Blazing a new video trail at Under the Radar

YouTube conquered video sharing and now others are trying to take online video in new directions.

YouTube has become synonymous with online video but a score of companies still believe there's plenty of opportunities to win big in the burgeoning marketing. This includes media heavyweights focusing on long-form content. Rupert Murdoch's News Corp and NBC Universal have jointly launched a video service scheduled to go live later this year. Joost, which operates on a peer-to-peer technology developed by the creators of Skype, is offering material from a score of top TV networks and media conglomerates, including Viacom.

UStream.tv plans to differentiate itself by turning Internet users into live-video broadcasters. This is not a new idea. The popularity of Justin.tv, the all-day, everyday Web broadcast of founder Justin Kan's life, has shown that sharing live events over the Web has wide appeal. One of the challenges UStream may face is preventing inappropriate content from appearing. "Every investor asks us about porn," said Chris Yeh, who presented for UStream. He said that pornographers don't need his company's service since they are already well represented online. Some members of the crowd said Yey, is sure to see his share of "griefers."

SplashCast offers tools that allow a user to syndicate video, music, photos, text as well as other media across the Web. SplashCast enables anyone to create their own streaming media "channels" that mix all the aforementioned media together, which can be displayed on any Web site or social network page. Another nifty feature allows a user to automatically update their content anywhere the material appears on the Web.

Zattoo is live TV streamed directly to a PC, according to Sugih Jamin, the company's cofounder. The service is a peer-to-peer Internet Protocol Television system that focus on delivering professional content. Right now, the company offers 40 channels and is seeing most of its growth in Europe. Jamin said that users typically watch Zattoo at home, which is sort of exactly where you would suspect they wouldn't watch. "They like watching when they're browsing the Web or checking the e-mail," Jamin said. Zattoo is one of the companies attempting to go head-to-head against Joost.

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