Jeroen Wijering was a university student in the Netherlands who was dissatisfied with the ads and downloads that used to be necessary for watching videos on the internet, so he took the initiative and created his own online player. This player was built into web browsers, and allowed flash and similar applications to run online without any downloads. As the founder and creator of JW Player, Wijering arrived at the game before most people even realized it had begun. Before it was acquired by Google, all Youtube videos ran through JW Player. Today, JW Player has a team of 160 people, and is used by 2.5 million websites, ranging from small blogs to big companies like Fox, ESPN, Redbull, and Vice. They are responsible for streaming over fifteen billion videos, and have expanded from their origins as a video player to offer video hosting and transcoding capabilities, as well as data technology around analytics and digital recommendation.
In this episode of Philanthrocapitalism, host Matthew Bishop speaks to Wijering about the questions surrounding digital content moving forward. Wijering reveals that the ultimate competition his clients face for consumer attention does not come from Netflix or Amazon, but rather social media platforms such as Facebook, Snapchat, and Youtube that are found to be taking up the largest chunk of people’s time budgets. This means that Wijering’s responsibilities lie in assisting his customers in getting their content socialized, which means figuring out ways to deliver their content to mobile devices and smart TVs. Facebook and Youtube have become very good at enabling consumers to discover content, and outreach goals now entail figuring out how to turn one video play into two or three video plays. Such interaction with content will ideally lead consumers to external company sites through their social media. The issue faced now is the fact that there is not enough video content compared to the amount of advertising available. Ads will have to become increasingly targeted, and analysis of consumer viewing habits will have to get more complex.
Jeroen Wijering predicts the large issues moving forward are going to revolve around the decline in cable subscriptions, and consumer migration to digital services. Media companies will attempt to move into digital services, and with the kind of content they aim to distribute, they will be threatened not only by social media, but with the dominant streaming services as well. Wijering notes how the most important innovations will be in conceptualizing ways to improve the ease of accessibility of content. Wijering declares that the path to ideal distribution will entail discovering standard means for content publishers, publishers that are not part of the dominant services, to make their way onto consumer devices.
21:33 | 2016