Consumer Appetite for Online Video Shook Up Old-Media Landscape in Q4

In GigaOM Pro’s latest Connected Consumer quarterly wrap-up (sub required), we analyze how the world of NewTeeVee continued to shake the foundations of old media in Q4 2009. From the rapid growth of connected consumer electronics, the consumer’s ever-increasing appetites for online video, the socialization of online video (or is it videoization of social networks?), changes in the online video space sent ripples through the media landscape, causing big players like Comcast to make billion dollar hedges and smaller players continue to get funding.

On the connected devices front, device makers continued to widen their content rosters in Q4, with the belle of the ball being Netflix. In game consoles alone, the company nabbed Sony and, just after the close of 2009, Nintendo. The news was good news for Sony, whose beleaguered third generation console is piecing together what could be a nice comeback story in 2010.

But it isn’t just big hardware. The long awaited Boxee Box was announced, with long-time networking hardware vendor D-Link as its hardware partner, and the two expect to ship in 2010 Roku – while ceding some of its initial Netflix buzz to the console guys – has regained some momentum with the launch a channel store and the release of their new HD-XR in the fourth quarter.

With the frenzy of new deals and devices, its easy to forget that the basic reason for all the excitement, which is consumers continue to flock en masse to online video. As reported by Nielsen, online video consumers in the U.S. as of October grew nearly 16% year over year to 138.6 million, and overall streams grew as well to 11.2 billion streams, which notches a 26% year over year growth rate.

Not only is it the usual suspects such as YouTube and Hulu benefitting, but Facebook is fast-becoming a video hub as well. The social network kingpin assumed the number three spot in Nielsen’s video census for November of 2009, a clear indication that as social networks incorporate more video (and video becomes more social), Facebook will continue grow in influence.

All of this action hasn’t gone unnoticed by big media. Cable MSOs – led by Comcast – are rolling out their TV Everywhere initiatives, and Comcast itself – just a few years after getting spurned in its attempt to acquire Disney – finally satiated its content ownership aspirations with the acquisition of NBC Universal, while also ensuring control of syndication rights over some blue-chip broadcast and cable assets in the process.

On the venture front, new arrivals such as the Blake Krikorian-backed content discovery start-up Clicker received funding while decade-old DRM player Widevine got another infusion with a D round of $15 million from Liberty Global and Samsung Ventures as it tried to hook its train to TV Everywhere and continue to built out its online video platform capabilities.

If you want to get a detailed analysis of all the action, check out the Connected Consumer Q4 Quarterly Wrap-up, available here at GigaOM Pro (sub required).