It was announced earlier today that Veoh, an early YouTube competitor, is closing it’s doors for good. After a few failed attempts to breathe some life into the online video portal, the company announced that the remaining staff has been let go and they will be filing for chapter 7 bankruptcy.
It’s interesting to see the reaction across the Twittershpere, some saying this is a big hit to the Online Video space in general, but I beg to differ. The space, in general, is as healthy as can be with comScore reporting our strongest month yet with over 33 Billion video streams served in December, and more than 177 Million unique viewers watching for an average of 4.1 minutes each. Staggering. We saw Hulu hit the Golden Arches serving over 1 Billion in December taking a distant second spot to YouTube.
The hit is not to the space in general but rather to portals directly and to be honest, this isn’t really a “hit” per se but rather a sign of maturity in the market. Anyone taking on the giant known as YouTube is looking for a fight. Not only was YouTube a dominant force in OV to begin with, but then they were bought by Google making them almost impenetrable. I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with taking on the big dogs, it’s a healthy attitude actually but no one has been able to really improve upon the model yet and that’s kind of the point; either build something unique that the world needs or build something that already exists, better.
As I’ve stated before, I think the next 12-18 months are going to prove interesting for our beloved space especially in the Online Video Platforms. It’s my contention that we will see some shutterings, and some mergers all while the space continues to catapult through the Stratosphere. There is already some M&A action occurring, like Kit Digital who recently gobbled up The Feedroom and who is rumored to be engaged in further acquisitions in the coming months. And there are a few other exciting rumors flying around the OVPs as we speak.
Veoh shutting down is sad to see especially considering the fact that they’d come so far, garnering millions of users and spending over $70 Million in the process. But change is good, and hopefully someone will purchase Veoh’s assets and do something good for the industry as a whole with them. Change is inevitable in such a dynamic space and we shouldn’t take every fluctuation as a sign of weakness.