Right now there is a war going on in online video and it's not a pretty one. It's a war between video players. Flash, QuickTime, Windows Media Player and that other one what's it called? Oh that's right Real Player.
Sure there are other video players out there but these four are real "PLAYERS" in the online video business world.
From my point of view here are the simple benefits of the top four players.
Flash seems to have the biggest distribution (Installed on over 850 million Internet-connected desktops and mobile devices) being the player of choice for YouTube but more than that Flash is also the player of choice for online video Ad Networks because they can show their advertiser real time reports. The quality of flash is great if it's used at it's highest quality but to save bandwidth most sites don't use Flash at a high quality but it's use is getting better but not the best thing to watch on your wide screen HDTV.
QuickTime delivers high quality video and works on the iPods, Apple TV and yes with video sharing apps like mDialog you can even send video to the 3G iPhone.(Disclosure: mDialog is one of my sponsors) You can use QuickTime in your RSS feed and keep your subscribers iTunes full of your latest content. The big problem with QuickTime is that advertising networks don't use it because they don't have real time tracking of the views os RSS feeds.
Windows Media Player is well deployed on PCs and works really well on the Zune but I don't know of (and please correct me if I'm wrong) any ad networks using Windows Media Player to deliver advertising. If I was doing a sponsors episode of a product that was only targeted at PC owners I would definitely use Windows Media Player to distribute my videos.
As far as Real Player goes, I'm at a loss. From what I can tell Real Player is good for partnering with big corporations on "speacial" video projects that take advantage of Real Players network of subscribers. Like getting to watch all the BTS on CBS's Big Brother. Please feel free to help me out on this one. I know there is something great about Real Player but I forgot what it is.
Other videos players are in the mix like Silverlight which is Microsoft's competitor to Flash but I have yet to see traction with these other players.
As a content producer what video players do you like and why do you like them?