It's time to say goodbye to 2009 and begin looking ahead to 2010.
2009 was yet another important year in the ongoing growth of broadband and mobile video. There were many exciting developments, but several stand out for me: the announcement and launches of initial TV Everywhere services, the raising of at least $470 million in new capital by video-oriented companies, YouTube's and Hulu's impressive growth to 10 billion streams/mo and 856 million streams/mo, respectively, the iPhone's impact on popularizing mobile video, the Comcast-NBCU deal, the maturing of the online video advertising model, the proliferation of Roku and other convergence devices and the growth of Netflix's Watch Instantly, just to name a few.
Looking ahead to next year, there are plenty of reasons to be optimistic about video's growth: the rollout of TV Everywhere by multiple providers, the proliferation of Android-powered smartphones and buildout of advanced mobile networks, both of which will contribute to mobile video's growth, the launch of Apple's much-rumored tablet, which could create yet another category of on-the-go content access, the introduction of new convergence devices, helping bridge video to the TV for more people, new made-for-broadband video series, which will help expand the medium's appeal, and wider syndication, which will make video ever more available.
In the midst of all this change, monetization remains the fundamental challenge for broadband and mobile video. More specifically, for both content providers and distributors, the challenge is how to ensure that the video industry avoids the same downward revenue spiral that the Internet itself has wrought on print publishers.
Regardless of all the technology innovations, high-quality content still costs real money to produce. If consumers are going to be offered quality choices, a combination of them paying for it along with advertising, is essential. While it's important to be consumer-friendly, this must always be balanced with a sustainable business model. In short, no matter what the size of the audience is, giving something away for free without a clear path for effectively monetizing it is not a strategy for long-term success.
VideoNuze will be on hiatus until Monday, January 4th (unless of course something big happens during this time). I'll be catching my breath in anticipation of a busy 2010, and hope you will too.
Thank you for finding time in your busy schedules to read and pass along VideoNuze. It's incredibly gratifying to hear from many of you about how important a role VideoNuze plays in helping you understand the disruptive change sweeping through the industry. I hope it will continue to do so in the new year.
A huge thank you also to VideoNuze's sponsors - without them, VideoNuze wouldn't be possible. This year, over 40 companies supported the VideoNuze web site and email, plus the VideoSchmooze evenings and other events. I'm incredibly grateful for their support. As always, if you're interested in sponsoring VideoNuze, please contact me.
Happy holidays to all of you, see you in 2010!