Portable devices to fuel web video explosion

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Portable devices to fuel web video explosion

ABI Research predicts huge growth over the next five years.

Web video is poised to enjoy an explosion in popularity over the next five years as devices such as network-enabled video players give consumers additional choices in how they consume multimedia content, analysts have predicted.

"The percentage of internet-delivered video viewed on a portable device will go from just three per cent today to 16 per cent by 2011," said ABI Research principal analyst Michael Wolf.

"This move to portable viewing will be driven largely by a new class of devices with embedded networking connectivity and seamless integration with online video providers.

"As portable media hardware vendors such as Apple and Microsoft add networking connectivity to their products, and Sony moves away from UMD toward network-based video delivery for the PSP, more content will become portable as it becomes less dependant on the PC."

Networked portable media players will not be the only reason for increased momentum in internet video, Wolf added. Content owners and aggregators are expanding available libraries while adding new usage models for consumers.

Recent moves by CinemaNow and Movielink to allow for download-to-burn of internet-delivered video has already resulted in increased adoption of these services.

ABI Research expects that expanded options such as these will continue to drive consumers toward the internet as a source for video content.

"Download-to-burn and networked portable devices are just two examples of increased choice for consumers in how they view internet-delivered video," said Wolf.

"ABI Research believes that content companies, rather than adopting their historical 'hunker down' mentality in the face of new technology, are increasingly embracing these new usage models as they grapple with the maturation of the theatrical and traditional home video market, and become more comfortable with the underlying delivery and content protection frameworks."
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