Online Videos & Playing Into Apple’s Hands

Online video is the big story today… again. From CNN to AOL to Lulu.TV – everyone is talking about online videos, which begs the question – How many video sharing sites do we need.

We had asked this question nearly a month ago in the pages of Business 2.0 magazine. The frenzy clearly has gone to the next level. Amazon has jumped into the fray. More money is being pumped into the sector. Revvr for instance is getting more cash from Turner and Comcast. You Tube founders dream of an IPO.

All this on a Monday morning, makes one want to scream: Stop the madness!

Forget the video sharing sites for a minute, and instead lets focus on the pro-video content market. That’s essentially television shows and music videos for now, but movies are around the corner.

If you include AOL’s decision to sell videos for $1.99, you can buy this “pro” video content from Google, Amazon, AOL, Guba, FOX, and Apple along with scores of other sites. This content is mostly for PC viewing, though it will work on portable devices, such as iPod and Sony PSP.

This is reminiscent of the digital music market, which is chockfull of players with marginal market share. Apple’s iPod/iTunes dominates the market because it provides a stress free (some call it integrated) experience for the end user.

One stop shopping is a powerful concept, and as we see more and more “online video sales outlets” pop up, there is more than likely chance that consumers are simply going to gravitate to a stress free experience. This is precisely what Apple wants, sort of: now that you have tried the rest, how about just sticking to the best.

And as for the amateur video sharing sites… you don’t really need it spelled out.