Tuesday, November 6, 2007

The Good, The Bad and the Ugly of Internet Video

YouTube - www.youtube.com

The Good - YouTube is the king of traffic and community. It has basic syndication tool with a strong viral player that can be embedded and syndicated.

The Bad - YouTube still doesn't have a revenue vehicle that every content producers can tap into. There is the beginnings of such a development, but its focused on syndicators, not producers. Only US syndicators can access the program by linking their Adsense account to there YouTube accounts. A small number of premium producers have access to the other side of the YouTube ad network as a beta pilot that has continued for over a year.

The Ugly - Pirated content galore, and piles of poorly organized videos makes the whole site a mess. Even with Google's "King of Search" muscle, you can't find anything specific and end up floating around hoping to find stuff.

Revver - www.revver.com

The Good - Revver has the best syndication tools on the market. You can distribute in flash and quicktime over open API generated feeds, javascript and embed code. The ad network does an bottom margin overlay ad and a post slate of ads. This is currently the only open-for-all, 100% legal video and advertising delivery network.

The Bad - Revver's site itself doesn't have much traffic so you'll have to get out there and promote your shows. They have recently added a basic set of social networking features to a newly designed more powerful site, but the site still lacks in the traffic generation department.

The Ugly - Ad revenues have been falling and they have changed the way the revenue is calculated. Now CPM and CPC ads are calculated out across the genre into a eCPM, so everyone shares in less in relation to the number of ad impressions their videos get. You'll need huge numbers to be able to earn a living from the Revver ad network.

Metacafe - www.metacafe.com

The Good - This site had solid community and your videos will get traffic right from the start. You'll get 100 views before the submission process is over. There is no pirated content here, everything is reviewed by real people.

The Bad - Acceptance to the revenue program is based on a user rating system that is tough to crack. You need a rating of 3.0 and 20 000 views.

The Ugly - The community is very aggressive and competitive. Expect to get at least one of your video attacked by way of a nasty comment. The site is also very conservative and racy content gets rejected by the reviewers.

Veoh - www.veoh.com

The Good - If each company had to choose one aspect of the business to focus on, Veoh chose relationship building. They have signed deals with most of mainstream Hollywood and 6 months ago looked like the leader of the "Non-YouTube" contenders in the online video market. They also managed to avoid the kind of law suites that a network with as much pirated content as they have should face.

The Bad - Although Veoh has a decent embedable player, their main business model is a downloaded application player. This is a loosing model pretty much everywhere it's tried. Not only that, Veoh's application player is poorly coded without the courtesy features one would expect like control over the program's use of the Window's Taskbar. Three month's ago, much to the displeasure of pirated video viewers, Voeh switched their embedded players to a five minute preview, that would lead you to a download of that file.

The Ugly - As a result of this major change, the site's traffic has dropped significantly. The site hasn't even begun an advertising supported strategy having put all their money into the "Rent" or "Buy" to watch models.

Stage6 - www.stage6.com

The Good - Stage6 and Divx have the best player on the market. In fact when you upload to YouTube, your best option is to use the DivxHDi format. Its small file size and stable playback makes it a pack leader, but what makes it a star is the thousands of devices (mainly DVD players) that support Divx.

The Bad - The site is weak. Although it looks good it's often slow. On the syndication side it's quite good, so link sites have used it as a backbone for the distribution of pirated television and movies. In recent month's Stage6 has moved against the pirates and copyrighted content is pulled down quickly.

The Ugly - Stage6 has a secret. If you notice at the end of the video they have a clickable post slate with an ad for Divx. The company has not created their own ad network because their main business is licensing Divx to third part hardware manufacturers. Their site claims to be working toward a "Rent" or "Buy" to watch model that won't be successful. When asked if they will release that ad spot for content creators to insert their own advertising, they rejected that as never being an option. They want the sweet spot at the end of the video for themselves but aren't to sure what to do with it.

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