The investment community and media are largely focused on the battle between copyright holders and Google, however, an equally important shift in on-line video transport is underway. While the battle for copyright, traffic, and the on-line ad dollar is raging, another battle is underway; that is, how best to stream live and archived television to web audiences.
Today, Youtube, NBC, CBS, etc use Flash Video and Flash Media Servers to deliver their content. Many pundits are also pushing the merits of P2P....
As of yesterday, however, ABC.com moved away from Flash and is now streaming full episode content via the Move Networks player. Full episodes of Lost, Desperate Housewives, etc are available via Move.
ABC joins Fox, Televisa, the CW, and other major content ownders who see five core reasons to move away from Flash:
- Move provides continuous play video with no buffering or jitter
- Improved quality ensures 8-10x longer viewing times
- increased revenue
- longer viewing times naturally create more ad avails and higher revenue
- reduced cost
- Move rides on HTTP and leverages the economics of commodity HTTP transport rather than proprietary RTP transport
- Flash Media Servers are materially more expensive than commodity web servers and web caches
- Flash does not support DRM
- Move scales to an order of magnitude larger number of simultaneous streams
- Why? Move scales with the web not via deployments of proprietary media servers in CDN fabrics
The net results of Move’s solution is a 10x increase in average view times versus alternative technologies, a 10x reduction in delivery costs, and a 10x increase in the possible audience size. At $25 CPM rates, content owners enjoy 95% gross margins, or 1.5x more than broadcast economics, and the Web moves from a marketing vehicle for broadcast programming to a profit center in its own right.
With $55bn of TV ad spend at risk, the stakes have never been higher and the race is on to monetize video content on the web.
Disney's move (pun intended) to Move represents a remarkable shift in the on-line video infrastructure landscape. Two of the big four networks are now streaming via Move's protocol, and the era of jerky, unwatchable on-line video is coming to a close.
Check out the abc.com site and watch full-screen video - who knew web video could look so good?
See prior posts here
24 is on the Web!