So ends another incredible year in online video for 2010! Growth was amazing, the space further matured, and we are taking lots of momentum into 2011. Our own video sharing site grew very nicely as well, both in terms of new videos and audience.
I follow online video very closely on a daily basis (proof: read my tweets), and take pride in my predictions. Below are my online video predictions for 2011.
1. Cord Cutting Is Undeniable – There has been lots of talk lately about whether or not cord cutting is for real. In 2011 the debate will finally end, and cable companies will be forced to adjust their channel package deals, and pricing. It doesn’t make sense to pay $100 for hundreds of channels when all you may watch is 10. I plan on being a cord cutter in 2011!
2. Online Video Via TV Screens - This kind of goes hand in hand with #1. Many people that are cancelling their digital cable TV services are moving towards the cloud by using devices such as Roku, Vudu, Boxee, Apple TV, Google TV, and Netflix is exploding by leverage gaming consoles such as PS3, Wii, xBox, and others.
3. Web Series Goes Mainstream – I’m not a big fan of the “web series” terminology, but regardless, I believe that online shows will really start to take off in 2011 thanks to further audience adoption, and Hollywood filmmakers launching new Web projects instead of pitching new TV series concepts.
4. AOL Makes an Acquisition – AOL partnered up with Next New Networks to offer prime homepage real estate to the online video producer, leading to over 1 billion video views for them in 2010. YouTube has been rumored to be acquisition talks with NNN, and assuming that deal goes through I predict that AOL (0r possibly Yahoo) will pick up their competitor Revision3.
5. New Video Ad Serving Leader – Hulu currently has the lead in video ads served per month, but will be surpassed by YouTube as they pick up more rights to professionally produced content, add new partners, and fund new content development, all which can be monetized.
6. Ad Standards – Buying and selling online video ads on a large scale is still very much in its infancy. In 2011, standards will be again heavily debated but won’t be officially put into place until 2012. Every online video ad company seems to have their own creative formats, which in turn is confusing buyers.
7. Mobile Video Blows Up – Until I got my iPhone 4 I didn’t really watch much mobile video. Now I watch a few videos on the device every morning in bed, and love the experience. 2011 will be big for filmmakers and companies to adopt the HTML 5 format to reach new viewers on their iPhone’s and iPad’s. Mobile video advertising will also start to take off, but not in a massive way.
8. IPO – I think that there will be at least one online video IPO in 2011, especially after the huge success that China-based Youku enjoyed on the NYSE. Sounds like Hulu won’t file for one in 2011, but Demand Media wants an IPO, and I’m sure that other rapidly growing startups want to go public too. We don’t think of Facebook as being an online video company but they are now #2 behind YouTube in views served. For the record, I don’t see Facebook filing for an IPO in 2011, and likely won’t until at least 2013.
9. Social Sharing – Many people discover new online videos through social sharing tools, and this trend will only grow in 2011. Facebook and Twitter drive a ton of views, and good old fashioned email still plays an important role for people to pass video links along to their friends and contacts.
10. From Text to Video – Communication and content used to be all about text and pictures, but with video being the most desired type of content to consume, new video creation strategies will be on top of the list, especially as quality video gets easier and cheaper to produce. I believe that online video will be as ubiquitous as text one day, but then again I’m a very optimist evangelist.
11. Collaborative Video Production – Been hearing more and more stories about top YouTube creators collaborating with each other to leverage each other’s talents and channel subscribers. I truly believe that this global new media concept will be a breakout hit in 2011, and get more structured and organized via open and collaborative video production platforms.
If you have a 12th prediction of your own (which I would love to hear!), please add it below with a comment.
Cheers to 2011 which will be undeniably the biggest year for online video ever!