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Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Who's Buying Online Video?

Even though consumers are watching online videos in record numbers online viewers are not yet buying the viral videos they love to watch. In order to sell online videos you have to have a buyer. A buyer who's looking to buy what you are selling at the right time and the right price.

Now this may all seem like common sense stuff but for the sake of conversation I'm going to blog about it anyway.

Video viewers are use to getting Internet videos for free so unless you are selling emotionally engaging videos consumers can't get anywhere else or you are selling videos in a format they want and can't get, consumers have no reason to buy your videos. But as we all know consumers will put up with advertising in order to watch those viral morsels.

So who is actually buying?

Michael Eisner's company Vuguru is buying, right? Well from what I can tell Vuguru isn't really buying, it's co-producing and selling. So is Brett Weinstein's 60 Frames Sony's Crackle and Disney's Stage 9.

These companies are financing the production of online videos created by independent producers and then pre-selling advertising against those online videos and super distributing them across the Internet with the ads baked in or just showing them on their own portals.

Now there are sites like Break.com who are paying for video. Break.com's site says, "For your first original video on the homepage, you will make $400 if you let Break have it exclusively. If you don't want to do that, or can't for any reason, no problem! Break will pay you $200 anyway as a reward for your first original making the homepage."

They go on to say, "$200 is very competitive for a first video. Except for an extremely small group of users on other sites, there is no higher paying structure online. Break has been, and continues to be, the easiest place to make money online." They also have higher paying amounts for your second and third videos.

Metacafe still features their Producer's Rewards Program on the bottom right hand side of their front page and their top earner Kipkay has earned $103,988 but they recently changed their policy and some producers are a little upset.

Revver shares a 50/50 on ad revenue but the payments have been a little irregular.

Blip.TV has a revshare program and is working hard to make sure run of network inventory doesn't go unsold.

YouTube's partnership program pays but according to Paidcontent.org's David Kaplin YouTube is not giving out the details.

Sites like Vuze.com allow you to "Monetize Your Content the Way You Want" and I expect to see more of these types of sites popping up soon.

So who is buying Online Video?

I don't think anyone is really buying online video and if you have some online video to sell I don't think you should sell it. I think you should sell ads against your online video and license it to people who will license it to someone else or sell ads against it and to do that you need to study that dirty word, "SALES."

If you don't want to do it yourself, use one of the above sites.

What do you think?

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