Video CPMs are the one of the highest revenue sources for Web publishers (versus display and BT ads), and for the first time in many years, advertiser demand is higher than publisher supply. This year the video advertising market is estimated to cross $1 billion, and consolidation is well underway. Clearly there is a lot of movement into the video space, and one of the key questions is: "How can publishers generate more supply and tap into this exploding market?"
There are two things I believe publishers should focus on right now:
(1) Promote, promote, promote videos across your site. If you look at comScore and Google Analytics, most of the sites on the Web have many more page views (articles, homepage, images, etc) than they have video views -- usually a ratio of at least 20 to1. Converting even 2% from non-video to video content can create a 40% increase in your video views, which provide higher revenue. Promoting videos across your site will help you get users to watch the very first video (the "anchor video) where you can then encourage users to watch more videos. It is not easy to get users to click on a video recommendation from a non-video page, but some sites are doing a good job of it, like Bloomberg (see video link at bottom of page) or About.com (see vertical strip), both article-oriented sites, among others.
(2) Build your viewership outside of your site ASAP. There is much you can do to increase viewership leveraging your own site traffic. Let's say you're able to even triple your views by promoting videos across your site -- which can be rewarding, but what if you could increase them 5x-10x over what you have today? The only way is to transition from leveraging not only your own site traffic, but also leveraging the entire Web. You can do that by promoting your videos to sites that don't have videos but have massive traffic. Some users on those third-party sites would convert through your video content, creating a secondary type of "anchor videos" on another site. My recommendation is to start as soon as you can. Here are different ways to do this:
Syndication platforms: This usually means you will upload your videos to third-party platforms or sites, which will generate views on your content using their video player. They will sell ads against your videos and share some of that revenue with you. Examples are AOL, YouTube, CineSports and others. Some minuses are that in most cases you are not selling the ads, hence are losing a direct relationship with your advertisers, and if you have aspiration to have users relate to your player experience, it will not happen. However, you will win video views you don't have access to today.
Distribution platforms: This is essentially the next generation of embedded videos as you know them. In this case you will offer third-party sites, from blogs to large traffic sites, the opportunity to embed your video player so that they can match their articles to relevant videos of yours in real time. For example, ,a third-party site featuring an article about fixing a tire will automatically offer videos about the same topic from your inventory. When people watch your videos on a third-party site they will watch it using your homegrown player, and with your ads. One minus is that you will need to promote this service/widget to third-party bloggers and sites that don't have videos, much as you offer sites to embed your videos today.
In summary, I think the Web is becoming heavily distributed, and users are consuming content wherever they are -- not necessarily on your video section or even your site. As a video content owner, you want to develop the awareness across your site that you have good videos, as well as partner with syndication/distribution platforms to offer users who don't know about your videos, ones they "might like" from your inventory.
Do that and you will build competitive advantage, and increase your business.