This could turn out to be a pivotal week in the history of over-the-top video. On Wednesday, YouTube will host a major event for marketers and advertisers in New York to showcase the 90 or no channels of original programming now playing on the streaming video site. The event is timed to coincide with the traditional broadcast and cable network “upfronts,” when producers promote their new shows to advertisers and try to lock in ad commitments for the year. YouTube’s crashing of traditional TV’s annual party comes as both broadcasters and cable networks are suffering severe ratings declines and could mark a turning point in the battle between the incumbent TV powers and over-the-top interlopers. The incumbents are sitting by idly, however. According to Claire Atkinson at the NY Post, who generally has very good sources, OTT poster child Hulu is about to get reeled in by its incumbent network owners. Atkinson reports that Hulu will soon begin a shift to an all-authenticated model, severely curtailing the availability of free, ad-supported network content on the web. Taken together, the moves hint at a future of OTT video based not on providing the same content by other means but of using other means to deliver new types of content.
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