • The value of video archives.
    Photo credit: Pam Roth
    Selling access to commercial TV content archives, including ads, will be one of the most extraordinary discoveries that the universe of traditional television stations will finally realize. This will be a godsend for many financially troubled television groups and commercial networks. By leveraging paid or advertising supported access to their own video archives these commercial stations will be able to fund and support the deep and inevitable transformation that any TV station will need to start planning soon next to the maintenance of its traditional content programming.

  • Video search.
    Video search engines, which are already an interesting bunch, will increase in number, features and usability in 2006. The ability to search vast quantities of video-based content in effective and innovative ways will pay back handsomely those what will be able to do so.

  • Flash video.
    Flash video is just unstoppable. Adobe-Macromedia Flash technology makes it possible to embed video both within web sites as well as within custom applications such as RSS readers and aggregators as well as within customizable widgets of any kind as well as within traditional desktop applications. Flash is everywhere, and with its own set of idiosyncrasies and limitations Flash video does work. Flash technology is the most powerful enables for the adoption and distribution of video online and if you hadn't yet noticed, next year you will.

  • Home as a media hub.
    Anyone will be able to buy technology that allows them to broadcast out to their own portable media devices all of the video, television, DVD, and any Internet-based media that is accessible at home. That is: from my preferred mobile device I will be able to access any rich-media content that I would normally be able to access if I was at home. The first set of tools doing this are already out there.

  • Video integration in many applications and services.
    As I have written before video will intersect and infect existing online services and tools that have yet made little use of this technology. Explosive growth of video on the web will be connected with product reviews and demonstrations, matchmaking, real-estate, training, presentation-making, personal entertainment and many other information areas where little use of video had been done until now.

  • Screencasting.
    Screencasting, which is the ability to record screen-based demonstrations, presentations and tutorials and to offer them as online streaming videos has demonstrated to be an extremely useful application of video and one that can enable more effective results when needing to demonstrate a new software or how to use a online system. Small and large online publishers will start adopting screencasting as an effective and highly efficient video-based content delivery format.

  • Interactive Real-Time Video.
    Photo credit: Sherry Smith
    Interactive real-time video will finally show some of its amazing opportunities. Initially these will be in the area of personal entertainment and education/training. New tools will allow you to immerse your live video self within gaming environments and to interact with other objects and players in real-time. You will also be able to exercise and test physical skills, moves and steps while being provided with a training virtual partner within your same video space. Possibly hard to visualize if you haven't seen one yet, but such tools have been out there before and are now being refined by media and entertainment giants as Sony to be initially sold through home entertainment consoles.

  • Web Conferencing and Collaboration.
    Web conferencing will continue to drive further significant attention and interest to video, which thanks to Flash-video based technology will be more easily and inexpensively embedded in a greater number of videoconferencing tools and services. Video is already at the core of many of the newer conferencing and collaboration tools available out there, and those not yet integrating it will positively make significant steps to add some video-based features next year.

What do you think?

Readers' Comments    
2007-07-08 22:49:51


With 1000's of online video sites (e.g, see: ) now available covering all kinds of niche content, online video is definitely here to stay.

2006-11-13 08:32:20


Google Video Relay Service and learn where deaf utilizes video phones/conferences make calls to hearing person through video interpreters that is displayed on monitor. VI provides telephone interpreting for both deaf and hearing persons. Deaf signs to a video interpreter on computer monitor and then VI revoices sign for hearing persons..then hearing persons speak and VI translate into sign language. Cool, huh? This started in 1995 in Texas, but now is nationwide and VRS providers enjoying $27 million a month.

2005-12-24 22:43:17


Thank you Robin!

I'm living at Russia, and trying to build some kind of micro tv station....

The main problem is absense of unlimited broadband more than 1-2 mb/s.

And also, ulimeted traffic with 256 kb/s - costs enough...

But I think 2006'll year of UNLIMITED internet traffic & on-line video!

Continue doing your work man, you inspire people to do amazing things...

Thank you...

2005-12-22 20:55:50


Robin, Yes I agree that people like myself do not need the force fed, formula driven media world designed to sway our minds into buying products we really don't need or want, or change our attitudes and ways of thinking. They want freedom to express how they feel, they want to decide for themselves what is worthy and what isn't. We want to be able to influence the world around us rather then let the ones who control the media have all the influence and power. More often than not when you see commercials today they are not just about trying to sell you a product anymore, they are also trying to change your behavour and shape your attitudes. By doing this they can manipulate markets, create demand where there is none, and create wealth. If there is money to be made in people interacting on their own terms they will still have to get their tools and buy the products from the companies that own and control the media today to do it. After all we still have intellectual property rights, copy rights, and ownership. The way of the future with all this new technology alowing us to interact in these open ways looks in my opinion, to radically change this. I have an idea to make higher education available on one terabyte disc which, is do to come out within a couple of years this will mean most of your college classes you can buy on a $50. dollar cd and you can educate yourself and take the tests online for another fee of course. This will mean that information that is currently bought and sold in higher ed institutes will no longer be worth 50,000 a year for 4 years and all those professors will have to get real jobs.
What I'm trying to say is everything we buy is for the most part about entertainment - games, movies, music, cars, computers, TV shows, ect...
Do we like to buy our news? or our education as much? Do we really have to buy something to communicate our thoughts to and with the masses?
Do we now have to pay to give our thoughts to the world? Right now, the answer is yes. The internet that promised freedom of information turns out not to be true yet.

2005-12-22 08:49:12

Robin Good

Sean, I think you have a view of media and the online world that is just a projection of what you have learned over many years in traditional media. Things, audiences, hits and markets don't work the same way online. Look at the examples of blogs, at, podcasting... the disruption is not in allowing more people to become a superstar... fewer and fewer people are buying that road... what the new generations want is on-demand programming and the ability to talk back and publish what they are truly interested in firsthand.

Video does provide them this ability, while providing venues to a number of other fascinating things that are not going to compete with traditional TV and film, as they are serving totally different needs and people.

Maybe a good overview reading of the Long Tail article by Chris Anderson, could help you gain a bit more insight in why I see things so differently than you.

2005-12-21 21:44:27


I agree to a certain extent that video will become more common place and that average citizens will be able to use it as easy as they drive their cars today. But, as far as creating big studio works of art, movies, music videos, indepth news, latest information and the like, I don't agree. Why, because these are created for the most part by several individuals working as a team that have had training and schooling in the digital arts. It takes millions of dollars and still expensive equipment to make a major motion picture with top of the line computer graphics, stories and special effects which, frankly even though a PC can do alot, no one person will be able to compete with.
We are used to cutting edge graphics, perfect timing news, get it now TV that no small entity can compete with. There could be a thousand stories or articles on the same subject how you going to read them all and know which is the best and most truthful? Not possible, you have to have a filter and central point that does that for ya. What decides who has the best content today is obviously who has the most money and can sell the best advertising reaching the most ammount of viewers. And by no means is the competition fair. So I think only an occasional unique small entity ever hits it big. And these are quickly bought out by the biggest, or by one of the few competing to become the biggest. Kinda like how many new movie stars are discovered or made each year? Thousands might have the talent and skills but there is only so much room at the top.
However, on the same note holography and Nano tech will make for a faster next generation internet, new gaming opportunities, and new communication applications which, I believe will revolutionize the way we interact; and there will be new unforseen changes that could end the centralized information system we have today creating more fairness and freedom but, it wont be video by itself.

2005-12-21 15:39:00

Merrell Ligons

Robin I have to agree with you. In watching how online video has been embrased by everyone aroud me. including my 5 year old daughter who already watches video on Turbo Nick, I think online video will experience huge gains in 2006.

posted by Robin Good on Wednesday, December 21 2005, updated on Tuesday, May 5 2015

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