Last week Fox TV’s digital expert Shelly Palmer posted a woefully lackadaisical short list of the best streaming services. His list included Netflix, Hulu, Apple iTunes, Amazon, Aereo and Redbox Instant.
While those are popular and notable services – with the exception of Aereo, which is available only to a tiny market and whose selection Palmer made no doubt purely on the basis of shock value – the short list fails to get at the hope and opportunity of the OTT space. There are many newcomers to the OTT field and it’s still unknown how a crowded and heating-up market will affect the lumbering therapods of the content ecosystem, the pay TV providers (who are also, lest we forget, broadband providers).
There are slew of new kids on the OTT block, such as:
–Vudu: the UltraViolet-enabled buy and rent OTT service attached to retail giant Walmart. This service is truly for the movie buffs who want to transition their collections from DVD to digital.
–CinemaNow: Best Buy’s OTT service, also UltraViolet-enabled.
–Sony’s Crackle: Easily forgotten, still has great movies and TV shows to stream for free.
–Popcornflix and FrightPIX: Ad-supported OTT services owned by Screen Media Ventures. Popcornflix is known for its catalog of big name stars in lesser known roles. FrightPIX has a great selection of B-grade horror, and there’s a real appetite for that.
–Viewster: A global, free ad-supported OTT service based in Zurich. In the US, Viewster has cracked the top 50 online video properties.
–Warner Archive Instant: WAI can be best described as mainstream niche chic–a back catalog OTT offering with novelty appeal and a $10 price tag.
–Flixster: Once an app for finding details on movie debuts and reviews, Flixster is bridging the OTT service and a content aggregating site. It offers a library of UV-enabled movies for purchase or rental. The discovery component of the service also includes titles available through other OTT sites such as Vudu and Amazon Instant Video.
–M-Go: An up and coming entertainment guide that aggregates content searches across subscription and ad-supported services, and also has titles available for rental or purchase.
–HitBliss: Its unique business model lets viewers interact with advertising in order to earn credits that can be applied to purchasing or renting movies and TV shows to stream. HitBliss is still in private beta. HitBliss’ content isn’t niche, but the service certainly is unique in OTT.
–SnagFilms: A wonderful ad-supported OTT service that offers historical films and documentaries to stream. It has a library of around 3,000 titles and is available on a wide range of devices, including Xbox and Android and Apple tablets, a range of smart TVs and Roku and Boxee.
–YouTube: If you still think YouTube is just about dancing cats and skateboarding dogs, ….
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