The new year is always a time of reflection and resolutions. In looking at the top resolutions for 2011, I wondered how they would apply to the business of online video content.
Lose weight. With Google/YouTube serving in the neighborhood of 2 billion videos a week, and with 35 hours being uploaded every minute, the online video world has gained a lot of extra pounds. Audiences have too much to choose from, and a lot of it is junk. But, as any diet plan will tell you, you have control over your own body -- and, in this case, body of work. We can't slim down what's being offered as a whole, but we can take away some of the outdated material, so every video on our plate is a fresh one. This will ensure that our brands are most potently defined, and intrigue viewers to open the fridge and see what other delicious (but nutritious) items might be inside.
Improve finances. Luckily, the online video industry had a great year of growth, with audiences flocking to online outlets for content. That said, we have yet to figure out a truly sustainable monetization plan. As ad saturation continues, perhaps the trick will be to limit ads on premium content the way time slots limit them on broadcast TV, driving ad dollars higher for the most exclusive slots. Perhaps it will be a "brought to you by" scenario often used in sports broadcasts (and pioneered in early TV and radio). A natural resolution for this category is to continue to experiment with ads and ad platforms, but be responsible and considerate to our audiences. Do viewers really want to see a 30-second pre-roll ad before your 30-second clip? Absolutely not.
Get organized. There are so many choices for video out there and the best way to make viewers choose yours is to make your content easy to find, and your library simple to navigate. Use keywords judiciously and be sure they represent both the content and your brand. People will stop watching or ignore your other products if you're deceiving them into clicking on your irrelevant (to them) video. If you want them to explore your site and its content, and increase their chances of coming back, it's imperative to represent your titles accurately.
Take a trip. Don't forget that a short time away from the computer and unplugged from the Web can refresh your perspective, and allow you to revisit your library with more objective eyes. Hopefully this trip I'm referrings to will be to a glamorous awards ceremony for your online video strategies. If not, then just make sure to schedule time for a vacation...
Happy New Year.