Chart: The Web Video Money Pit

Online video has largely succeeded at many of its goals: It is democratizing media and encouraging a culture of sharing and participation. It’s pushing the television industry to modernize and become more interactive. It’s freeing content from time schedules and repressive windows. It’s driving cable companies to at least consider the true value of the loyalty of their subscribers.

But let’s be honest, it’s done more displacing and destabilizing than it has created wealth. And with a few possible exceptions — say, Blip.tv and Brightcove — no company but YouTube has really been able to grow a ton of value. (YouTube, Google promises, will be profitable any day now!)

Today, on the eve of Veoh declaring bankruptcy (first reported by MediaMemo), we can look back and see an awful lot of venture dollars invested — many of them that have since gone down the drain.

Veoh was actually the first online video company I ever covered, back in the summer of 2005, and if you know anything about me it kicked off a long fascination with the topic, aka our spinoff site NewTeeVee, which I founded three years ago and edited until very recently. Let’s just say I had higher hopes that the startups we covered would go on to become the new giants. Not so much.

Here’s a chart I made a couple years ago (back when many of these companies had already been walking dead, at least in terms of innovation, for a long while). Not a ton has changed since then.


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Not Your Grandfather’s Streaming Video Business

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