Commentary

The Bronzing Of The Golden 15

In 2009, I coined the term "The Golden 15" to describe the four portals (Google, Yahoo, Microsoft & AOL), the four broadcasters (ABC, CBS, FOX & NBC), the five cable conglomerates (Comcast, Disney, MTV, Turner & Viacom), along with Hulu, MySpace and Facebook.  Well, the Golden 15 are looking a bit bronze at the moment.

Why is this? First, comScore recently released its VideoMetrix 2.0 Preview for May, which provides an early look at the reach of advertising on all video sites. When measured by ad reach (as opposed to content reach) only three of the top 10 sites are Golden 15 publishers. Networks and aggregators have significantly scaled over the past 12 months and will no doubt dominate these reports for the foreseeable future.

Second, big initiatives like TV Everywhere have yet to come to fruition.  YouTube, the one exception, is continuing its gradual onslaught on the content business and recently hit the milestone of 2 billion videos viewed per day.  The other 14 publishers in the Golden 15 don't even have 5 billion videos viewed per month!  At its most fundamental level, the business of online video requires technology innovation -- and the slumbering giants are struggling to keep up.

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Third, most big content owners are too busy focused on Webifying their TV shows to focus on TVifying their Web properties. From "S**t My Dad Says" to the latest Justin Bieber video, content owners are struggling to stay relevant while their audiences age.  Ad Age recently reported that the median age of prime-time television viewers has increased by a year every year since 2005, and is now 51!

While it initially appeared that traditional content owners would dominate the online video category, it is clear that they are losing their grip.  Web-only video publishers have scaled dramatically over the past few years, and publishers have become much more sophisticated at using video to monetize all online content, from games and social networks to radio and of course, video.

At this point, it is clear that YouTube will continue to dominate the charts while all other content owners will continue to fall.  Looking for the latest in video ad innovation?  Don't count on the traditional players to compete effectively.  Perhaps they are still recovering from the revolutionary product release by Canoe in the cable business -- the introduction of the voting button on your remote!

5 comments about "The Bronzing Of The Golden 15 ".
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  1. David Coletti from ESPN, July 20, 2010 at 1:08 p.m.

    Well, no agenda here. ;)

  2. Paula Lynn from Who Else Unlimited, July 20, 2010 at 1:23 p.m.

    Hold on to your gotchkas. Just a mere 15 years ago, we were barely out of the telegraph age. And would you prefer, let's say, the Golden 85 ?

  3. Guy Powell from ProRelevant Marketing Solutions, July 20, 2010 at 1:25 p.m.

    Interesting post, but are there 15 or 16?
    4x portals
    4x broadcasting networks
    5x cable conglomerates
    3x Hulu, MySpace and Facebook

    Did I fail math?

  4. Tod Sacerdoti from BrightRoll, July 20, 2010 at 1:31 p.m.

    The math still works as Google owns YouTube and is actually only one. However, I should say three portals not four.

  5. Mark Burrell from Tongal, July 21, 2010 at 10:40 a.m.

    Very interesting and insightful.

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