As 2009 unfolds, three things about online video become clear:
1.) With over 17 Billion monthly videos watched in the US alone (according to comScore) and steady month-over-month growth, video is here to stay.
2.) Video exhibits classic long-tail distribution -- while YouTube remains the dominant player, video is rapidly moving from destination-sites to the rest of the web, and from Media and Entertainment into the enterprise, with millions of sites streaming video as the new mode of communication.
3.) The conversation is shifting from the technological aspects to the value aspects: not how to build a player or convert between formats but, rather, how to foster audience engagement, drive business values, increase collaboration, and monetize these billions of streams.
For anyone that is part of the video universe, the key question that remains open, is what drives value in this brave new world. How can publishers, advertisers, and technology enablers make money in a world in which delivery (CDN) is commoditized, display opportunities are abundant, and audiences expect to get everything for free?
Where Open Source Video Enters the Picture
Open Source video is a development methodology and distribution strategy which allows publishers to focus on innovation, instead of replicating the efforts of others. Open source video is being adopted at every level of the ecosystem by industry leaders such as Akamai (CDN), Mozilla (Software development and support for open formats), Wikipedia (open video content), and of course, our company, Kaltura.
Its premise is simple: video is too important of a medium to be controlled by a single player; video today is part and parcel of any modern solution for enterprise collaboration, productivity, e-commerce, education, health care, or any other sector. By espousing the principles of openness at all levels, including formats, technology, and content, and by collaborating in the development process, video can enjoy the force-multipliers that we have seen in other areas, like open source software. The result is a better user experience, a reduction in the total cost of ownership, an increase in control and flexibility and a focus on innovative value-driven results.
A fully featured video stack - including content ingestion & transcoding, media management, hosting & streaming, publishing, syndication, analytics, monetization and more - is a very complex issue, which is unlikely to be achieved by a single company in one shot. Open Source Video offers an alternative. By creating a global community of developers—both individuals and corporations—who each focus on their own layer of the stack, and by then releasing all the code for free, Open Source Video promises a robust infrastructure that is at one and the same time easy to adopt, adapt, and modify, and cheap to deploy and operate. Developers enjoy full flexibility and an open framework to innovate and customize their own solutions while leveraging the community's work, and enterprises benefit from economies of scale – low CDN costs, a network of syndicated content, and value-added services.
There is a ton of activity around open source video today. We at Kaltura together with our partners PCF, Yale ISP, iCommons, Mozilla and others, have instigated the Open Video Alliance (OVA), an umbrella organization for stake-holders who share the vision and believe in the future of open source video. The OVA is centered on raising awareness and developing standards that promote open source video and coordinate members' activities. Other initiatives in the market include Akamai's Open Player and Adobe's Strobe, as well as several other Open Source Video Player and transcoding projects.
The Open Video Conference
The first ever Open Video Conference will be taking place this today and this weekend (Friday and Saturday with a Hack day on Sunday) at the NYU campus in New York City. The Open Video Conference is a two-day gathering of global leaders in technology, business, public policy, art, and activism to explore the future of video on the web. As one of the key organizers, at Kaltura we've been working with our partners (PCF, Yale ISP and iCommons) to create this revolutionary event that will further bring to the top of everyone's mind the concept of open video and its benefits to the industry. If you're not already planning on going, registration is closed, but you can still attend OVC and register at the door.
Additionally, we've have partnered with LiveStream (formerly Mogulus) for live streaming and you can watch the live feed here on ReelSEO, on Friday, June 19th starting at 10:00 AM EDT. Go to - http://www.reelseo.com/open-video-conference-live/
About KalturaAt Kaltura we developed the world's first full open source online video platform. We help more than 30,000 sites, brands, universities, enterprises, companies and organizations the world over (including Wikipedia, Pepsi, Universal Studios, Lion's Gate to name just a few) to discover the power of the open video solution stack. Kaltura helps these organizations digest Open Source in a way that is consistent with their existing systems and processes. We marry the creative power of the community with the levels of service that an enterprise needs to develop a best-of-breed solution that is at one and the same time flexible, extensible, and yet leaves control with the enterprise. We help abolish the build-vs-buy conundrum by allowing internal development teams to build upon the efforts of a world-wide community. Whether using a SaaS solution, self-hosted or managed on the cloud, these organizations pay less, get more, remain in control, and hit their market faster. To learn more about open source video, check out kaltura.com
About our Guest Author
Dr. Shay David is a co-founder and VP of Business and Community Development of Kaltura Inc, a pioneer in open source video. He is also a fellow at the Information Society Project at Yale Law School.