Online Video Streaming To Victory: Youtube at the Olympics, Nextflix Battles HBO

The viral phenomenon is the definitive characteristic for online video business’ success. In this day and age where the internet, social media and mobile devices dominate technology, fame can be easily gained by uploading a video online. Becoming an overnight sensation with millions of hits in a short span of time is turning into a trend.  To aggravate this is the ease of video-sharing through social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter. For these reasons and more, the industry has come a long way from featuring videos of the past to real-time online streaming. And the future is burning bright for the market and organizations within the circle. Here are some recent noteworthy updates from online video streaming providers.

Netflix

Netflix is gearing up to battle HBO. Reuters reported that Netflix is eyeing to stream movies online, and that CEO Reed Hastings has secretly met with several cable companies in the United States to pursue this ambition. The company desires to be the on-demand option for cable subscribers through their set-top boxes.

Hastings hinted on this issue while speaking at an investor conference last week, saying, “it’s not in the short term, but it’s in the natural direction for us in the long term. Many (cable service providers) would like to have a competitor to HBO, and they would bid us off of HBO.”

Netflix was thought to be a serious threat to cable companies, even if it streams really old TV programs and movies. It’s significantly lower package price has stricken fear in the industry with the rising trend around cord cutting. The cheap online video alternatives are growing at a record pace. But some cable execs think otherwise, viewing Netflix as a booster of old shows that have long been thrown in the casket.

Is there a reason for HBO to be worried? It’s too early to put a punctuation mark on this subject. Netflix has a good track record of surviving competition and pondering their opponent’s misery. This was seen when they bested in streaming services, noted in Q4 of 2011 with figures that U.S. Netflix subscribers watched more than 80% streaming video hours than were viewed within the same time on all U.S. PayTV VOD.

Hulu

Hulu teams up with Nintendo Wii to offer current television shows and classic movies on its console. With an internet and monthly subscription of $7.99, Wii owners will be able to watch their favorite programs and flicks.  Hit series available for streaming include Family Guy, Glee, New Girl, Vampire Diaries, The Office, The Biggest Loser and Modern Family.

Pete Distad, VP of Marketing and Distribution at Hulu, expressed excitement as they venture on being present everywhere and accessible at any given time:

“We want to be everywhere, on every screen where people want to watch their favorite shows and discover new ones on their own schedule. Wii is not only one of the most important entertainment devices in the living room, but one of the most heavily anticipated and requested platforms by users and subscribers. Teaming up with Nintendo gives millions of households across the U.S. an immediate way to access some of their favorite current season shows on-demand in their living room through Hulu Plus.”

Together with industry biggies, Hulu is also keen on producing original TV content.

Youtube

Google-owned YouTube will be at this year’s Summer Olympics in London, thanks to NBC. The media giant tapped Youtube’s services to provide the video player for NBCOlympics.com for the entire duration of the world’s most anticipated sporting event. This means that YouTube will not be streaming live, but will direct viewers to NBC’s site and drive Olympics ads revenues.

And YouTube’s influence is mounting. There are numerous ways the service is used at present: showcasing talent, pleas for help, expressing stands on an issue, showing affection towards loved ones in the form of marriage proposals, and now for self-validation. The “Am I Pretty or Ugly?” videos from a growing number of teens asking this question has collected massive attention, with one clip getting more than 4.5 million views.