Archive for the ‘Video’ Category

Online advertising moving to interactive & measurable formats

Wednesday, August 27th, 2008

MeasureJust saw a story this morning about Carat’s advertising outlook for 2009. Even though they are revising their forecast down to reflect the weak economy, they are raising their forecast for online advertising from 23.3% to 23.7% in 2008. For 2009, they are predicting that online advertising will grow 18.6%, vs. earlier estimates of 17.8% growth.

The most interesting bit in the article, however, is this:

[Jerry Buhlmann, CEO of Aegis Media] said the growth in online’s ad spending share has less to do with the growth of consumer use of online media, and more to do with a secular shift within the advertising industry that is driving marketers and agencies toward media that deliver measurable returns on advertising investments.

“With search now central to the planning and execution of any campaign, online media brings a greater level of accountability not just to itself but to TV, print and other forms of advertising,” he said. “This is why we are predicting further strong growth for internet, even when advertisers are cautious in many of the other sectors.” (bold and italics mine)

This shift to performance-based media, sometimes called ROI advertising, is going to continue until most (if not all) advertising is based on performance metrics. Not only is search advertising going to continue its phenomenal growth in leading this sector, but lead generation is going to continue to grow quickly. Joining them will be other media that traditionally have not been measured but will move in that direction, including video and even print.

Marketers have always headed in the direction of measurable media programs. Just think of the 1-800 numbers that can be traced back to specific ads. With money tight, even more dollars will be adjusted to go to these programs that can prove they are worth the money they cost to run.

Photo by aussiegall

You know about YouTube, but have you heard of Hulu or Joost?

Thursday, May 1st, 2008

My latest article just went up at The Industry StandardYouTube, Hulu & Joost: Is there room all three video sites? Go give it a read.

In that article, I cite some statistics from Compete.com and point to the graphic on those stats – here it is:

 

I wasn’t really able to go into all the pros and cons of the various services in that article, but thought I would take a bit of time to break things down a bit more here. First of all, YouTube is kicking all other video services butts, and will continue to do so. It has momentum, users and let’s be honest – it’s fun (and easy) to use. Not to mention that YouTube is owned by Google so there is bound to be continuing innovation with the service, which Robert Scoble claims is in the pipeline as I write this.

Joost is in some trouble. The main issue, as far as I can tell, is that they require users to download their proprietary player in order to watch any Joost videos. I was on the site and wanted to check out an episode of MacGyver (who doesn’t?), but I didn’t because I didn’t want to take the time to download Joost to my computer. This will kill them if they don’t fix it.

I love Hulu so far. I am a sucker for a clean design and easy-to-use interface, and Hulu has both. Plus, there were a bunch of TV shows and clips on the site that I was interested in watching, and with a simple click, I was in business. It was easy to use, the video was high-quality and my experience was great. But Hulu isn’t perfect. For example, it’s not available internationally (there are licensing issues), and it has a limited number of videos available at any given time. Perhaps the weirdest thing about Hulu is that although it features embeddable videos, after a period of time those links break because the videos are pulled off the site. Weird. But even so, I really like Hulu.

In fact, here’s a clip from Hulu for your viewing pleasure (at least it will be pleasant if you like The Office). And this is another user testimony for Hulu – even though I know that this video will no longer be available one day, I like the service so much that I am willing to risk it.

Online video advertising – stats and status

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2008

My latest article for The Industry Standard is now up online: Three online video formats for the future. In the article, I take a look at the current state of online video advertising, and make some suggestions about where video advertising might be able to head in order to stay relevant to the medium and to move beyond traditional ad formats.

In the course of researching for the article, I came across a lot of great online video stats. These are in addition to some earlier articles about online video that I posted to this blog. Those articles are here:

Online video stats for September 07
Video is not going to kill the Internet in 2010
Some more YouTube stats

The new data covers a wide variety of information, from online video usage to online video advertising metrics. I just am going to include it here because it’s great information for anyone who is following online video. I’ll also include links to all the sources so that you can explore the information in context.

Online Publishers AssociationOnline Video Advertising, Content and Consumer Behavior (PDF)
Online publishers association logo
This report contained a great deal of useful data, particularly about audience reception to online video advertising, including the following statistics:

  • Over 40% of U.S. online video users watch online video on at least a weekly basis; over 70% at least monthly.
  • 80% of U.S. online video users have watched an advertisement in an online video. Of those people, 52% took action after watching that video; 28% looked for more information; 19% clicked a banner ad that accompanied the video; and 16% bought something as a result of the ad.
  • 56% prefer that the advertisement is related to the video content.
  • Both 15- and 30-second pre-roll ads are effective at lifting brand awareness; 30-second ads outpace 15-second ads in “likeability.”

Advertising.comBi-Annual Online Video Study: First-Half 2007 vs. Second-Half 2006 (PDF)
Advertising.com logoThis study bills itself as the “who, what, when and what works of online video consumption and advertising.” The most surprising data from this study is the age range of online video consumers.

  • 31% of 18 to 34 year olds watch streaming video; 69% stream video more than once per week
  • 69% of consumers 35 and over watch streaming video; 47% stream video more than once per week
  • 95% of those surveyed are streaming video at home (vs. 4% at the office and 1% at school); 45% of streaming takes place in the evening.
  • 42% of consumers have forwarded a video clip to a friend
  • 94% of consumers would prefer to view ads than pay to watch a video
  • 63% of consumers would prefer ads that are shorter than television ads
  • Consumers are 8% more likely to view a 15-second advertisement through to completion (vs. a 30-second advertisement)
  • The 30-second pre-roll slightly outperforms the 15- and 5-second ads when measured in terms of click-through rate

BtoBInteractive Marketing Guide

Online video advertising spending

comScoreMore than 10 billion videos viewed online in the U.S. in February (08)
comScore logoThis is the most recent data that I could find – the highlights:

  • U.S. Internet users viewed more than 10 billion videos in February; this is a 3% gain vs. January, and a 66% gain from February 2007
  • 135 million U.S. Internet users spent an average of 204 minutes watching online video in February
  • 72.8% of U.S. Internet audience viewed an online video
  • The average online video duration was 2.7 minutes
  • The average online video viewer consumed 75 videos

New online video technology launches; has a viable advertising model

Tuesday, April 15th, 2008

Online video is already huge and getting bigger all the time. At least 75% of Internet users watch videos online and 8 hours of video content being uploaded to YouTube EVERY MINUTE. But there is a problem with online video because no one has (yet) figured out a long-term viable advertising model that will work with video. Google (which owns YouTube) is certainly working on it, but all the models that have debuted so far – pre-roll, post-roll, sponsorship – have fallen short because none of the formats have taken advantage of the inherent interactivity of the Internet. That is, until now.

I just took a look at what Revision3 and VideoClix have teamed up to put together and it’s great. Not only is the ad format interesting and cool, it’s also fairly unobtrusive and seems tailor-made for the Internet’s interactive format.

The first video to debut with the new technology is Diggnation (although all of Revision3’s videos will have the technology shortly). Watchers are able to interact with the video as it’s playing. When a viewer clicks on an item in the video that has additional information included, an area is displayed to the right of the video that has the details about the item, as well as room for advertising or additional vendor information.

Diggnation screenshot

This is clever. For one thing, the information that was provided was fun and interesting. (For example, I found out that the Lloyd Hotel in Amsterdam has rooms that range from 1 to 5 stars and one of the rooms has a shower in the middle of the room.) I wanted to click every link in the video to find out more about the video that I was watching, the clothes that the hosts were wearing, and even to see what computers they were using. Since my clicks didn’t stop the video, I was able to click around when something was happening that I was less interested in watching and I didn’t have to miss anything that I didn’t want to miss.

My prediction – this online advertising format will be viable and long-lasting, particularly in the consumer market. Clickable video is here to stay.

What is Twitter?

Thursday, March 6th, 2008

I have been wanting to write about Twitter for quite awhile, to try to explain it to all the (many, many) people who I know who don’t use it (and probably haven’t even heard of it), but now I don’t have to thanks to this video by Common Craft.

If you want to know what Twitter is, watch the video. You still won’t really get it until you join, but at least you’ll have more of an idea as to why people sign up.

I currently use Twitter to find out what’s going on in the industry. I would like to use it to follow friends and business partners, but when I initially checked to find out who in my address book was on Twitter, only one person showed up.

Of course, I have “met” many other people through Twitter, and I am able to follow many of my favorite bloggers who use the service. I also find that Twitter is a great way to stay informed when something big is going on, or when I want to find out specific information about a city I am visiting, or if I need to get feedback about a story that I’m working on. But it would be really cool if I actually knew people who used the service.

I kind of doubt that is going to happen anytime soon.

But if you read my blog and use Twitter, add me and I’ll follow you! @mchang16

And if you don’t know what the @ symbol means, don’t worry – you’ll catch on!

Does audience size matter?

Monday, December 31st, 2007

I have been thinking about this post from Robert Scoble since I read it yesterday. (Go read it now.) In the post, Scoble makes three pretty strong points:

First,

“In the past few years I’ve had some success building audiences, but I found that that’s not really what’s important. It’s not what advertisers REALLY care about.”

He goes on to ask “What do they really care about?” and answers his own question by saying that advertisers care about content: that you get content that no one else does, that it causes conversations to happen, that your content gets noticed in the niche that you’re covering, and that it gets the most authoritative links back to it.

His second point:

“It’s not the size of your audience that matters. It’s WHO is in the audience that matters.”

And his third point:

“I never talk…about how large my audience will be. No, instead, we’re talking about who we want on the show for the first week. How can we make the quality better? Who is out there who is doing innovative stuff that we can learn from?…How can we take our art further? How come bloggers never obsess about THAT?”

There is a lot going on in this article, but first and foremost I have to disagree that advertisers don’t care about audience size. All you have to do is look at how advertising is sold online to know that they do, in fact, care very much about audience size. CPM (cost per thousand) is the standard measurement for online media sales. Just check out the advertising pages for CNET or PCMag.com  or CMP (all technology publishing companies). What is the first statistic that’s listed? Unique visitors per month. Second statistic? Unique page views per month.

Having worked for both Ziff Davis and IDG, two of the biggest technology publishers in the world, I know that when technology marketers are buying online advertising packages, the easiest question to ask – and the first one out of their mouths – is size of audience. They always want to know traffic stats and reach. In that market, advertisers do care about how big the audience is. And I think that this is only magnified in the consumer markets (with audiences like the one that Perez Hilton reaches), where there is no way to measure audience except by size.

And (this is still hard for me to swallow even though I’ve believed it for a long time), most advertisers do NOT care about how good the content is. I am just being honest here. Most technology marketers and advertisers do not pay attention to the content, or know how good or not good it is in and of itself. Instead, they measure content “goodness” quantitatively – by how big the audience is that is reading the content, and by who that audience is.

Which leads me to the part of Scoble’s article in which he was dead on accurate – advertisers do care about how targeted the audience is, WHO is in the audience. I believe that this is actually the statistic that matters the most to online advertisers.

Take another look at those advertising pages that I linked to earlier. There are some pretty strong arguments made by the publications that they have the specific audiences that advertisers are looking for. I believe that this trend of advertisers trying to reach the specific individual – with the right title, job function, industry and size of company – instead of reaching just a whole lot of people and hoping that the message has an impact, will continue. This desire to reach the RIGHT audience is why new models of online advertising are emerging, such as lead generation, in which a company will pay $100 PER LEAD as long as they are targeting the right person with their message. Scoble is reaching the audience that his advertisers want to reach – so the size of his audience isn’t as important. And this is why sites like Perez Hilton, which have to rely on audience size (because they are reaching a disparate consumer market) are going to have a hard time selling advertising by any measurement except audience size.

As far as content is concerned, I have already made the point that I don’t believe that advertisers care as much about quality content as Scoble claims that they do. I wish that they did, but I’ve been in this industry long enough to realize that they really just don’t. They like the latest and greatest thing – because it’s good for their brand to be associated with that innovative content – but advertisers aren’t content specialists and just really don’t have a good understanding of quality content.

HOWEVER – and this is a really big however – I think that Scoble is writing from the perspective of a content producer, not an advertiser. And his point is RIGHT ON that content producers MUST CARE MORE about their content than their audience size. Because without good, innovative, cutting-edge content, content producers will never draw the type of audience that they need to get advertisers. Scoble says that the right question is “how can we take our art further?” And I agree that is the right question for a content producer.

Online video stats for September 07

Friday, November 30th, 2007

Comscore logo
I just saw that ComScore has released statistics for online video usage for September 2007. The following are the most interesting stats:

– 75% of U.S. Internet users watched a video online, averaging three hours of video per person during the month.

– Nearly 2 out of 5 U.S. Internet users watched a YouTube video during the same time period.

– The average online video duration was 2.7 minutes.

– The average viewer consumed 68 videos, more than two per day.

This last number seems really high to me. If you take the average video duration and the average number of videos per month, this means that the average U.S. Internet user is watching just over three hours of online videos per month.

This is still nothing compared to the television watching habits of the average American, however, who watches 4 hours and 34 minutes of TV per day, according to Nielsen Media Research.

Recommended reading: Online video blogs

Friday, November 30th, 2007

One of the best ways to stay up-to-date about any online or Internet technology is to read the blogs written by the people who are the absolute experts in the field. The following are some of my favorite

Online video blogs

The Business of Online Video- From StreamingMedia.com and written by Dan Rayburn, the company’s executive vice president, “the business behind the technology of online video.”

Online Video Insider- From MediaPost, co-written by six guys from the industry, “The inside line on Internet content and advertising.”

NewTeeVee’s Online Video- The NewTeeVee blog, part of the GigaOm network, has an Online Video category.

Inside Online Video- “A look at the fast rising online video industry,” written by Mike Abundo for b5 media.

WillVideoForFood.com- Written by Kevin Nalts, a “self-proclaimed viral video genius,” covering “the fun and profit of online video.”

Scobleizer- Written by ubiquitous smart guy Robert Scoble, his blog isn’t specifically about online video, but he makes a lot of videos and talks about video quite a bit – and it’s a must-read for anyone who follows the Internet, anyway, so add it to your RSS reader.

The YouTube digital camera

Friday, November 30th, 2007

When I was browsing the advertisements in this weekend’s paper trying to get some inspiration about what to buy the people on my Christmas list, I spotted this in the ads from Best Buy:

YouTube Digital Camera

I did a bit of hunting online, and it appears that this line of YouTube-ready digital cameras has been out for some time (available since August 07 in the U.S.), but I have to admit that this is the first time that I have seen them.

This positioning strikes me as being a little bit of marketing genius from Casio. There are at least 65,000 videosposted to YouTube per day, and eight hours of new video posted per minute – so there are a large group of power users out there who would love a camera that is set up to make it easier to send their videos to YouTube. That is, if the cameras are any good.

Here’s a roundup of some of the reviews that I found online:

Digital Camera Review- “The other feature worth noting here is that the V8 includes Casio’s YouTube Best Shot movie capture mode. In this mode, movies are captured at settings optimized for publishing on YouTube. Movies captured this way are also placed in a separate folder on your camera’s memory card so that the supplied YouTube Uploader software can easily find the movies. This software, provided by Casio allows you to upload multiple movies directly to your YouTube account.”

PC World- “The cameras are the result of a deal between Casio and Google, which owns YouTube, that gives Casio exclusive rights to the YouTube features until the end of this year.” 

“While it’s not particularly difficult to upload clips manually to YouTube, the software certainly makes it much easier, especially if you have several clips to put online.”

Becky Worley’s Vlog – “You want a digital camera, and you want to be the next YouTube celebrity. Have I got the camera for you.”

About.com- “You won’t shoot the most dazzling images every time, but this camera provides powerful features for the money. As with other cameras in the Casio Exilim Zoom line, this camera makes it exceedingly easy for even beginners to capture great images.”

Laptop Magazine – “An impressive set of features makes this digital camera well worth the price.”

“YouTube fanatics will enjoy the convenience of filming video that’s ready for the Web with no editing at all. In fact, it might even lure some first-timers to the video-sharing site.”

GeekSugar- “These new digital cameras not only come with the YouTube uploader that accesses your clips from a flash card to the web, but they also have auto-tracking face detection technology, image stabilization for movie mode and anti-shake blur reduction.”

I didn’t come across a single negative review of the cameras.  

How to embed a YouTube video into your WordPress blog

Thursday, November 29th, 2007

This may seem like a beginner tip to many of you long-time WordPress bloggers, but the first time that I tried to embed a YouTube video into my WordPress blog, I couldn’t figure it out. (If you don’t want the back story, just skip to the end of this post for the how to.)

Here’s what I did. I am sure that many first-time video posters can relate. I went to YouTube, found the video that I wanted to include, pulled the code from the “embed” area, switched to “code” from “visual” mode in the WordPress editor, and pasted the code. This didn’t work. It displayed an empty box where the video should be, with the broken link x. Broken image

I then proceeded to search through the WordPress manual and help forums for about an hour and still had no luck. I finally found this site, which provided me with the answer.

HOW TO EMBED A YOUTUBE VIDEO INTO YOUR WORDPRESS BLOG:

  1. Click on the “Users” link in the Admin area of your WordPress blog.
  2. If you have multiple users, click “edit” next to your profile.
  3. Turn off the “Use the visual rich editor when writing” feature.
  4. Write your post. You’ll see that the options for “visual” and “code” are gone. You can now paste the YouTube embed code into the post and it will display perfectly.

One word of caution – you can’t switch back to using the visual rich editor after you paste the YouTube code or you’ll have the same problem. You need to publish your post before switching back to the visual editor.

Just for fun, here’s a video about blogging that I found thanks to Penelope Trunk’s Brazen Careerist blog.