• The Video Industry Still Needs To Solve The Mobile Challenge

    Despite all the advances in online video in recent years, which have been wide-ranging across technologies, business models and consumption habits, most publishers' approach to mobile video continues to fail. While many feel that 2015 is the year of digital video, the industry won't have truly arrived until we're able to solve our mobile problem, and several other lingering challenges.
    These challenges were discussed last month in JW Player's second annual JW INSIGHTS conference, which brought together video experts, influencers and partners from a cross-section of companies including Google, Popsugar and Verizon to discuss the state of the online video industry and the factors that are still holding it back from even greater growth.

    The event covered the full spectrum of video topics including mobile, monetization, distribution, new technologies, industry standards, and more. Panelists addressed many timely industry issues including the Verizon / AOL acquisition, the future of the independent publisher and OTT. Impressively, an OTT prediction from Matt Frost of Google actually presaged the recent announcement from Yahoo would partner with the NFL to exclusively livestream a game this fall.
    Here's a short collection of the top sound bites from the event:
    The Mobile Challenge
    While mobile is "an area of incredible focus for all companies… it's a huge problem (to tackle) because of the many different platforms and technologies involved."
    Matt Frost, Head of Strategy and Partnerships, Chrome Media, Google
    "…No one should need to have more than one app on their phone to watch video. Fragmentation across devices and platforms not only means less content for consumers, but also limited ad supply, which should be a tremendous monetization opportunity."
    Jeroen Wijering, Co-founder, JW Player
    Misguided Mobile Video Strategies
    "…(publishers) want a Netflix-like mobile experience but (an experience of that quality) cost Netflix $4 billion of R&D budget to get to." Publishers need to ignore the bells and whistles and focus on performance: "keep it simple and prioritize fast loading times."
    Tim Napoleon, Co-Founder and Chief Strategist of AllDigital, Inc.
    Mobile Video Content, Distribution and Monetization
    "Content is king." However, content is only effective when distributed effectively, optimized for high-quality consumer experiences and discovery. "You don't want to sell baking soda - you want to sell cakes. You're a lot better off owning your own content."
    Matt Frost, Head of Strategy and Partnerships, Chrome Media, Google
    OTT: The Future of Video IS NOW
    "…next time the bid comes up for the Olympics, there's no reason it couldn't be YouTube or Facebook, to become the event's official, digital-only broadcaster."
    Matt Frost, Head of Strategy and Partnerships, Chrome Media, at Google.
    "Linear TV is a newspaper… it will go away. Everything will be OTT."
    Jeroen Wijering, JW Player co-founder
    This is a "time of tremendous experimentation" with "a lot of evolution, but I don't predict the death of the linear experience…" however, "current digital leaders (like Netflix) will lose their advantage due to an explosion of access to content."
    Ted Middleton, Chief Product Officer, Verizon Digital Media Services
    If you'd like a deep dive into the conference track, you can view recordings of the event, including the feature panels and all breakout sessions, here.

    Chris Mahl is President of JW Player.