Trends & Predictions: Web Video In The New Year

Video ad spending goes up. Yes, Web video ad spending will be up in 2009.  Perhaps not as high as the 45% currently predicted by eMarketer (and already revised down from a higher initial number), but spending will grow from this year's rather meager base of $587 million. After all, brand advertisers need to be where the eyeballs are and Web video is undeniably growing.  Hulu is likely to be a major beneficiary of this trend, as its professional content is more desirable to advertisers than YouTube-type UGC.  Since in 2009, "flat will be the new up" for most media, any growth at all will be good.

Monetizing video search will stay a challenge. In traditional search marketing, advertisers are able to intercept a user who is displaying latent intent to purchase --  enough for a brand or product that search advertising pays off.  In video search, it is more likely that the searcher can be intercepted while manifesting an intent to be entertained.  Except for entertainment marketers (like movie studios), this is a far less lucrative opportunity.  It will take the advertisers and the search engines a while to develop this into a lucrative channel and is likely to be a venue more for brand marketers than direct sellers.

Web shows will continue to be a labor of love. Capital will be scarce for high production value Web-only programming.  But that doesn't mean there won't be a plethora of shows.  The barrier of entry is low and many have proven that low production values do not impede a good idea from becoming a hit.  Lots of talented people have gear, ideas and the motivation to kick start their careers with a "viral" video.  Monetizing these efforts will continue to be a challenge and we are likely to witness many permutations of product placement. Web programming featuring John C. Reilly and Will Ferrell has once again proven the value that celebrity has in any media.  We can expect many more forays into Web video from TV and movie stars.

It's not just a YouTube world. It's getting harder and harder to stand out in the crowded world of YouTube. Many producers have found it easier to "go viral" by starting on the many video-sharing sites that compete with YouTube, such as Metacafe, Blip, Viddler, etc.

Live video is the next new thing. (11 million visitors in November), (5.6 million) and Mogulus (2.1 million) are just a few of the fast-growing sites featuring live video feeds.  There are also sites like Qik and Kyte that stream live video to cell phones.  The medium has already endured a scandal, when a live blogger committed suicide on  While viewership is growing, profits are still elusive.  Qik recently laid off five employees and none of the players are yet profitable.  But, if you are wondering where the "buzz" is, one answer is live video.

4 comments about "Trends & Predictions: Web Video In The New Year".
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  1. Walter Graff from Bluesky Media, December 29, 2008 at 10:39 a.m.

    Give someone a hammer and everything looks like a nail!

  2. Anthony Cappetto from Innovative Street Painting Group, Inc., December 29, 2008 at 1:18 p.m.

    I can definitely understand the 'labor of love' approach when creating the on site live videos from our street painting festival visits, the production, and the posting on video sites. Profits will come to those who have the video product that people want to see and advertisers wish to be seen with.

  3. Nate Pagel from Podaddies, December 29, 2008 at 11:04 p.m.

    Nice post. I agree with all of it.

  4. J A, January 7, 2009 at 2:25 p.m.

    YouTube is indeed crowded. The best approach is to use YouTube as a funnel to your own custom-branded environment, where you control content, ads and distribution. YouTube, and other social webs alone, will no longer do.

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