The Carly Rae Jepsen music video "Call Me Maybe" gets seen 212 million times on the Internet. What is that worth in TV terms?
When 100 million viewers watch a three-hour event called the Super Bowl, it can bring a network $210 million to $225 million in national advertising dollars.
But the Jepsen music video runs just under three minutes. One can't squeeze in some 60-odd 30-second commercials -- or 30 minutes of total commercial time.
We are left to wonder what a screen is worth in 2012 versus, say, 2000. If a screen is a screen, maybe certain big music videos would seem to be worth perhaps $7 million – or two 30-second commercials attached to the video. What about unique visitors? Justin Bieber has some 15 million Twitter followers. Is that worth $200 million? $20 million? $2 million?
Increasingly the value of the screen seems to follow that of where flowing water ends up: It seeks its own level.
Press reports point to big Internet video consumption, especially for key original, out-of-the-box videos. Jepsen's video has some big, big numbers. But the value is again up in the air. We are left to wonder what real marketers would pay to access this.
Now think about this: YouTube versus radio. The New York Times says that when “Call Me Maybe” was getting tens of millions of views on YouTube during March and April, it still had relatively low radio play -- fewer than 5,000 spins a week on Top 40 stations in the U.S., according to Nielsen.
Is that a missed opportunity on real monetization -- or are we left to wonder if all this continues to be a marketing tool for what remains the real dollars in the music world -- the concert tour?
If we look forward, perhaps we can focus on traditional TV programs also becoming a true marketing tool. Look for the mall-stage version of "Modern Family" coming to a town near you.