||This article needs to be updated. (June 2017)|
Type of site
|Owner||Jon Goldman, Chief Executive Officer|
|Created by||Dmitry Shapiro, Ted Dunning|
|Current status||Acquired by Qlipso|
Veoh is an Internet television company based in San Diego, California. It allows users to find and watch major studio content, independent productions and user-generated material. The company is a subsidiary of Israeli start-up Qlipso.
The company received media attention after Michael Eisner, a former Disney chairman, joined the board. In April 2006, he was one of the investors (along with Time Warner) in the US$12.5 million second round of financing for Veoh and re-affirmed his status in August 2007 as an investor in the company's US$25 million Series C financing round.
On February 11, 2010, in an open letter published on his blog, company founder and former CEO, Dmitry Shapiro, indicated that "the distraction of the legal battles, and the challenges of the broader macro-economic climate have led to our Chapter 7 bankruptcy." On April 7, 2010, it was announced that Israeli start-up company Qlipso acquired Veoh for an undisclosed sum. Qlipso aims to use the acquisition to add users and revenue to its multi-user content sharing service.
Included with recent installations of Veoh is a program called OpenCandy, which some security programs, including Microsoft Security Essentials, classify as adware. It also installs Delta Search, setting all the user's browsers to use an ad and tracking-loaded search engine without prompting for user confirmation.
Veoh was founded by Dmitry Shapiro. The company launched an early version of its distribution technology in September 2005 and debuted its full beta service in March 2006. Veoh officially launched (out of beta) in February 2007. Veoh has raised about US$70 million from venture capital and media investors. Time Warner, Michael Eisner's Tornante Company, Spark Capital, Shelter Capital Partners, Tom Freston's Firefly3 LLC, Jonathan Dolgen (former chairman of Viacom Entertainment Group), Intel, and Goldman Sachs are all major investors.
In addition to the user-generated content that Veoh broadcasts, Veoh has distributed content from major media companies including CBS, ABC, The WB, Viacom's MTV Networks, ESPN, FEARNet, Billboard, Ford Models, US Weekly, TV Guide, and others. Independent creators found on Veoh include NextNewNetworks, 60 Frames, Can We Do That?, Goodnight Burbank, and Dave and Tom.
In January 2009, Veoh announced a new site[permanent dead link] including support for iPhone/iPod Touch and the Veoh Video Compass. Upon introduction, some controversy arose over the lack of friends lists, mail services, as well as some video info.
In April 2009, following layoffs in November 2008, Veoh reduced its staff by 25 more to 45 remaining employees and reinstated Dmitry Shapiro as its CEO, replacing Steve Mitgang. On February 11, 2010, it was reported that Veoh had laid off most of its remaining staff and was in the process of filing for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy. Later that year, on April 7, Israeli social sharing firm Qlipso announced that they had acquired the assets of Veoh for an undisclosed price.
Veoh offers two viewing options. The Veoh.com site allows viewers to watch streaming web video from across the Web including via their iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch. Although somewhat like YouTube, Veoh.com offers a broader selection of network television content and allows viewers to watch full episodes of TV shows and full-length movies. Veoh.com hosts a range of programming, from user generated content to studio content.
TV shows are exclusively available for the United States.
Veoh also provided a software application, VeohTV Beta, that enabled "lean back" and remote controllable viewing of web content. In December 2008 Veoh transitioned from VeohTV to the Veoh Web Player. Veoh restricts users from playing full-length videos on Veoh.com, unless the Veoh Web Player is installed within their browser. The player also enables users to download video from Veoh.com and other websites. Veoh Web player comes with Veoh Video compass, many times full versions of the show are not available directly on the website and instead are only offered to those who have downloaded and use their software to access the content.
Publishers can use their PC to upload videos for distribution. Veoh transcodes the video file so the video is available on Veoh.com, streamed on the publisher's own web site, and in portable devices like iPhones, iPod Touches, iPods and Sony PSPs. Publishers are able to customize the presentation of their content, automatically publish via RSS feeds, and organize video programming into episodic series or complete channels.
Veoh uses both peer-to-peer (for its player software application) and Adobe Flash-based streaming video (for its website) technologies. Veoh claims its use of peer-to-peer in the player application enables distribution of longer form video files at a much lower cost. It also means that bandwidth costs will not rise in direct proportion to the number of users. Veoh systems use LAMP and Java.
According to the official website, Veoh is freeware.
Veoh's recommendations engine is intended to enable viewers to find content that interests them. The recommendations engine was originally built by co-founder Dr. Ted Dunning, Chief Scientist for Veoh. Subsequently, it was renovated by John Dimm in 2007 and finally restructured, refined, and maintained by Alexander Sherbak in 2008 through 2010 utilizing patent pending cluster identification algorithms. Veoh recommendations are based on user view history. As users watch videos, the Veoh recommendation system presents directly relevant video choices based around view histories of users with similar viewing/watch patterns.
In late May 2008, Veoh discontinued service in many countries. The company stated that the decision was made in order to focus on the 34 markets in which it has the most viewers.
As of May 31, 2008, upon trying to access the site from a Latvian IP address a screen is displayed: "Veoh is no longer available in Latvia & Mauritius" Without prior notice, users from these countries were denied the ability to back up the contents they have contributed to the website. As of June 2008, visitors (IP addresses) in the vast majority of countries, including Asia, portions of Europe, Africa, Central America, and South America, have reported being blocked or experiencing a similar message for their region.
Gaude Paez, a spokesperson told NewTeeVee.com "The markets we are exiting collectively represent less than 10 percent of our viewer base." She maintained that the decision was "not about saving resources but rather refocusing those resources." Recently, however, the restriction has been removed from certain territories such as Puerto Rico. Indian users have reported that the Veoh restrictions were lifted for a month, yet came back in August.
As of March 30, 2009, Veoh also blocked the Czech Republic, Lebanon, Malaysia and Serbia. Egypt, Romania, Martinique and Pakistan were also blocked in June. Turkey, Thailand and UAE were blocked as of October 2009. The ban on Malaysia has since been removed. As of September 2010 site was accessible again from Serbia, but starting of December 2010 access was removed once again. Veoh is also blocked in Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and Mongolia.
As of July 26, 2011 service has been restored to these blocked countries. However, as of April 2012, Macao users are still being blocked, with the message "Veoh is no longer available in MACAO. If you are not in MACAO or think you have received this message in error, please go to veoh.com and report the issue."