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Why these OTT video companies failed

Digital video has always moved quickly, and the OTT video space is no different. While Netflix, Hulu and YouTube dominate online video, this might not always be the case. To stay on top, companies need to have an eye for the future and a sense for how to meet ever-changing customer expectations. Here are a few OTT video sites that didn't make the cut.

Redbox Instant
Redbox was the one of the original disrupters of the video rental space. At the time, the idea of getting a $1 video from a box without interacting with a human being seemed like a great idea. However, the company failed to innovate quickly enough after this initial move. As customers came to expect movies without even leaving their homes, Redbox jumped into the fray. As nScreenMedia noted, the platform never had a huge amount of streaming content to choose from, and the quality of the video was inconsistent. Ultimately, Redbox Instant didn't make it, and it was too little, too late.

Xbox Entertainment Studios
In 2012, Xbox launched original content programming for the gaming device. Two years later, it was shut down after Microsoft, which owns Xbox, laid off 18,000 employees, Gamespot reported. Some of the content was highly anticipated, including a Halo TV series to be created by Steven Spielberg. Why did it fail? Aside from the layoffs, it could simply have to do with an unsuccessful business model. As Gamespot pointed out, original programming doesn't seem like a natural move for Xbox, and the studios reportedly had difficulty gaining new content. The shows that were slated for production are moving forward on other channels, but XES is no more.

"To stay on top of the OTT market, companies need to have an eye for the future and a sense for how to meet ever-changing customer expectations."

Justin.tv
Justin.tv was the first website that provided live streaming capabilities from individual users' computers, according to Fierce Online Video. Founded by Justin Kan and others in March 2007, it popularized the word "lifecasting," in Truman Show style, The Next Web wrote. Users of the site were able to operate their own streaming channels. It was like a network of individual reality TV shows, and there was nothing else like it. In 2011, Justin.tv launched Twitch, a separate site for streaming video games. Eventually, Twitch became the more popular platform, and Justin.tv announced it would shut down and focus on the gaming site. It just goes to show that tastes change, and Internet users lost interest in the novelty of lifecasting.  

vidiLife
VidiLife was a video content sharing platform much like YouTube, but it bit the dust in 2011. According to FierceOnlineVideo, all of its users' content was deleted. VidiLife was founded in 2005, the same year as YouTube. All that remains is a writeup from TopTenReviews, which indicated the platform enabled blogging in addition to video sharing, and members could interact with one another through clubs. As a social video platform, it was less focused than YouTube, and less social than Facebook. Eventually, it petered out.

These four platforms are no longer with us, for various reasons. As times change, customers want different things out of their video platforms. Savvy companies can keep up with the times by carefully examining how their current customers use their platforms and see what competitors are up to at the same time.  

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