Highlights from the NewTeeVee Live conference

by David Spark on November 14, 2007

NewTeeVee, the blog about online video technologies and content, hosted their first conference, NewTeeVee Live, in San Francisco. Here are a few highlights from the event. This is far from definitive. To read the definitive reporting on the event, go back and read the NewTeeVee blog.

Listen to the Spark Minute. John Scott and David Spark from Green 960 in San Francisco, CA talk about online video technology and the future of online video content (Run time: 7:00).

Download the MP3 (right-click, select Save Target As…)

Video is eating up a ton of bandwidth. No really, it’s a lot. More than you think.
Ralph de la Vega, Group President at AT&T spoke about how much online video is eating up his company’s bandwidth. To give us an idea how exponential bandwidth usage has risen since the deployment of online video, he pointed to the Evolution of Dance video. It’s been viewed more than 70 million times on YouTube. A significant percentage of that viewership was through AT&T’s networks. According to de la Vega, the viewing of just that video alone equaled all the bandwidth of all its customers for an entire month in 2000.

When people have tools to watch video, they use it.
The reason people haven’t been watching that much mobile video is because it’s incredibly hard to call up and watch a video. For example, on my Samsung device for which I have 3G high bandwidth access (supposedly, that’s what the icon says) it still takes me multiple clicks and often minutes before any video, not one I necessarily really want, starts to play.

With the deployment of the iPhone and iPod Touch it’s now much easier to see videos on a portable device. As a result, with the iPhone 51% of users have watched a YouTube video, 46% have watched a music video, and 34% have watched video news. Stats are from de la Vega.

YouTube is losing its advantage. Fragmentation of video sites is enormous.
Mary Hodder founder of Dabble, a video search engine, did a quick sample of where popular videos are coming from. A year ago, she looked at the top ten recommended videos on Digg. Nine out of ten of them were from YouTube. And from a one day sample a year later that number was reversed. There was only one YouTube video out of ten. Hodder understands that was not a scientific sample, but it is very telling of what’s happening in the market and Digg users can be seen as behavioral market leaders as well.

Everyone’s moving to IPTV, so you better have high quality video
Ralph de la Vega of AT&T talked about the company’s push to IPTV with its U-verse service. Speaking to a crowd of which many were content producers. He alerted everyone that they better push for quality. He’s looking for video that’s high quality production HD video that’s licensable of all formats. If you come to him with that, my guess is chances are it’ll get on the network quickly. A panel of individuals dealing with network infrastructure to distribute video talked about the flight to quality. And the market is pushing people to shoot in HD and then transcode down for whatever is needed.

Microsoft’s Silverlight plug-in for creating interactive rich media applications
Microsoft did a quick demo of Silverlight which is a cross-browser, cross-platform browser plug-in that let’s you create rich media interactive videos where you can produce overlays with additional information, plus create picture-in-picture video. They offer a free publishing space (4 GB) and a free mashup editor and creation tool called Popfly.

How do you discover great video? Cross promote!
While there was one panel about video search and discovery engines, their ability to speak to the community in general is going to take some time. Why not use the TV network model which is launch new shows on existing successful shows. But what if two companies decide to partner, one that creates shows and another that distributes shows? So that’s what Jim Louderback of Revision3 and Dina Kaplan of Blip.TV have decided to do. They’ll begin cross promoting shows to “help people discover good content in the ocean of crap.” A quote from Jim Louderback, my former boss at ZDTV/TechTV. I kind of have to agree with Jim on that one.

Online video: Cannibalizing TV viewership or growing it?
Quincy Smith, president of CBS Interactive spoke at about a mile a minute is saying it is actually growing it, but I sweat I’m not following everything he’s saying right now because he’s talking so fast. Sports has shown that multiple media devices are complimentary. During game day, there is spike in Internet usage and mobile phone usage. You know, why don’t you just read NewTeeVee’s coverage of the session.

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