It's the start of 2012 and we'd like to send out a big New Year's greeting to all of our customers. This year is going to be a big one for the online video industry and we're really excited to see how things will develop throughout the year. In retrospect, we saw huge moves last year in the video space. In September of 2011, comScore reported that 182 million U.S. Internet users watched online video content for an average of 19.5 hours per viewer (1). The total U.S. Internet audience engaged in 39.8 billion video views and the online video platform market as a whole increased by 40% year on year. Numbers like these are pretty jaw dropping and it's plain to see that now more than ever both consumers and companies are hugely engaging with online video (2).

Looking forwards to 2012, we thought we'd pull together a few predictions for things that we think will be big:

  1. Mobile and iPad video explosion - With over 1.08 billion 3G enabled mobile phones in the market today and climbing, we believe we'll see a massive increase in the number of users who are consuming video content on their iPads, iPods, iPhones and Android devices (3,4). We will also see an increase in the amount of traffic on mobile devices that are driven from search engines to site content. More than 70% of the world's population now has a mobile phone and as these users switch from standard phones to smartphones engagement with video will skyrocket (5).
  2. Web TV re-imagined - We believe we'll see some big moves by Google TV and Apple TV this year, which will start pulling the web into the living room in a much more integrated way than in the past. For content distributors it will be important to adopt a multi-platform strategy that includes distribution to web-enabled IPTV devices. We also think it's pretty likely that Apple will release a TV that integrates a set-top-box, display and remote all into one simple package that will redefine how people interact with televisions in their homes.
  3. Demand for multi-platform publishing will grow - When content is pushed to the internet, publishers will want their assets to be accessible and browse-able on a large number of devices and platforms covering YouTube, Vimeo, web TV devices, mobile devices, tablet devices and of course, desktop and mobile browsers, which will lead to an increase in demand for fully integrated solutions.
  4. HTML5 first strategy will emerge - Due to the above point, the need for video to be served via HTML5 players capable of playback on a large range of devices will force Flash to be used only in the absence of HTML5. Organizations will increasingly prefer to have their videos play in HTML5 players and companies with an HTML5-first policy will become bigger players in markets where previously their Flash-based opponents triumphed.
  5. Video in higher education will skyrocket - With the announcement of projects like Apple iBooks and the continued evolution of iTunes U and YouTube for Education, we think this will be a big year for the educational market as more video content than ever will hit students surfing on a plethora of devices. Online video will start revolutionizing education as it will allow students to learn from anywhere and more importantly, at their own pace. Tools that allow universities to easily take content from classrooms, manage and distribute that content to multiple platforms will become increasingly important.

We've got some big announcements coming in the next two months and some terrific new features that we think will place MediaCore in a strong position to help customers really grow their audiences, customers and strategies over the course of this year. Here's to big things!

What do you think will happen in 2012?

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