Monday, February 9, 2009

Video Keywords - What to do????

So if you've spent any time on YouTube and other video sharing sites, you've bound to come across a video or two that really suck but has 10 000 000 views. Well you guessed it, spammers, tricksters and keyword stuffers are making it impossible to find your videos. What can be done.

Well there are piles of ways to get your videos seen, or to even boost your view count without anybody seeing it at all. But I want to look at keywords because that something we can all do better and still sleep well at night.

There isn't much out there on video keywords specifically, tubemogul has done some analysis and have a tool to help you as part of their Pro package but I haven't seen it working. Google is in firm control of YouTube but the search on the site is still a mess. Everything depends on how fast your video gains views on keyword in an algorithm designed to create "internet sensations". We have videos that earn their 10 000+ views 200 at a time, day in day out. They never received awards, they never made a front page. Why should they now be short changed on its keywords?

Now I've read a lot about keywords. E-book after E-book. There was a day when things were easier, but now you basically have to bite the bullet and use the Google Keyword tool. Say goodbye to hours of your life looking at the best keywords for each every project, page and video post.

The books all say the smart thing to do is look at your competitors, how are they getting their stuff to the top of the pile. Lets look at a YouTube video:

Here are the metatags for Chad Vader's video:

This is a response to David After Dentist

Directed by
Matt Sloan
Aaron Yonda

Director of Photography
John Urban

Charley Brown
Check out his star wars video:
Category: Comedy
david after dentist chad vader

You gotta wonder if this kind of metatag is really helping them, they do have an already effective and popular show based on a character that will likely get them sued one day should they ever make any real money.

But what about the keywords. A search on YouTube for the keyword "dentist" gives them the number 2 spot out of some 600 000 returns. Yes they have the word in both the description and the tags, which is something you have to do. But if you look at the video's stats, this one is getting a real helping hand from the YouTube editors.

A search on Google doesn't return Chad's video at all in the first 100, or a web page about that video. In both cases Google is cashing in on the ad revenue to the right. You better believe those dentists are paying top dollar for those ads, meaning you need to get those ads on a page beside your dentist video.

Ok now I mentioned that I've read a lot of books on this. But there is only piece of that has every really impressed me in regards to keywords. It was $198...I didn't buy it. But now its inventor, Brad Callen has created a FREE web browser version that is more suited to the times and really helps Google Keyword Tool work a whole lot easier.

Basically the tool will allow you to look at the keywords been used to generate the ads for your competitors. Sound's like "out of the box thinking" I know, but really its obvious and not something I came up with. The tool will let you capture those keywords, put them in Google's keyword tool, and see all the info you need to know what to put into your video's tags and webpages to search optimize and maximize your ad return.

Brad did a demonstration video, go check it out.

Monday, February 2, 2009

What is Going on with Revver?? Should I be replacing my players???

If you've been in the game for a while you probably have a lot of Revver players out there in an ever increasingly vain attempt to earn money. Those days seem a distant memory. For the first time that we know of, EVERYTHING Revver went down. Quicktime, website, embedded players, forum, absolutely everything was down.

Logging in today, the site and players were back up and everything was working faster than it has in a while. With a "Scheduled Maintenance" message across every page. Maybe a revival is in the making, but the landscape is so changed you have to wonder what kind of business model they would be able to put together. The old one failed under its own success.

Two years ago Revver was the way of making money with video, offering $0.30 or more per click. I bet the spammers, scrapers and fraudsters had fun with that, but the problem was that their advertising inventory was skyrocketing while their advertiser's expectations where falling. Classic arbitrage collapse. Who wants to buy click ads that don't sell products at the other end.

But what is going on with Revver right now? And should I replace my players? I wish I had an answer for you. Its unlikely that they will be paying anything to content producers that would come close to the company's original vision. Is their technology still Hot. I'd say yes. Their players are solid, their transcoding is pro and they are still one of the few free services to be easily integrated with iTunes.

I don't think you need to feel bad swapping out players on under your control, if you want to do the work. They need to lower their bandwidth for a while, cement new relationships, and figure out a way to go up against the pirating sites on one side, and Hulu on the other.

In the mean times check out these other players:

Vimeo - sweet and simple, great transcoding, HD, and kind community
Dailymotion - Huge and likely to be a round a while, new HD players

Also remember Tubemogul makes video distribution easy, sending out to something like 24 videos sites at once. And analytics to boot :)

Tuesday, June 10, 2008 Launches Cadillac Series – Team Leader

From the same people who brought you Tights and Fights, and The Retired Porn Producer, Team Leader is now online and ready for the public. Check out the entire series at

If you are familiar with productions, you are in for a real treat as this show is a mile high in terms production value and storytelling. It’s the coming of age story of two slackers who are thrown into a life of corporate responsibility when their Team Leader commits suicide at her desk. This dark comedy runs 50 minutes across 12 episodes. The series has already been sold for broadcast in Canada and is online of everyone to see. Look for it anywhere you watch video.

“It’s a fun story, pretty ambitious for the internet, definitely a series to check out,” says Christopher Guest one of the series’ producers. “Our other projects have done well online, but we are really excited about this one because it raises the bar on internet productions to the level of Television.”

The series is free to watch and advertising supported. They also promise lots of extra features to come so be sure to subscribe to their feed. Here's a trailer to peek your interest.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Tubemogul Owns Video Deployment and Analytics on the Web

So if you are a video producer trying to make a buck with online video, you need to stop reading this blog and immediately surf over to TubeMogul's Video staging and analytics service. There is simply not other way to stay on top of all the various video networks. Six months ago all video producers were visiting each site (from YouTube to Revver) counting up views by hand. Well close excel because TubeMogul has you covered.

So I'm sure you have two main questions, what does it do and how much does it cost. Well you'll be happy to know that their root service is free to use for any producer big or small. And those root services include:

- a staging area for you to upload your videos once before deploying them to up to 12 video sharing sites. You get 200 deployments a month.

- viewership tracking for shared videos by site, video or by groups of sites and videos. Graphical and chart reports.

- promotion options including <'embed> codes, bookmarking links, and direct link urls.

Its so amazing that you are likely asking yourself, "How do they make money?" And that is a concern for them as well. Longtime users of the site have seen some growing pains in recent months. The word on the street is that Tubemogul's bandwidth costs have ballooned and are growing. Responding to this huge challenge TubeMogul has reduced some of the services that it was offering for free, limiting publisher tracking to 5 sites on all free accounts. And has begun offering a premium service package for a base rate of $500/month.

What does $500/month get you? You'll get more of everything. More uploads, more deployments, more access to historical data, and more importantly more analytic tools . One tool that will be of great assistance to any internet marketer is TubeMogul's keyword analysis tool.

Keyword analysis is a cornerstone of web advertising and marketing, but in the world of online video its a total mystery. If you try to look up a niche topic on YouTube you can clearly see that the one thing Google hasn't gotten around to improving is the search capability of the site. While YouTube has just released their analytic data to users, TubeMogul will provide that data across an increasing group of sites. Hopefully TubeMogul's keyword tool will shed some light on how the search algorithm of each video site organizes its content.

If you are an average video producer out there, you probably can't justify the $500/month. But is well worth signing up for free account and being part of what will be the Nealson Ratings of the internet in the not to distant future.

Learn More
TubeMogul Industry Analysis
Supported Sites
Features Chart

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Player Review: Revver

Those of you who have been working with Revver’s video player and advertising network, will know how powerful the service’s syndication tools are and the upgraded Revver player puts it back on top of the online video game (at least now that Stage6 has closed its doors). The new player was release a couple of months back, first on their site then on the sites of their content producer’s and syndicators.

Be for we examine the benefits of the new player, its worth mentioning that 2007 was a difficult year on many fronts for Revver. Unable to sell enough advertising to properly service their massive video library, Revver abandoned their sales effort and turned to third party ad networks (first Adbrite, now Google Adsense). At the same time ad value for “video” and video related keywords fell sharply across the web making it very challenging for producer to create a higher standard of short form production.

The new player, and its slick black skin, incorporates a number of functions found in competitor players that greatly increase its viral capabilities. The player now has a “menu” button that provides information on the creator, embed code, email sharing and related videos which can be viewed in a list or on a thumbnail gallery. The player is highly customizable, including the ability to brand the player with your show’s logo. But at the root of it, the Revver player provides the same high quality video you’ve come to expect from this great service.

The complaints about the player are twofold and both relate to the advertising portion of the Revver network. Ads are now displayed as overlays along the bottom of the player, and at the end in a block of three ads. First, even if your viewer completes the video and sees both the overlay and the post roll adblock, the publisher gets credited for just one impression, not four. The ads are also accompanied with arrow buttons to allow the user the option of viewing more ads, but that also does not result in additional impressions. Second, if Adsense is driving the advertising within Revver videos, then why are those impressions not reported within our Adsense accounts? It is currently impossible to see how one video is doing in relation or user interaction with the advertising, a well developed feature of Adsense.

As a side note, revver has quietly mothballed its podcasting capability. While still offering the service, it is rare that ads are served into iTunes the way they once were. This is likely do to the ongoing debate about the compression formats used, and which should prevail. Web based catchers prefer flash video, while iTunes continues to push its quicktime H.264 iTV compression format. Fortunately video publishers still have a choice to use both formats within Revver driven RSS feeds.

Stage6 Goes Dark, and Google Big Oversight

Feb 29th was a sad day for video piraters and the mass viewers of Stage6's high quality video format, when the service went dark after a 6 month effort to sell the one of a kind video sharing site. What made Stage6 so good? It was the DIVX format and its embeddable player.

Back in the days of Kazza and other peer-to-peer file sharing networks, DIVX was crowned king of video for making it possible to fit a feature length movie on a single CD. The company's main business model exploded world wide, as it found an army of eager hardware manufactures to license the format for their devices. Today divx is found everywhere from DVD players to handheld devices and mobile phones, which is why Google missed the boat not acquiring the service and its technology.

For all the great aspects of YouTube, the video player’s quality is far below that of Stage6. Even when DIVX is used to upload content to YouTube, the encoding to flash leaves a lot to be desired.

Without Stage6 will divx remain the best video compression format available? Will other pick up the format for new high end video sharing sites? Or will the format got he way of Bata? One this is for sure, iTunes and their iTV quicktime formats are the big winners here.

The following is the letter set to Stage6 publishers on Feb25th:

I'm Tom (aka Spinner), a Stage6 user and an employee of DivX, Inc., the company behind the service. I'm writing this message today to inform you that we plan to shut down Stage6 on February 28, 2008. Upload functionality has already been turned off, and you'll be able to view and download videos until Thursday.

I know this news will come as a shock and disappointment to many Stage6 users, and I'd like to take a few moments to explain the reasons behind our decision.

We created Stage6 with the mission of empowering content creators and viewers to discover a new kind of video experience. Stage6 began as an experiment, and we always knew there was a chance that it might not succeed.

In many ways, though, the service did succeed, beyond even our own initial expectations. Stage6 became very popular very quickly. We helped gain exposure for some talented filmmakers who brought great videos to the attention of an engaged community. We helped prove that it's possible to distribute true high definition video on the Internet. And we helped broaden the Internet video experience by offering content that is compatible with DVD players, mobile devices and other products beyond the PC.

So why are we shutting the service down? Well, the short answer is that the continued operation of Stage6 is a very expensive enterprise that requires an enormous amount of attention and resources that we are not in a position to continue to provide. There are a lot of other details involved, but at the end of the day it's really as simple as that.

Now, why didn't we think of that before we decided to create Stage6 in the first place, you may ask? That's a good question. When we first created Stage6, there was a clear need for a service that would offer a true high-quality video experience online because other video destinations on the Internet simply weren't providing that to users. A gap existed, and Stage6 arrived to fill it.

As Stage6 grew quickly and dramatically (accompanied by an explosion of other sites delivering high-quality video), it became clear that operating the service as a part of the larger DivX business no longer made sense. We couldn't continue to run Stage6 and focus on our broader strategy to make it possible for anyone to enjoy high-quality video on any device. So, in July of last year we announced that we were kicking off an effort to explore strategic alternatives for Stage6, which is a fancy way of saying we decided we would either have to sell it, spin it out into a private company or shut it down.

I won't (and can't, really) go into too much detail on those first two options other than to say that we tried really hard to find a way to keep Stage6 alive, either as its own private entity or by selling it to another company. Ultimately neither of those two scenarios was possible, and we made the hard decision to turn the lights off and cease operation of the service.

So that's where we are today. After February 28, Stage6 will cease to exist as an online destination. But the larger DivX universe will continue to thrive. Every day new DivX Certified devices arrive on the market making it easy to move video beyond the PC. Products powered by DivX Connected, our new initiative that lets users stream video, photos, music and Internet services from the PC to the TV, are hitting retail outlets. We remain committed to empowering content creators to deliver high-quality video to a wide audience, and we'll continue to offer services that will make it easy to find videos online in the DivX format.

It's been a wild ride, and none of it would have been possible without the support of our users. Thank you for making Stage6 everything that it was.