FutureWire - futurism and emerging technology

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Web Video: The Next Bubble?

Web video is all the rage, and everyone's rushing to cash in.  At least 173 video sites like YouTube and Broadsnatch are currently competing for eyeballs... and some are getting venture capital funding in the millions. 

However, the questions surrounding the online video goldrush are hauntingly familiar.  What's the unique angle that new players bring to the table?  What happens when online video is no longer the "cool new thing"?  And everybody's favorite question:  Where's the revenue?  Video sites have additional risks that web startups in the '90s didn't have.  For one, they need to be careful of copyright infringement, as many web videos are ripped from commercial sources.  Also, running a video site requires a lot of overhead in the form of storage, bandwidth and servers, not to mention staff and marketing costs.

Those who observe the online video space warn of a possible shakeout, perhaps within the year.  Meanwhile, those brave enough to enter into the online video space are trying to develop new revenue models and carve a unique niche for themselves that will let them prosper once the dust settles.

Source:  CNN/Money