Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Online Video Once Again a NATPE Seminar Topic

Today I attended a webinar offered by the US National Association of Television Programming Executives (NATPE). This is the third time in a row that NATPE's webinars is about online video content and business models. This shows the anxiety and interest of traditional television producers and managers in webcast content. What were discussed today had been covered and discussed in the Webcasting Worldwide book: revenue sources in addition to advertising.

Speakers of the webinar are Sharon Martin from MSN, Chase Norlin from Pixsy, a video and image search engine and Douglas Cheney, producer of Prom Queen, an 80-episode series for the Web with each episode lasting only 90 seconds. Their three cases show the importance of utilizing the Web's participatory culture and interactive future to build audience loyalty. MSN showcased three types of webcast content and business models during the seminar. One is a live event and now on demand as well: Live Earth. The star-studded concert series with purposes of raising awareness of environment protection reported served 15 million viewers and 50 million streams and is the most watched webcast event. Although these figures may have been exaggerated, the most important take of this event is that 97% of the ad inventories were sold for the site. The second one is an original web show content called Big Debate where visitors vote on gossips and trivial issues such as whether the visitor prefer to have MacDonna or Angelina as the mom. The original shows did not cost much to produce (low-cost content strategy in the Webcasting Worldwide Book), but the returns can be big when the idea is innovative and get to the heart of the audience. User participation became the basis of audience loyalty. The third example is use of syndicated content: Arrested Development from the broadcast network. The web site built around loyal viewers and created a community of fans of the show with multiple platforms to support the content such as blogs, games and messenger.

Prom Queen uses multiple revenue sources to support its extremely short webisodes. For advertising revenue, it offers 3 second curtain ads and 15 second of pre or post roll ads. Product placements in the webisodes are also used to generate revenue. The compilation sales ($9.99 download deal) with Amazon.com Unbox is the third revenue source. As the Webcasting Worldwide book discusses, multiple revenue sources will be the norm in webcasting.

The use of metatags and keywords are the key to all kind of search. Pixsy is doing similar things as what Google Video is doing, but in a smaller scale. I would say most video search is very poor in yielding relevant results, partly because the video were not properly tagged for search engines and many also use misleading keywords. Seach engine must move beyond the text-based description to improve accuracy in video search.

Online videos are taking up 1/3 of the Internet traffic now and continues to grow with increasing broadband adoption. As Business Week's Spencer Ante predicts, they revived the telecom industry by utilizing the bandwidth capacities that broadband and fiber optic networks supposed to do. The Webcasting Worldwide book shows the importance in understanding the broadband industry to the webcasting industry. But broadband only provides the infrastructure, what content do webcasters offer can affect the viewership of online videos.

1 comment:

Joyce Schwarz said...

Hi, great coverage of the webinar. I'm the emerging entertainment consultant who reearched, wrote and developed the powerpoint for the NATPE event. Any other questions let me know. I blog at www.hollywood2020.blogs.com. js