The Greater Boston Internet Video Cluster

Boston may take a back seat to Los Angeles and New York as a locus for TV, film, and video production, but it’s front and center when it comes to the array of technologies that go into publishing and monetizing video content on the Internet.

Not so long ago, video lovers were pretty much limited to what was being shown live on broadcast or cable TV, what they recorded on their VCRs or DVRs, or what they could buy, rent, or borrow at Blockbuster or Netflix. But now an increasing fraction of traditional TV and movie content—along with a huge tidal wave of brand-new content, much of it generated by consumers themselves—is available over the Internet. The basic enabling technology here, of course, is the spread of broadband Internet connectivity to homes and offices. But we don’t just have Comcast and Verizon to thank: there’s a lot of behind-the-scenes technology involved in Internet video distribution, from the servers that host the content to the players that show it on your computer to the software that inserts the (inevitable) ads. And it turns out that a lot of the companies building this technology are right here in Boston.

Because it’s so central to the future of media, this is an industry cluster that deserves to be spotlighted. So, paralleling our earlier roundup of the area’s music-and-technology companies, we’ve assembled a preliminary list of Boston-area online video companies below, with links to our most relevant coverage. These are all companies whose primary businesses relate to video accessed or delivered over the Internet or mobile networks, or to some other aspect of the deepening marriage between TV and the Internet.

When we publish these technology-cluster stories, we realize that our lists aren’t definitive. In fact, we’re counting on you to help us make them more complete. So if you know of an Internet video company based somewhere in New England that we missed, leave a comment below or write to us at editors@xconomy.com.

And one more thing. While many Boston-area video production companies, advertising and marketing agencies, Web design companies, and broadcast TV stations are aggressively exploring Internet video, they aren’t on this list. If they were, it would be a lot longer. It’s also worth noting that Boston’s influence in the Internet video arena extends far beyond New England; we have not dipped into the long list of online video startups funded by Boston-area venture firms but headquartered in other regions (e.g. Palo Alto’s Metacafe, funded by Highland Capital Partners, or Seattle’s thePlatform, which is now part of Comcast but was originally funded by Spark Capital).

Without further ado:

Aerva Cambridge, MA
Web-accessible interactive digital displays, allowing audience interaction via SMS text messaging. (News item)

Akamai
Cambridge, MA
Global content distribution network for video and other high-bandwidth content. (News item)

Avid
Tewksbury, MA
Software and equipment for digital post-production video editing and storage. (Profile)

Backchannelmedia Boston, MA
Software allowing cable operators to show interactive pop-up ads during cable TV shows that lead consumers to related Web content. (Profile)

Blackwave Acton, MA
Internet video storage for more efficient and cost-effective content delivery. (News item)

Boston.TV Boston, MA
Locally produced, Internet-only food, arts, entertainment, sports, business, and lifestyle coverage. (Video)

Brightcove Cambridge, MA
Professional Internet video publishing platform, including customized Web-based video players preconfigured to deliver various types of advertising.

Buzzwire Bedford, MA
Streaming video, audio, and radio for mobile phones. (Profile)

ChoiceStream Cambridge, MA
Software that delivers personalized DVD, Internet video, and TV schedule recommendations based on user preferences.

EnjoyMyMedia Concord, MA
Software that allows consumers to “broadcast” videos and other content stored in specified folders on their home computers. (Profile)

EveryZing Cambridge, MA
Speech-to-text transcription facilitating more accurate video search on large multimedia content sites and exposing the content of these sites to search engines. (Profile 1, profile 2)

ExtendMedia Newton, MA
Platforms for creation, management, and delivery of online video, including desktop media players and systems for inserting fresh advertising in older content.

Gotuit Woburn, MA
Software that helps content owners tag video content with extensive metadata, enabling video search and navigation, targeted advertising, and personalized video remixing.

Hobnox Boston, MA
Publishing platform for interactive, documentary-style videos by independent producers. (Profile)

iMoonDo Somerville, MA
Real-time and recorded video classified ads.

LocaModa Cambridge, MA
Interactive video displays for out-of-home environments, manipulated via the Web and mobile phones. (Profile)

Maven Networks Cambridge, MA
Software for creating, managing, publishing, and syndicating Internet video, including tools for inserting various types of advertising; recently acquired by Yahoo. (News item)

MediaSilo Boston, MA
Web-based tools that help production teams centrally manage video assets and launch Web TV channels.

Nellymoser Arlington, MA
On-demand video and other rich media for mobile phones.

OurStage Boston, MA
Community website where members vote for videos and music uploaded by independent musicians. (News item)

Participatory Culture Foundation Worcester, MA
Publishes Miro, a free open-source video player that connects to free Internet video channels and plays video files in any format.

PeerApp Newton, MA
Caching servers for peer-to-peer video content, reducing the burden of P2P traffic on Internet service providers. (Profile)

PermissionTV Waltham, MA
Consumer-focused online video player platform with interactive features such as polls, playlists, RSS feeds, blogging, tagging, and e-mail-to-a-friend; hosted content distribution.

SeaChange Acton, MA
Software and hardware for digital video storage and streaming; ad insertion for broadband, broadcast, and on-demand video distributors.

ScanScout Boston, MA
Software that creates new ad inventory for online video publishers by placing relevant ads within or alongside videos.

Veveo Andover, MA
“Incremental search” software for quickly discovering Web video content from Internet-connected devices such as phones, game consoles, TVs, and personal media players. (Profile)

Visible Measures Boston, MA
Software that collects data for publishers and advertisers on the behavior of Internet video audiences—measuring, for example, where viewers stop or replay online videos. (Profile)

WheelsTV Acton, MA
More than 30 channels of free Internet video focused on cars and the automotive industry; also offers “video test drives” for car dealerships. (Profile)

Wade Roush is a contributing editor at Xconomy. Follow @wroush

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