Commentary

Online Video's Manifest Destiny

The phrase “manifest destiny” spawned from a 19th-century belief that the United States had an obvious and definitive mission to expand its democracy and freedom across the continent. I think the same can be said of online video.

It’s no secret: online video advertising is exploding. Recent data from eMarketer estimated that in 2011, more than 158 million U.S. Internet users will be watching video content online each month, a number it expects to increase nearly 24 percent, to 195.5 million, by 2015.

Not surprisingly, this growth is expected to create a corresponding impact on spend for online video advertising. eMarketer has projected that video ad spending will increase from $2.16 billion in 2011 to $7.11 billion by 2015.

So what will be the driving force behind this growth? Simple: online video will be an integral part of every website, large and small. That said, now is the time for publishers of all sizes that do not have a video strategy to start thinking about it.

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If we want to ensure that the video space reaches those enormous numbers that industry watchers such as eMarketer expect, it is imperative that we arm publishers with the best tools available. 

To get started, here’s a short checklist of questions every publisher and site owner should consider when formulating their video strategy:

Q. How can I optimize the use of video on my site?

Q. Do I build or license my own video player?

Q. How can I ensure my video will also work on the mobile Web?

Q. Should I sell my own advertising or utilize advertising networks?

Q. If I do utilize third parties, do I work with just one, or all of them?

Q. Do I create my own content or license content from others?

And those are just for starters.

How you answer those questions to effectively optimize video for your site depends on a number of factors.  For starters, consider things like how prominently you intend to display video content on your site. Determining this will help you decide if creating or licensing video content makes most sense.  Additionally, determining your mobile capabilities hinges on your ad serving and player platforms. Sure, you could build your own -- but be sure to take into account the level of complexity it takes to do so. Lastly, determining your advertising business model depends on the DNA of your existing sales force. Do you intend to build up your own sales team or work with a third party to monetize inventory?  Both models work, obviously. But being realistic and allocating resources appropriately are critical to maintaining your site’s content, reputation and functionality.

And those are just a few factors to consider.

The fact is there are plenty of tools for running video on your site successfully from both a content and revenue standpoint. The hard part is just finding the best means to leverage them.

So again, whether you are a small entertainment, health or cooking site, a retail store, a law firm, auto dealership, a blog, a company or an individual that hosts a website: It’s time to believe in the manifest destiny of online video.  Once you do, and take action, the benefits realized from both a content and revenue perspective become your reality.

3 comments about "Online Video's Manifest Destiny".
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  1. Jason Shivers from AristotleDesign, January 11, 2012 at 11:19 a.m.

    I work in the video industry and to me it seems like there has been an exponential growth in online video. An additional factor to consider is the use of free services like Vimeo and YouTube versus controlling your own source and player with a content delivery network such as Akamai or Internap. Over the past two years I have seen a rise in our projects that are going straight to online promotion instead of traditional broadcast media markets. It is important to find a company that has expertise in social networking, integrated marketing and a video department with experience in producing for online markets. The last few videos I've done have ONLY been for online. You can check some of them out here... http://www.youtube.com/aristotledesign

  2. Ruth Barrett from EarthSayers.tv, January 11, 2012 at 12:47 p.m.

    Another question, should we subscribe to an information service, branded for our site that provides video content through aggregation, curates and manages this type of content as well as our own and ties to an objective of thought leadership. A software as a service with content. Hmmmmm. And yes, you can generate revenue from partners, rather than "advertisers."

  3. Mike Mcgrath from RealXstream PTY LTD, January 18, 2012 at 2:03 a.m.

    In terms of "manifest destiny" we also have an obligation to discover the best possible business models to support the online video ecosystem and deliver the utmost value for users, content creators, networks and advertisers.

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