Last night Liz Gannes and Chris Albrecht from
New Tee Vee (the video blog about online video) threw a party in Hollywood at the Cat and the Fiddle. The bar was filled with online video creators including Kent Nichols from Ask A Ninja, Greg Goodfried and Miles Beckett from Lonely Girl 15 and KateModern, Hayden Black from Goodnight Burbank and Abigail’s Teen Diary, Felicia Day from The Guild, Douglas Cheney and Ryan Wise from Big Fantastic, Alec McNayr from Space Shank and David Nadelberg from Mortified, were there as well as people from companies playing in this space like Jane Hu from Vuguru, Sarah Szalavitz from Veoh, Angela Gyetvan from Revver, Jamie Flam from Independent Comedy Network, Zach Posner from National Lampoon, Philip Hodgetts from Open Television Network and Jeremy McMillan from Soda Entertainment.
What really hit me was that as diverse as the content was from these different creators so were the business models of the different online videos represented by these people.
Ask A Ninja has an online advertising agency selling their ad inventory. The Lonely Girl 15 guys are selling their own product placement deals. Hayden Black is using Revver. The Big fantastic guys are creating content for Michael Eisner and Jane Hu at Vuguru and also doing content in a partnership deal with Brent Weinstein's 60 Frames. Everyone is trying different ways of getting to the advertising dollars. Phil Hodgetts seemed to be the only one at the party who was doing a pay-per-view model although the guy from CBS Interactive who bought Wall Strip for $5 Million was there but I'm not sure you can say that's a pay-per-view model ;)
As I keep reading terms of service agreements from online advertising companies I keep seeing how different media companies are better for different types of content creators. Just because someone has online video ads doesn't mean those ads are right for your content and even if the ads are right for your content doesn't mean the video player or delivery device they have is right for your website and don't get me started on getting ads in your video podcast.
Right now it is truly the Wild West in online video and just because someone is building a fancy train doesn't mean that it will fit on your tracks.
It will all work itself out in time just like the banner ads industry has worked itself out with IAB standards but it takes time.
My advise right now is don't lock yourself into anyone monetization opportunity just yet. Keep your options open and look at what might work best for your content.