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Friday, March 21, 2008

Frustrations Abound in the Online Video Community

Last night Ask A Ninja Co-Creator Kent Nichols posted the question on his blog, "Is Online Video Dead?" On Twitter this week Epic FU's Co-Creator Steve Wolfe lamented his frustrations to his followers and said, "today's lesson: sometimes it's darkest AFTER the silver lining appears."

Many of us online video entrepreneurs have built audiences. Some of us have made a little money. Others continue to enter the space hoping to build an audience and make money but the fact is that the marketplace is not built yet.

If you have an online video do you have an ad server installed? Do you have an ad sales team actively selling your ad inventory? Do you know what your ad inventory is? Are you using a video player on your site and on your video podcast that allows for dynamic ad insertion, pre-rolls, post-rolls and overlays that you control? Are your banner ads integrated with your video ad server? Are you listed with online video ad exchanges to sell your backfill?

My guess for most of you would be, "No" to most of these questions.

Large scale advertisers want to reach millions of people in a short amount of time and they are willing to spend hundreds of millions of dollars to do that. Unfortunately they can't do that in online video...yet. First media buyers are not budgeted for Online video yet. Second there are no standards in place for online video advertising and third how do media buyers find online videos to advertise on?

If you are serious about selling advertising on your videos you first need to get serious about your website. Ask A Ninja is doing the best in online video because they have lots of traffic to their website and they have a conversation going on with their audience. For more on the theory behind the company that is paying Ask A Ninja check out this CNET interview with Federated Media's John Battelle.

As for monetizing your online video?

Here are a few steps to monetizing your online video:

1. Place banner and text ads on your website.

2. Install an ad server on your website and define your website's advertising inventory.

3. Join an ad network and place network ads on your website.

You may notice that none of these steps involve video. Get these steps done and shoot me an email and let me know when you're ready for the next three steps.

If you need help with the first three steps shoot me an email.

I know there are lot's of frustrated online video creators out there but Online Video is not dead, it hasn't even begun. It's time we all start building the online video marketplace together.


Sarah said...

Thank you for giving actual, usable tips instead of just saying the typical...make a great product, build an audience and the money will follow.

Quirk said...

We're in the process of redesigning our site to include space for ads, now that our traffic has made it worthwhile. I've been looking at OpenX. Any suggestions?

1 Tim Street said...

I'm using OpenX on my site.

shoot me an email if you would like to test it out.

Quirk said...

Thanks Tim, I'll do that when we get closer to deployment.