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, 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.

Related content on GigaOM Pro (subscription required):

Not Your Grandfather’s Streaming Video Business


Don't Look Now

As usual Liz you ignored KIT digital in your narrative AND your chart.
I have concluded your anti KITD bias disqualifies you as an objective journalist let alone believable blogger.
GigaOM and NewTeeVee should be ashamed at this continued bias.

Unless of course it is not a bias and you really don’t understand the OVP business. In which case my criticism is unwarranted.


Great chart. Raises a few thots:

  • What’s up with TidalTV? Word is they are going strong.
  • Grouper: 5 in, 65 out. Not bad!
  • Babelgum to raise “potentially 130M more” – wha?

Liz, it would be interesting to get your take on how Hulu has effected the market. Theorey: Hulu, great in many many ways, killed independent innovation. It’s dominance snuffed out any chance a player like Veoh (or Joost) could get the content it needed to compete. And now that the broadcasters have removed the threat from these sites (once considered real), they will ramp back Hulu’s ambitions.


You forgot the two who started it all: Pseudo and The Den. Not sure about the Den, but Pseudo had ~15M in funding and went bankrupt 7 years later and was then bought up by INTV. You can’t talk about the history of online video without mentioning Pseudo IMHO


You can add vidavee… 6.5M invested in ’06, 10M + equity exit to vignette in ’08, subsequent exit in ’09 to opentext.


Let’s also not forget – Hollywood’s failed attempt to make a web film site in the mould of Hollywood – the total opposite to sites like

Peter Childs

A lot of this has to do with content, and advertisers not valuing web audiences – possibly because they wonder if people watching low production value content for short periods of time are worth spending money to attract.

Video will none the less play an increasing role in successful sites.


Fantastic chart. I’m working on an article on Google and Apple envy. In the telecom sector everyone is focussed on the success of Google and Apple. Most of them forget the enormous losses of the industry, including the ones of Google and Apple.

One can think of Youtube as an enormous success, but also as the 1.65 billion failure of Google Video. Who would have thought that some ex-paypallers could beat Google, Yahoo and MSN Video.



A very detailed chart indeed. The only having a unique business model is Hulu and I have strong reasons to believe that Hulu will beat the competition in long term.

YouTube is trying to replicate a little bit of Hulu by talking to channels and distributors but they will have a hard time change people’s perception about YouTube being a video sharing site.

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