Where To Invest In Internet TV

All these years down the line and more money than ever is being poured into the online video market. Brightcove and MobiTV have filed their S1s for IPOs, in video advertising platforms, Tremor Media has raised $37m and Innovid $9m and Ooyala has just raised money from Google's soon to be subsidiary Motorola Mobile (Ooyala was formed by ex-Googlers).

It's interesting that this gathering pace just now - nearly a decade after I first went to market to raise money for pioneering Internet TV company, Narrowstep.

As ever in the investment community, there has to be a thesis underlying this flow of money, and it seems to based around connected, or 'smart' TVs.

The sales figures for internet enabled TVs has taken everyone by surprise - Samsung alone are selling 22,000 units a day. The reality is that we are seeing deconvergence happening, and it's going on a lot faster than convergence happened.

By deconvergence I mean the move of TV delivery onto a range of screens, from the very personal smart device, through the tablet to the Smart TV.

This is going to sideline a bunch of technologies - set top boxes, on screen widgets and broadcast television being amongst them.

But, all of this investment in companies that deliver is somewhat unimaginative. There are many better ad delivery systems and video management platforms than those mentioned above - or at least there are many which are just as good.

What is really missing is investment in the clever components that will make up the new television infrastructure, from smart ad formats such as those delivered by InSkin Media (disclosure: I have acted as an advisor to this company) to the ability to automatically clear rights for content, the kind of technology being developed by my colleagues at Rights Tracker and anti-piracy company, Klipcorp (which is run by the co-author of this blog, and where my holding company, TV Everywhere has a shareholding).

The trouble with the common-or-garden current Internet TV investment thesis is that it is still investing in 2002 companies and business models in a market which is mature, cluttered and undifferentiated.