Forrester Ranks OVPs, Misses 90% of the Market

Forrester online video platform comparisonForrester Research is bringing some visibility to the fast-growing market online video platform (OVP) market with a new report issued Friday. But while some OVP competitors got positive marks for their offerings, the vast majority of players were noticeably absent from the research.

“The Forrester Wave: US Online Video Platforms” ranked a handful of OVP vendors according to 37 criteria that could be broken down into three “high-level buckets”: current offering, strategy, and market presence.

Brightcove and Ooyala both ranked favorably in the report, and both issued press releases touting their rankings as “leaders” of the OVP segment. But there’s only one problem — Forrester evaluated only six vendors (Brightcove, Fliqz, Kaltura, Ooyala, Twistage, and VMIX), overlooking a large percentage of the overall market.

That’s not to say that Brightcove and Ooyala don’t measure up well against competing offerings. Brightcove is clearly the early leader in the space, and Ooyala has gotten a good amount of buzz and attention since it launched two years ago. (NewTeeVee also sees good things for Ooyala, naming the company to our Next Big Thing List for our NewTeeVee Live conference this week.)

But clearly there’s more competition than the Forrester report lets on. Research firm CDN Quote tracks 62 white-label video management providers; VidCompare, which calls itself a “free comparison service for business decision makers looking for an online video platform provider,” tracks 60 OVP companies. With just six platforms evaluated in its report, Forrester is missing out on the vast majority of companies operating in the space.

In a blog post, Forrester analyst Bobby Tulsiani defends the narrow scope of the report, stating:

“While the number of companies in the space is certainly larger than six, we decided to focus on a set of vendors that serve a variety of clients, regardless of size or industry.  For that reason, some vendors that primarily focus on high end media companies, such as Digitalsmiths, The Platform, or Move Networks were not included.”

Fair enough. Not everyone has the need for the type of all-encompassing, TV Everywhere-type video offering that is being pitched by companies like thePlatform or ExtendMedia.

But there’s no explanation for why Forrester left out companies like Delve Networks, Episodic, KIT Digital, Kyte, Unicorn Media, or any number of other OVP players that serve media and enterprise customers, and offer similar services to those that were included in the report. (Note: I fully expect a rash of emails asking why I didn’t include the other 50 or so vendors in this story.)

The good news is that a report like this, from a leading analyst firm, brings attention to an increasingly competitive space like the white-label video management market. The bad news is that by including only a small number of players competing in that space, the report overlooks just how competitive the segment has become.

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