Not all video content on the Web is good -- consumer viewership numbers don't lie. And now, just like with TV networks, the biggest video digital platform, YouTube, is taking a page from traditional TV purveyors and canceling shows! Well, sort of.
Sixty percent of the some-160 channels that YouTube funds will be taking a hike, at least from the site's funding mechanism. Many of these video-makers have gotten $5 million to produce videos. Without those funds, YouTube hopes those video producers will still produce for the site.
YouTube has changed its grading measures for these channels – its networks will now be measured on how long they keep people around watching their programming.
A couple of months ago, a YouTube executive said, "Our video discovery features were previously designed to drive views. This rewarded videos that were successful at attracting clicks, rather than the videos that actually kept viewers engaged."
In other words, certain programming on YouTube has had low "ratings." Makes sense that if viewers are watching your videos for a longer length of time, you can sell more advertising. And it makes even further sense with the industry’s current push for pay-for-video advertising based on so-called "completed views."
In the traditional TV world, you need to have large numbers around for the length of a program -- average viewers per specific viewer group, be it 30-minutes, one-hour, two-hours or more. TV programmers and schedulers have always gauged a show’s engagement by keenly monitoring if viewers hang around for the second half of the program.
But traditional TV’s linear platform allows only so much room for programs. This isn't the case for YouTube and other digital video platforms, where there is a seemingly unlimited supply of bandwidth. Programmers don’t need to worry asbout whether they have good lead-ins or not, or whether they have valuable time slot.
Whatever viewing metrics you side with, more viewers over the length of a video will give marketers more overall minutes to hit their targets. Shorter-length videos on the likes of YouTube can be a trickier effort as viewers can opt out of videos or pre-roll ads.
The word "clutter" has never seemed appropriate in the digital video world. Now we are finding a perception that being everything to everyone isn't all that good -- that too much low-rated stuff seemingly sends out the wrong message to marketers and to digital video business producers.