The Streaming Media 100: The One Hundred Companies that Matter Most in Online Video in 2013
Presenting our annual list of the companies that matter most in online video. In the fiercely competitive streaming media space, these companies are doing jaw-dropping work today and leading us into tomorrow.
By Eric Schumacher-Rasmussen
The Streaming Media 100 list is only 3 years old, but it’s already undergone significant changes. Between the first and second installments (2011 and 2012, respectively), we decided to narrow the focus to exclude broadcasters that had made the move into online video, and instead consider only companies for whom, as I wrote in the introduction to last year’s list, “online video is in their DNA.”
This year, we’ve narrowed our purview even further, for the simple reason that the industry has grown so much in the last 12 months that we found it difficult to narrow the list down to 100 companies. The solution was an obvious one: focus exclusively on the technology companies that enable content creators and publishers to innovate and build their audiences. So you won’t find any content companies on the list -- they deserve their own list, and we’re looking at how best to honor them in 2014.
Beyond that delineation, though, the process for choosing the 100 remains the same: We began with a list of more than 250 companies, then asked Streaming Media’s editorial and publishing staff to rank each one on a scale of 1 (doesn’t belong on the list at all) to 5 (absolutely must be on the list if the list is to have any credibility). After the votes were cast, only three companies averaged a perfect 5, and every company in the final 100 averaged at least a 2.5. To give you a sense of the spread, all of the companies in the top 50 scored at least a 3.3.
While there were 17 companies that made the 2012 list that didn’t make the cut in 2013 -- mostly content players, though some technology providers fell away -- the narrowed purview actually resulted in a stronger showing by companies that live in the center of Streaming Media’s editorial coverage and audience interest: encoding/transcoding and content delivery. So if you said that this year’s list is a “geekier” bunch than previous years’, you’d be right. Considering that the hottest topics of the last 12 months have been MPEG-DASH and HEVC/H.265, the results should come as no surprise.
In the end, and if you’ll indulge the mixed metaphor, the rising tide of increased consumer adoption of streaming video, particularly over-the-top, has lifted all the boats behind the scenes. When that family in their living room, or that commuter on the train, or that student in the dormitory, picks streaming content over broadcast or cable, the companies listed here make the experience easy and fun. When creators and publishers need their content delivered at the highest possible quality for the lowest possible cost, the companies listed here get the job done. And when stakeholders in the enterprise, education, and government verticals find themselves turning to online video to deliver and view the content they need, the companies listed here lower the barriers.
Congratulations to all, and thanks to the Streaming Media staff and contributors who joined me in taking on the daunting task of evaluating more than 250 possible entrants:
You can see many of these companies and their products and services in person at Streaming Media West in Los Angeles next month, Streaming Media East in New York in May, and Streaming Forum in London in June.
For more information about Winnov, please visit www.winnov.com.