In the early days of 2009 I thought this was to be the year of OVP mergers, acquisitions, and shutterings. Turned out only a few shut their doors like Maven Networks killed by Yahoo! only 16 months after being acquired for $160MM, and there were only a couple mergers, Pixelfish took over EyeSpot’s assets for example (end of ’08 to be precise). But the latter half of the year seems to be picking up a bit with the Google/Brightcove rumors, and the Kit-Digital/theFeedroom proposition. So it looks like 2010 is shaping up to be the big year of definition for our beloved OVP space while some providers fail to get further funding, and others swallow lesser competitors.
What will be most interesting about 2010 is how providers differentiate themselves from the pack, and what direction they choose in specialization. The writing is on the wall, there’s a slowing in the sector as a result of overcrowding and a stagnating economy. So where will providers turn, how will they change their game? Analytics, syndication, advertising and monetization? Or will we see even more drastic changes in the form of deep partnerships and unique product offerings?
I don’t know for sure but what I do know is that it’s exciting and I’m happy to be in the middle of it. My guess is there will be some interesting insights from the incredibly intelligent men and women who run these businesses at the Online Video Platform Summit in November. See you there.