The Sort of Orderly Pace of Online Video Commerce Gets September Surprises
Two of them happened in September. As Gavin O’Malley reports below, for the first time, Google’s ad delivery was out-delivered by a rival, namely, AOL, which delivered 3.7 billion ad impressions in the month.
Also last month, Machinima, one of YouTube’s best known and, once one of its most popular content providers, tumbled out of top ten, with its monthly unique viewership dropping below 15.8 million. Tenth place was grabbed by Take 2 Interactive. A year ago, gamer Machinima was right near the top, with nearly 23 million uniques.
For AOL, the good result was an obvious result of its earlier acquisition of the Adap.tv platform. Say what you will about AOL, but it’s an extreme example of a “legacy” brand that has hung in there and changed, not just from its You’ve Got Mail days but even in the last year. It’s a little too strong of a pun to say it’s adapt or die, but certainly Adapting shows how AOL can manipulate itself to stay a part of the future rather than become a relic of the past.
At Machinima, the news is a little different. Not long ago, it laid off 22 of its 200 or so employees, reportedly—they were doing the reporting, I should note—so it could retool to go in a different direction. It did a similar blood-letting several months before that.
Machinima is one of the big YouTube MCNs that been rethinking the whole YouTube proposition, wondering how it could be registering incredibly big viewership numbers and not having a particularly profitable experience. That’s not right.
The answer, probably, is that YouTube advertising is cheap, and inventory is virtually infinite and Machinima has to give away a pretty good size chunk of its revenues back to YouTube.
Reportedly, it’s been looking to strike out with its own Website and other content deals, with some major studio-like backing. And while a good part of the Internet universe was no doubt looking at the comScore figures and wondering what was going on, in some circles at Machinima, maybe it wasn’t all that exciting.
A Website called thesixthaxis.com was, at the same time, reporting that Machinima had a deal with Microsoft’s Xbox One to offer its own app on the new device. “Utter the phrase ‘Xbox, Snap Machinima’ while playing a game and Machinima will launch on the right side of the TV screen and show you videos related to the game you are playing, including walk-throughs, reviews and help videos,” the Website reported.
For game-centric Machinima, that may have been the money shot of the week. Certainly, a certain percentage of gamers thought so. “You can read more about the Machinima app here,” The Sixth Axis wrote, but please be warned they use the word ‘experience’ no less than thirteen times.”