Is your company still wondering about using online video?

Horowitz Associates, a market research and consulting company,just released a report analyzing the rapid growth in consumption of broadband video content. It reveals that 61% of high speed users watch or download online video content at least once a week and 86% do so on a monthly basis. That is up 16% and 15%, respectively, from 2006.

Naysayers often set up a false choice, the way some politicians love to do. They will tell you that online media will never kill TV and radio. Who ever said it would or, for that matter, should? Radio didn’t kill TV. TV didn’t kill newspapers and magazines. The automobile did not kill the horse- it just repurposed it.

The point is, exploiting online media to you or your company’s advantage is not akin to giving up. "Oh, well, we can’t afford a big TV campaign. I guess we’ll do something on YouTube and hope for the best." You now have more control than ever and you have, most importantly, an audience starving for good content that already has trained themselves to search for what they want.

Are you giving it to them? Do you even know what it is? Need some help?

NBC looks to outside sources for programming

Despite their claims that this deal has nothing to do with the writer’s strike, NBC has gone out and cut a deal with some independent producers to buy blocks of programming at a much lower cost to fill up their soon to be empty cupboard of shows.

One of the deals was cut with producer Thom Beers, creator of such adventure documentaries as "Deadliest Catch" and "Ice Road Truckers." Writers strike or no writers strike, this is a sage move on the part of NBC to hedge their bets against the continuing migration by viewers to the internet. By making a deal with an independent producer, the per episode costs for a one-hour documentary style show are in the $500,000 range, versus $1.2-$1.5 million.

Networks will continue to beat the bushes looking for low cost and internet ready programming. We see this as a trend that is likely to continue as the cracks in the old model are exposing themselves more and more every day.

Stay tuned…

How to leverage online video for your product or service

Great piece in the Wall Street Journal online edition this week about the clever ways different individuals and businesses are using online video to drive traffic and drive sales.

One of the more interesting (although potentially Lonelygirl-ish) anecdotes was about a Chicago based artist who posts regular videos that feature her as she paints, but also as she offers her opinions and ruminations on a host of topics. She’s gotten millions of hits and, evidently, sold lots of her work this way.

The article goes on to mention several other groups and businesses that are creating compelling (usually funny) video content in order to move product. Easier and cheaper than a 30-second spot and if you can hit that viral sweet spot, the public can take over your marketing for you.

The article is a great primer and also has links to click through to watch the campaigns themselves.

Kill a catalogue, save a tree

Saw this twice over the weekend, once on TV and once in the NY Times, and it seemed like the perfect time to share since, at least in the US, the onslaught of holiday catalogues has begun.

CatalogChoice.org was launched by a coalition of environmental groups as a free service to cut down on the number of catalogues we all receive in our mailboxes this time of year. According to one source, since the service launched on October 9, they have helped more than 165,000 people opt out of nearly 1.7 million catalogues.

All you do is sign up and then they contact the vendors on your behalf to have you removed from their mailing list. Every year 53 million trees are felled to send 19 billion catalogues to Americans. Recycling is great. But what if the paper never got used in the first place?

And in a nice bit of eco-friendly marketing, several companies like LL Bean, Lands’ End and Lillian Vernon have signed up as official merchant partners of Catalog Choice. In exchange for working with the coalition, the merchants get a link back from the website.

We urge you to sign up. The internet never did (and never will) create the once heralded "paperless office." But at least you can cut down on the paper that does come into your house. Think how happy your mailman will be.

Q: Who watches online video? A: Everyone!

According to a new study from Frank Magid & Associates, almost half the US population watched one online video per month. These viewers are an average age of 36 and pretty much split evenly down the middle male/female.

Funny videos lead the way, including forwarded or recommended videos, followed by news. Video search continues to improve and many newer sites like Metacafe, Brightcove, Revver and Veoh are more like TV channels and not just a massive dumping ground for video content.

It remains unclear whether or not individual video sites will clean up their acts, but they might do well to heed another key finding from this same study: the ability to search efficiently within a video site was the number one factor influencing repeat visits.

IBM predicts the end of advertising as we know it

IBM Global Business Services released it’s new report entitled "The End of Advertising as We Know It" in which it forecasts greater disruption for the ad industry in the next 5 years than in the previous 50.

The report is incredibly rich in both substance and fact and I would urge you to check it out here.

For those of you who read blogs so that folks like me do the heavy lifting for you, here are some highlights:

  • Traditional ad players risk major revenue declines as budgets shift to new, interactive formats which are expected to grow at five times the rate of traditional advertising.
  • Broadcasters need to change their mass audience mind set and deliver targeted ads across a range of multimedia devices.


Personal internet time is now rivaling TV time. Consumers are sick of interruption advertising and are ever more in control of how they interact, filter, distribute and consume their content and any ad messaging that might come with it.

Analytics will continue to play an ever increasing role in delivery, as our pals at Lotame will tell you.

I won’t go on any further, but the message is clear. Change is the only constant.

The writer’s strike is the harbinger of the crumbling of an unsustainable business  model. iTunes and other music services were a harbinger of a sea change in the sales and distribution of music. The world is digital and that can be a scary prospect for analog players. You cannot unring the bell, however, so how are you going to respond?

New way to find music from NPR

If you’re anything like me, you spend a lot of time looking for good music. No matter where you come down on NPR’s programming, they typically have great music offerings.

This week they launched a terrific, free multimedia music discovery site called NPR Music.  Along with the launch of the site, they also released an elegant player that allows you to create your own playlist of material  dating back to May 2005 to the present, as well as make recommendations for related content depending on the your selections. Pretty cool.

It is very user friendly and visually pleasing website. Definitely worth checking out.

The importance of online video in your marketing plan

Search is improving everyday. Time was when video search lagged far behind keywords, but that time has past. As we have discussed before, search has overtaken communication as the main reason people use the internet. Powerful moving images will always trump words on a page when you are trying to engage and communicate with someone. That is how we all learn from the time we’re born: visual imagery, spoken word, music and visual text.

We recently discovered a great service called Tube Mogul that with the click of one button lets you upload your video content across 12 different sites and get powerful analytics. They recently posted on their company blog an example of a small business, in this case a California chiropractor, that posted a very simple video showing him adjusting a patient’s spine that generated about 10,000 organic (in other words, not paid) views and new customers.

Produce quality content, use compelling and accurate keywords so that your video gets found and promote, promote, promote.

In our own case, we can testify that by following several simple steps with the production, distribution and promotion of our own online series Gleicy Santos-Model Behavior, our search results have gone through the roof and continue to generate traffic both to our own blog as well as the myriad sites where the video is currently playing.

Online video can no longer be viewed as something your company ought to try "one of these days." As someone so aptly put it on that same TubeMogul blog post: "…when was the last time that a paid search listing or a banner ad raised your blood pressure or induced you to forward something to a friend? Get the point?"

Well, do you?

Just in time for the writer’s strike

Looks like the writer’s strike is here and who knows how long it may last.

 

The third episode of Model Behavior is ready for viewing so for at least two minutes, take a trip with Gleicy Santos around the world to some exotic destinations and you can forget that there’s no “Daily Show” or “Colbert Report.”

Hopefully the strike won’t last long, but if it does, we’ve got your back.

Watch it on Brightcove or YouTube.