The 2009 Streaming Media Dream Team

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Streaming Media the magazine might be a relatively new entrant into the European space, but Streaming Media the organisation is no stranger. We held our first Streaming Media Europe conference and exhibition at Earl’s Court Centre in London in 2000. The second edition of the show moved to the ExCel Centre in 2001, with a companion show at Messe Berlin the same year.

Following the burst of the dot-com bubble found the Streaming Media property changing hands a few times in the years that followed, and we were forced to take a brief hiatus from our European presence. But as the streaming media industry rebuilt itself after the bubble, so did the Streaming Media shows, growing in size and stature in their two U.S. locations. By 2006, it was time to return to Europe, once again holding a show in London.

We introduced the first European edition of this magazine in August 2008, and the response was so strong—even in the face of what we then thought was just an economic “downturn”—that we decided to increase to a quarterly frequency this year. We also expanded the Streaming Media Europe show beginning in 2008, moving from the cozy confines of the Copthorne Tara in London’s Kensington to the Novotel London West, where we drew more than 700 visitors from 23 countries. The halcyon days of vendor parties at the Ministry of Sound might be over, but as the “downturn” turned into a full-fledged recession, the online video business is one of the few bright spots, and Streaming Media the magazine and Streaming Media the organisation are going strong.

So we figured the time was right to recognise some of the people who, like us, have believed in streaming media from the time online video was nothing more than a stuttery, postage-stamp-sized experience, as well as acknowledge some of the newer faces who’ve helped push the industry forward. Like any good football team, it’s made up of a combination of grizzled veterans and wide-eyed rookies, headline names and unsung heroes.

We solicited nominations from readers, and we looked for a mix of vendors who’ve created the technology that enables online video communications and end users who’ve taken those tools and used them to deliver compelling content and establish successful businesses. As we look at the online video game in 2009, these are the players who stand out:

• Stephen Alstrup, CEO, Octoshape

• Duncan Burbidge, CEO & Co-founder, Stream UK

• Stephen Clee, Managing Director, Datmedia

• John Dillon, Chief Marketing Officer, Velocix

• Daniel Ek, CEO & Co-founder, Spotify

• Stephen Emmott, Head of Web Services, London School of Economics and Political Science

• Jon Gisby, Director, Future Media & Technology, Channel 4

• Jason Gleave, Chief Executive, FlyOnTheWall

• Phil Haggar, Board Director, Twofour Digital

• Joffrey Haring, Director of Technology & Operations, World Television

• Leon Huijbers, Staff Manager, Multimedia Department, Technical University of Delft

• Sebastian Moeritz, CEO, dicas and President, MPEG Industry Forum

• Stefan Richter, Editor,

• Dom Robinson, CTO & Co-founder, Global-MIX

• Anthony Rose, Head of Digital Media Technology, BBC

• Stef van der Ziel, CEO, Jet Stream/StreamZilla

• Nicole Vanderbilt, VP International, Bebo

• Alex Wolfe, Managing Director, Astream

• Mark Zaleski, CEO, Dailymotion

We asked each member of our Dream Team a few questions to help us assemble the football cards that follow:

• What are your proudest achievements?

• What’s the “next big thing” you’re working on?

• What’s the biggest trend in online video right now?

• What’s the biggest challenge facing the industry?

And now, the 2009 Streaming Media Dream Team. Congratulations to all of them!

Stephen Alstrup, CEO,Octoshape

Previous job titles:

• Prior to this I was working at universities on large-scale mathematical problems.

Proudest achievements:

"Octoshape handling CNN's U.S. Presidential Inauguration coverage of Barack Obama, which was the largest event on the Internet to date. At peak, while the Internet was saturated and other sites were down, Octoshape delivered a high quality viewing experience to the audience while other technologies fell short."

Next big thing:

"Making video streaming as robust and high quality over the Internet to set-tops and mobile devices as television delivery over standard methods is today."

Biggest trend you see in online video:

• Over the top delivered content to devices

• Advertising and subscription-based business models emerging around premium content
• Mobile-delivered streaming coming into focus

Biggest challenge facing the industry:

"To compete with traditional TV broadcasting business models and delivery mechanisms. To achieve this technically over the top delivery has to be as reliable and accessible as the TV-world: Instant On, No buffering, Nointerruption, HD Quality, delivered to millions of simultaneous users, for a reasonable cost. We have solved this portion of the equation with the Octoshape Infinite Edge technology. From a business perspective we can now begin to differentiate standard Internet quality video which advertisers pay little for, with the combination of High Quality video and advanced accurate analytics, which will begin to drive higher value from advertisers, maturing the business models of tomorrow."

Duncan Burbidge, CEO and Co-founder, Stream UK

Previous job titles:

• IT Manager, Gresham College, 1999 – 2001

Proudest achievements:

"Founding the company with Joe Bray and taking it to six figure turnover within 5 years, debt free and cash-flow funded. Our biggest projects have been with the BBC, AOL, Yahoo! and Reuters. Often we deliver to timescales that frighten other companies - retaining this can-do attitude as the company gets larger is an achievement and a challenge."

Next big thing

• Proper use of RSS/XML within the streaming media industry

Biggest trend you see in online video:

• An increase in the expected quality of service towards TV standards

Biggest challenge facing the industry:

• Gaining sufficient revenue from content to offset increasing bandwidth delivery demands

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