As video content owners and website publishers walk into 2008, we expect several major trends will shape their strategies in the Internet video market.
Nothing about the Internet changes the fundamentals of media—value is created by controlling the content or controlling access to the audience. Media companies with established brands and new start-ups will continue to build successful branded destinations so they can control the access to audiences. We expect these destinations will leverage Internet TV Platforms, Community Platforms, and Ad Platforms to compete with the major aggregators by offering consumers a more focused and differentiated experience, including exclusive content, and by giving advertisers a better environment to build their brands.
Because of the power of the big aggregators to reach new audiences, content owners will continue to develop distribution strategies that place elements of their content library into wide distribution, in most cases with advertising attached. Because there won’t be a one-size-fits-all solution, content owners will depend on Internet TV Platforms to help them manage the complex policy and technology challenges associated with implementing Internet distribution strategies. They will use audience networks to bridge the gap between aggregators and their own branded destinations, which will make the web as a whole a much more interesting place.
To date the advertising focus in the Internet TV market has been on monetizing video streams. But this focus is both shortsighted and not nearly as effective as thinking about how to monetize audience. By developing audience-centric strategies, content owners will look for new ways to blend ad formats, insertion policies, and targeting tactics across pages, short-form video clips, long-form shows, and open distribution. While they are more difficult to plan and execute these ad strategies deliver greater yield and a much better user experience, which means better sustainability. These strategies will also take advantage of both direct selling and integration with Uber Ad Platforms.
One of the key insights from the last two years is that short-form online video does best when it’s placed in a context. The context could be created by pages in a website, comments from users, line-ups in a player, etc. Regardless of how it’s done, getting the context right means you can put the right video clips in front of a viewer, which makes everyone happy. We expect that contextual in-page video publishing will grow, and that it will be extended to slideshows and audio content as more and more rich media is brought out of silos and into the core of websites.
The explosive growth that has happened with the major network episode players, and the increasing access that consumers have to long form, high-quality video will push Internet TV closer to traditional broadcast TV, and widen the opportunity for brand marketers that covet the deep engagement created by a full-screen, immersive experience.
Extract by Jeremy Allaire, Founder/CEO & Adam Berrey, SVP Marketing, Brightcove