Many brands have fought the idea of advertising on YouTube because they fear being placed next to inappropriate content. I had accepted that concern at face value -- until a YouTube presentation gave me reason to question that assumption.
Over lunch recently, an online publisher shared with me an RFP that he had received. The advertiser wanted to know how many impressions they could get for a million dollars.The publisher looked at me and said, "See, they still aren't getting it, are they?" When I asked what he meant by that, he said, "Broadband isn't about building reach. It's about building relationships. Broadcast is all about how many saw the advertising. Broadband is all about how much time they spend with the advertising. What advertisers should be asking is not how many impressions they can get for $1 million, …
Traditional broadcast buyers continue to express concern that pre-roll inventory is overpriced, particularly when compared to television. This perception impacts the online video market by slowing adoption and reducing budget allocations. However, the facts suggest that pre-roll inventory is accurately priced and much of the perception is based on an apples to oranges impression comparison, or what I call the M&M Problem.
From publishers and advertisers I regularly hear different and conflicting opinions on whether or not enough video inventory exists. One agency will say there is plenty, while another tells me most publishers are sold out. So which is it? Let me share some thoughts from both sides of the equation.
The Internet, and more specifically, online video, gives consumers the control over their viewing experience that they so crave; however, it can't always be free. That said, if consumers want choice, relevancy and control they can choose a hybrid model that gives consumers and content providers the opportunity to have it both ways.
It's no wonder viral video advertising is being talked about. The lure of creating mass-market, high-impact communications without incurring the cost of media space is very enticing. The ability to reach the elusive and hard to influence audiences combined with the potential for creating positive brand fame is an attractive mix. However, the reality is that viral video ads will be able to offer only a handful of marketers the positive end results and rewards they seek. Most brands will be better off directing their energy and efforts into optimizing conventional targeting methods within paid-for media.
I recently had the opportunity to interview Daniel Taylor, senior analyst at Yankee Group. Daniel has had more than 15 years of high-technology experience, and in 2006 was recognized with an Award of Merit by the Society for New Communications Research. At Yankee Group, he focuses on emerging advertising-supported business models as well as traditional interactive online advertising markets, including search, display, video, social networking and other types of applications and content where advertising features prominently. When I met Daniel in Boston last month I thought his take on the video landscape was interesting and worth sharing.
Amidst the bit torrents of digital plankton prognosticating the failure of the newly launched News Corp./NBC joint venture Hulu before the online video platform is even readily available, one can't help but wonder if there isn't something more significant here that we as an industry need to take note of: Old-media defenders can actually become new-media players once they wake up to the reality that liberating their content can actually, well -- liberate them.