2018 ONLINE VIDEO INDUSTRY PREDICTIONS:
Our editor Eric just asked me to never again use the words “Wild West” to describe our industry. He rolled his eyes and said I’ve used it too much over the years. Guilty as charged. So, with one hand on
my heart and the other raised in the air, I hereby promise
not to use that term again or talk about why it applies to
streaming video—at least after the end of this article.
I keep saying “Wild West” because we work in a “make
it up as you go” industry. And while some companies
bounce into the frame and then roll out like tumbleweeds,
there’s no question that the industry moves forward not
by chasing trends but by the hard work of incredibly
smart people—“gunslingers” with great ideas. And it
I remember at the end of 2016 pitching Eric that I felt
HDR would be a really big deal in 2017. As I write this
in early December 2017, I just saw streaming industry
veteran Ben Waggoner post on social media that
Amazon Prime is streaming about 100 shows in HDR10+.
That didn’t take long! I think the first time HDR turned my
head was when Tim Siglin interviewed Streaming Media
West 2015 keynoter Corey Smith, who was then with
Microsoft’s Xbox Live ( go2sm.com/corey). Back then
Smith said, “I believe that 1080p60 with HDR will actually
have a better customer adoption than traditional 4K just
because of the lack of content on the market.” Our June
issue in 2017 carried the cover story “HDR: Blackest
Blacks” ( go2sm.com/smjune17) and well, here we are,
problem solved. I’m scared that my next prediction will
be solved before this article even gets published!
The pace of our industry is getting even faster, but
we have to be careful to not take steps backwards by
overpromising—that’s how you wind up on Boot Hill.
Second Screen anyone? How many years ago did you
see HEVC solutions on an expo floor? I’m not going to
say, because it’s kind of embarrassing, since it really
didn’t become a big deal until Apple decided to be the
“play out” for HEVC. So yes, we are making up this
industry as we go along, and there are lots of ideas
being pushed—some reasonable and some a bit
far-fetched, but hey, that’s trail blazing. My job isn’t to
tell you what’s going to happen next, but if you look
closely at what we do here at Streaming Media, the
clues are there—we only publish the important stuff.
And if you haven’t looked at our editorial calendar for
this year, well, maybe you should ( go2sm.com/edcal).
We don’t hide it behind forms. I’m happy to go over it
with you—shoot me an email, or better yet, call me.
But I digress. Enough about us and enough about the
Wild West. My intro to this section is meant to introduce
those “gunslingers” who really can tell you what to keep
an eye on. Pay attention, because a gun plus three of a
kind always beats three of a kind.
VP/Publisher, Streaming Media