Video News Roundup

A lot has been happenning this week in the online video space:

—AT&T announced yesterday that it will partner with IPTV content aggregator and platform provider Akimbo. The partnership will bring together Akimbo's movie and TV downloads and AT&T's Homezone television service. The latter will be served in conjunction with AT&T DSL service in California and 12 other states by late summer. This is separate from AT&T's larger Project Lightspeed, which is in the process of wiring up homes across the country with higher bandwidth capacity for bundled voice, data and IPTV services.

"We’ll offer Homezone everywhere Lightspeed is available, but Homezone will still be an excellent product for those where we haven’t deployed it,” Ken Tysell, AT&T’s director of broadband applications, told The San Jose Mercury news in this article.

—Research firm IDC, meanwhile, released a report predicting the rapid growth of Internet video services. The space will grow from US$1.5 billion in revenues in 2005 to more than US$1.7 billion by 2010, according to the report. IDC warns that challenges in the industry will mostly consist of developing video search technologies, content aggregation (licensing issues) and hardware integration (television, PC, mobile, etc.). Fear of cannibalizing existing business models will also be a factor holding back some established media companies. These challenges largely echo those discussed during an online video panel at our recent Drilling Down on Local conference.

—USA Today has an interesting piece on YouTube and its growing appeal among big-name advertisers. The challenge for YouTube will be similar to that faced by MySpace in bringing in advertising that doesn't compromise the user experience (especially given the predominantly teenage demographic, which can be fickle, as we've pointed out in the past).

From the article:

The company expects to reap ad revenue in the first half of this year but is cautious. To remain relevant, it needs to serve paying advertisers without looking like a sellout to its millions of average users. "We want to be sensitive on how we deal with that," says CEO and co-founder Chad Hurley. "Because we really are a community, we want to build things for our users and not alienate them."

—Video sharing site Veoh (similar to YouTube), meanwhile, received US$12.5 million in funding from Former Disney CEO Michael Eisner, Warner and Spark Capital. PaidContent has the scoop here.

—Lastly, PaidContent points us to this rather amusing promo that personifies the quickly rising level of competition in the online video space. Enjoy.

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