Online Video, the TV Everywhere Buzzword & Where It’s Going

Online video continues its seemingly never ending expansion. Now, it’s everywhere.

According to the latest NielsenWire report:

The number of unique viewers of online video increased 5.2% year-over-year according to The Nielsen Company, from 137.4 million unique viewers in January 2009 to 142.7 million in January 2010.

Among the top Web brands ranked by unique viewers in January, Disney Online was the fastest growing month-over-month, increasing 23.3%.

As I discussed in the Tuesday, 2/16 edition of TheTVNews.tv (my New Media / New Marketing segment is at about 2:42), amongst the TV industry, the term “TV Everywhere” is starting to achieve such high visibility that it’s almost confusing. As you probably know, Comcast has attempted to own the term as a brand; but TV Everywhere really stands for much more.

I realized that this issue needed to be addressed when I saw it achieve TLA status. In case you don’t know the joke, TLA stands for three-letter acronym, and TV Everywhere is starting to be used so commonly that it’s starting to be referred to as TVE. Brightcove (see below) even has a product called TVE-SP or the TV Everywhere Solution Pack.

But before I say a few words about why I think Brightcove may be useful to some of you, I just have to say that TV Everywhere is becoming another “buzzword du jour.” So, be careful how you use it.

In the same way that terms  like “multimedia” and “digital video” in earlier eras were used as catch phrases that covered too much broad ground to be entirely useful, TV Everywhere is a similarly vague term. Bottom line, TV Everywhere refers to any video content creator’s attempt to publish its video content online, i.e. via the Internet, in addition to publishing said content via more traditional broadcasting and/or cable and/or DVD channels.

That said, we are seeing more and more of this kind of approach and this winter’s two premiere sporting events—the Winter Olympics via NBC and NCAA basketball’s “March Madness” via CBS—provide vivid illustrations of the online video / TV Everywhere trend, but with notable differences.

PaidContent.org’s Staci D. Kramer provides an excellent overview, dare I say “high level perspective” with her post, Vancouver 2010: Watching The ‘TV Everywhere’ Olympics From 30,000 Feet. Of course, video on the Internet also now means video on laptops on airplanes thanks to in-flight wi-fi. More importantly, it’s interesting to note NBC’s huge jumps of 350% in unique viewers and 700% in video streams since they put video of the 2006 Torino Winter Olympics on the web.

March Madness is even bigger in terms of unique visitors, and I like CBSSports.com‘s more open approach better. Unlike NBC who is keeping all the video on one site, NBCOlympics.com, CBS and their “March Madness On-Demand” (MMOD) plays nice with the other web video kids by sharing its valuable video in a web-friendly way. Their approach is illuminated in this interview by Light Reading Cable with CBSSports.com’s Senior VP and General Manager, Jason Kint. Kint explains that CBS lets the likes of ESPN and YouTube link to it’s content. This not only spreads the wealth of this content and creates good will and increased visibility for CBS as “media host,” but it is also more progressive and aligned with what makes “the web go round” i.e. sharing content is good and ultimately better for media consumers. (That’s us!)

By way of additional perspective, I brought up Brightcove.com earlier for two reasons. First, because I value to views of Brightcove’s CEO, Jeremy Allaire. Mr. Allaire has been a web innovator since day 1, most notably leading the team at Macromedia that made the Flash platform that has become something of a web video standard today. If you want more perspective on TV Everywhere, I highly recommend Allaire’s Predictions for Online Video in 2010 (via AllThingsD.com) as well as TechCrunch’s coverage of Brightcove Wants To Take “TV Everywhere” Beyond Your Cable Company’s Video Website.

Secondly, for small enterprises and sole proprietors of all kinds, I recommend a YouTube channel as the fastest, easiest and least expensive way to aggregate your video clips (a.k.a. your content). But, for larger organizations and particularly TV industry folk like producers, cable networks and others who own their content, more sophisticated ways to publish it on the web is necessary. Online video publishers, for example need a feature set that includes the ability to embed your own advertising sales as well as other features. In this case, an online software platform like Brightcove delivers. Make sense?

Then, with the publishing platform in place, program distributors can get down to creating impactful social media marketing support and multi-screen cross-promotion for their programs. And, that’s just for openers.

In other words, the fun is just beginning. TV Everywhere is now and always. So if you are a significant creator of video content you better get with the TVE program ASAP.

Also, by way of reference, I’d like to share the following Brightcove promotional video. It’s just an FYI, and not because I was paid to post it… although I wouldn’t mind 😉

I hope this is useful, and as always, I look forward to your comments, feedback and suggestions. Thanks for reading.

3 replies
  1. O'Malley
    O'Malley says:

    So I just got the TV Everywhere from DISH Network (my employer) and wanted to get on the web and see what everyone thought. I have the 722 receiver and purchased the Sling Adapter, downloaded the app and now my train ride to work is much more enjoyable.

    Reply

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