Several significant events set the tone for the digital media ecosystem during in the second quarter. First among these was the release of the iPad, the impact of which went far beyond device uptake; among other things it does not support Adobe Flash, which has impacted the entire chain of web-based video production from content sites re-encoding video to new tools being developed for HTML5-based advertising.
Another principal event in the quarter was the announcement of Google TV, a software platform built on Android 2.1, Google Chrome and Flash 10.1 that will be incorporated into a variety of companion devices including TV sets, Blu-ray players and set-top boxes. The platform offers significant advancements in merging TV and the web experience (although TiVo says it has done just that for years). Sony and Logitech have both announced plans to launch Google TV products in fall 2010.
Also in the second quarter, both YouTube and Hulu refreshed their sites, reflecting the market’s growing maturity. But while YouTube spent the quarter on the defensive in its ongoing legal battle with Viacom over copyright infringement, Hulu was on the offensive, introducing new services and preparing a paid subscription service launch. A paid service would bring new revenue streams to the video site, and would put Hulu in more direction competion with Netflix, which is increasingly shifting toward its streaming video service, away from its former mainstay of DVDs by mail.