Video Killed The Radio Star

Remember "Video Killed the Radio Star"? The song's video was the first to air on MTV. After that, music videos spread like wildfire, eventually becoming part of everyday culture. Now there's a lot of buzz about video on the Web. Just last week the topic came up easily five times for me. One company sells it across networks, two people I spoke with had it on their resumes when I was recruiting for a sales gig, and some online folks at an agency asked me my opinion of it.

I still pay homage to that song/video from my teenage years in the '80s. However, when I think of video now, that's not what comes to mind. I guess my knee-jerk answer would be YouTube. People flock to it. Google paid a boatload for it. I won't go on, as I wrote an article a couple months ago about it. Oh and by the way, the article spawned some flack in the blog post responses as well as in my personal inbox. I said it before and I'll say it again: YouTube; it baffles me.



Many other things come to mind. For instance, I still can't help thinking back to a meeting I had with a client. We had the offline business and naturally wanted the online. So I joined forces with the offline media director to visit the client, have a casual discussion, and educate them a bit on digital media. When we got to their office it looked like it was out of the '50s. No, not because they had a funky style -- but because they'd never changed it. That was tell-tale to how the meeting would go. I won't bore you with the details but... after they went on and on about how online wasn't for their brand, the offline media director said, "We should really come back when broadband is mainstream." LOL. Welcome to my world.

As absurd as his comment was, broadband wasn't mainstream a few years ago. Things were different. While there were many options from a digital media capacity, video had to be carefully considered. Now that broadband has been mainstream for several years, the  price of personal computers is down, and Internet usage is up, it is a golden time for video, I think -- for the companies that produce it technically, serve it up site wise and measure it on the back end.

Stats have been coming to the surface. ComScore released its Video Metrix rankings for March, which showed that a little more than 70% of U.S. Internet users streamed video online that month -- nothing to bat an eyelash at.

I have to share some of comScore's other findings with you. So again, in March:

Americans consumed more than 7 billion video streams online, led by Google Sites with 1.2 billion.

· drove the lion's share of the video streaming activity at the Google Sites property, with 53.5 million unique streamers and 1.1 billion streams initiated,

· Yahoo Sites ranked second, with 434 million streams, followed by Fox Interactive, with 421 million, and Viacom Digital, with 260 million.

· Online viewers watched an average of 145 minutes of online video.

According to the Online Publishers Association's "Frames of Reference: Online Video Advertising, Content and Consumer Behavior" report, conducted in partnership with OTX, of the 80% of viewers who had watched an online video ad, just over half had taken some sort of action. Nearly a third had checked out a Web site, while 22% had searched for more information, 15% had gone into a store and 12% had actually made a purchase.

So what are your predictions for the future of online video? At a minimum, it's something to watch.

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