Online video market surges forward as streaming options grow in 2014: Year in Review

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Those in the online video industry got to see their market mature significantly during 2014. After years of mediocre content and audience that forced the segment to take a backseat to pay TV, the online video space blossomed this year with headlining developments.

Of course heavyweights like Netflix and YouTube generated the most activity during the year--with Netflix's House of Cards showing that SVOD players could stand side-by-side with established media companies. But it was now-bankrupt Aereo that truly pushed the space into a new tier--its very public trial at the Supreme Court brought focus onto the demands from users for streaming options and the legalities holding back online video providers. Partially in response, the FCC is now moving forward to grant online streamers MVPD status.

As regulators turned their attention to online video, so too did pay-TV stalwarts. CBS, HBO and others announced their intentions in 2014 to jump head-first into online video in order to chase cord-cutting viewers. Not to be left out, TV analytics companies too realized they needed to play in online video.

And news on the online video front doesn't appear to be slowing anytime soon: Just last week Sony caved to cyberterrorists' demands to deep-six The Interview, an event that likely is forcing online video vendors to secure their own video streams. (Sony Pictures changed course slightly on Tuesday, agreeing to a limited release of the movie in about 200 theaters nationwide, but saying nothing more about any possible VOD release.)

Last spring, FierceOnlineVideo predicted that this would be the most dynamic year ever for online video, and it certainly has been.  And by all we've seen so far, 2015 will be even more disruptive.

Here are the five stories we think impacted online video the most in 2014--events that helped shape the OTT market this year, and that will reverberate well into 2015.

Let us know what you think in the comments. And then don't forget to check out the 2014 Year in Review from FierceWireless, the 2014 Year in Review from FierceCable, the 2014 Year in Review from FierceTelecom and the 2014 Year in Review from FierceWireless:Europe.--Sam

P.S. FierceOnlineVideo will be on a publishing break for the holidays. We will update the website with any breaking news during the break, and our newsletter will be back in your inbox on Wednesday, Jan. 7, 2015. Enjoy the holidays and have a Happy New Year!

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