Monday, October 8, 2007

Veoh Player: One step forward two steps back

Even with rumors falling viewership, Veoh remains a viable player in the internet "shared video" market. And with the release of a sorely needed tech upgrade they are signaling a plan to continuing with the "Branded Player" model that is behind those quickly sinking statistics. No one really needs another "video player" to install on their system, and although the upgraded "Veoh Player" is a substantial improvement over its former offerings.

For those of you who watch pirated video on sites like TV-Links, will have noticed that a few months ago Veoh changed the playback of a large portion of their content to a 5 minute preview model, where you can watch 5 minutes then you have to load up the "Branded Veoh Player" to watch the rest. Now this was a pain because the old player forced the download of the entire video before playback, now you can stream the video in the player.

The main strategy that has allowed Veoh to remain viable has been its strong industry relationships. Those relationships have kept them out of court room even though they have continually failed to fulfill their promise to block pirated content through a "technological solution". But more troubling, they have continued to neglect the construction of a viable advertising network that would solve the dilemma those industry partners find themselves in (mainly that viewers want simple free internet television, but then how do you make money from that?). You can now see Google ads on the Veoh site. And then there are the Chinese who don't seem to care if Hollywood makes any money.

Veoh has toyed with the "digital video rental" model that was the core element of its branded player business model. But at this time we have still not been able to sign up for "Veoh Pro" as the form to do so either doesn't accept Non-US users or is just buggy.

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