Pushing Video to Consumers
One of the companies aggressively looking to push more Internet-based video to consumers is portal giant Yahoo Inc., which already offers an array of news and entertainment clips to visitors of its many Web sites. Scott Moore, vice president of content operations for Yahoos media group, said that the movement to transfer advertising strategy from the TV to the Web may be more of an evolution than a revolution, because the content may take a while to resonate with large numbers of viewers.An example of the type of program he said Yahoo is having success with is its on-location video news program "Kevin Sites in the Hot Zone," which is based on the travels of a broadcast journalist as he visits some of the most dangerous corners of the planet. Based on their experiences with existing online or downloadable video, the executive said that consumers will increasingly demand new content online, versus TV shows reformatted for the Web. This reality will also demand new types of advertisements that better relate to both the subject matter and delivery platform of the programming, he said. "If you think about whats happening to newspapers or the music industry, video is a disruptive technology that is changing everything from distribution to consumption, and well see more and more digital content created specifically for this medium," Moore said. "Its very clear that viewer demographics are shifting and most of the media companies have no clue how to deal with it." Moore believes that shorter video clips are one type of content that will probably catch on before whole TV episodes move more widely the Web, based on both users behavior online and the ability for advertisers to wrap shorter plugs into the format. Such programs are already very popular in markets such as Korea and Japan, where users have had different types of video, specifically mobile video applications, available for longer periods of time. Another type of clips that could challenge companies looking to attach ads to popular forms of Web video is amateur films, or so-called user-created content, the executive said. Moore also contends that video streaming services are likely to take off faster than content download sites. One company sitting on what it believes to be a virtual goldmine of attractive, original video content that it can push to users over the Web is NBC, which holds the U.S. programming rights for the next four Olympics, beginning with Turin and running through London in 2012. Paul Bremmer, general manager of NBCOlympics.com, said that the network plans to offer programming such as less popular events and athlete profiles on its site to augment its TV schedules. Click here to read more about MSN and the Associated Press collaborating on the AP Online Video Network. By further isolating specific audiences that follow a particular athlete or sport, by factors such as their area of interest or geographic location, NBC could attract a whole new legion of advertisers who dont have the money or desire to sponsor the entire presentation, he said. Since broadcasting the 2004 Olympics, the executive said that NBC has removed some major roadblocks to getting more content online, such as figuring out a way to block users from outside the United States from viewing its content to protect exclusive regional distribution rights. "[Creating successful advertising online] is all about relevance of the environment and what the audience is looking at," said Bremmer. "More people than we ever expected downloaded videos in 2004, and essentially that service was just a brochure of our TV programming; we think that by 2008, video on the Web will be a prominent part of our overall broadcasting package." Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest news, reviews and analysis on image editing and Web publishing tools.
However, Moore said that Yahoo continues to discover new ways to attract users to its video offerings that bear advertisements, largely by offering content unavailable anywhere else.