Commentary

Bringing Video Into the Marketplace, and the Marketplace into Video

OnScreenCoffeeshop

Stop me if you have heard this from me before. Video is the new text. Well, too late now. I said it again. One of the fundamental shifts in media consumption in the last few decades has been towards video-centricity. While text (and to a lesser degree still images) were the primary vehicle for most news and information, now video is becoming the preferred mode of media consumption From b2b news sites to every major print brand, the expectation of a video experience somewhere in the mix is there. And almost everyone seems to be producing video of some sort. The need for video assets is enormous, both on the publisher side and on the advertiser side. So where can advertisers, content providers and publishers meet up to find what they need form one another? In the past we have seen video technology platforms perform this sort of matchmaker function. For publishers already working on a video platform often they can find other publishers' video to syndicate and perhaps even advertisers who might want to buy some of the inventory.

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But increasingly we will need independent platforms that can work across video technologies, ad serving platforms, publishers and content providers. I spoke with Atul Patel, founder of a video marketplace OneScreen about the process of brining the many pieces of the video ecosystem together. The Onescreen platform lets the owners of the content manage their wares, syndicate it to others and at the same time secure video from other content providers they might use to fill in their needs. Advertisers can also syndicate their branded media in the system. And in some cases advertising already comes embedded in the video that is being distributed. Onescreen positions itself as the connective tissue. "We don't license content. We don't own content," Patel says. Sites like Veria and OVGuide syndicate with OneScreen and Patel says all of the major video ad networks and technologies like freewheel are integrated, so a content provider can bring their own advertising into the mix.

In addition to brokering publisher, content provider and advertiser relationships, OneScreen aspires to distribute the video across multiple platforms. It is serving video into Roku and Boxee and Verizon FiOS and Cablevision. Next up are out-of-home screens, video consoles and mobile. "They all need more content," says Patel. "Through our exchange they can solicit more content and pick what fits their brand." With a marketplace of syndicated content pouring into screens online, in store, in living room and on moble, it becomes possible for just about any brand to build an always-on TV station that blends their own native messaging with the best most relevant content from others. A 'Wal-Mart TV' in store could cherry pick the best of ZDNet or fashion content for instance.

Right now the financial arrangements are a standard 50/50 revenue share of ad sales for most partners, but he expects this to evolve into more nuanced relationships over time as the parties come to value more precisely the nature of the exchange. The hot properties in these early stages (only eight months into the model) are celebrities, auto and any kinds of women's content. As short form video starts recombining into persistent streams of content on any screen available, one can imagine a new set of opportunities for niche content to find its, well, niche. Wannabe Yoga show entrepreneurs? This may be your time.

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