Internet Service Providers Compete for OTT Video Dominance

Competition in the OTT video market has heated up over this last year, and will likely build over the coming year, say some experts. Currently in online video, the top five online video destinations account for 85 percent of the market share. High-trafficked video destinations include YouTube and Facebook and TV brands such as ESPN, CNN and Fox Sports. But the mid-to-long tail sites have almost no video — which is worth significantly more than display advertising — making it an opportunity that’s been waiting to happen.

videostreamAccording to TechCrunch, digital heavyweights including Google, Facebook, Twitter, Verizon, Comcast, AT&T and Yahoo aren’t so much fighting over the $6 billion U.S. online video market as they are to become the next-generation TV giants.

Google is likely to be first to market with a video syndication product that will programmatically match YouTube videos to publishers’ content and visitors. As part of its DoubleClick for Publishers (DFP) platform, existing display publishers can create video that Google can sell, or as TechCrunch calls it — “an AdSense for video.”

For Google, YouTube is both a strong suit, as the world’s largest stash of online video, and a weakness, due to its reliance on amateur video and poor track record of monetizing video.

Other competitors in OTT include Facebook, which bought video SSP LiveRail and is working on getting more content, potentially by convincing publishers like The New York Times to host content on its site.

TechCrunch notes that Verizon’s purchase of AOL was for the purpose of acquiring AOL On Network, a collection of 4,000 sites “where it provides and powers video” and Adap.tv, a programmatic online video ad platform. Yahoo entered the fray by buying BrightRoll, another programmatic video ad platform, although it still lacks the extended publisher network across which to distribute its video.

AT&T, Comcast and Twitter are still mulling over their OTT plans, says TechCrunch.