Saturday, September 09, 2006

The YouTube Pre-roll conversation

Fred started this conversation with his post on monetizing YouTube. The point of Fred's post was not to talk about pre-rolls, but to explore the value of YouTube and (more interesting to me) to put a dollar figure to being a content producer in the YouTube world.

But that's where the conversation has gone, so...

This post by Charlie is one of the best ideas I've heard for monetizing YouTube:

with the wiffleball videos, the user could be given a little editor that allows him to stick a logo and some text right on the corner of the screen... they select from a menu of choices... they might pick Nike or Adidas or Gatorade or something.

He also talks about having a brand solicit videos for their ads. This is being done now, and it's a good idea.

The reality is that 30 second ads, at least the good ones, are just creative short films. And when you look at most videos that go viral, they're also just creative short films... most have one "beat" and reference our culture in a way that is entertaining and allows the audience to immediately identify with the video.

So the format is the same - whether it's Budweiser Clydesdales bowing to the NY skyline after 9/11 or Musicians playing with treadmills on youtube. And a smart brand will be looking to use videos the way they use ads, not advertise on the ads. That's a bit redundant.

In all this, it's important to remember that the strong anti-ad sentiment in both the video blogging and online video communities is not a very good representation of how users in general feel. Most people would rather get good content and understand that advertising is a trade off.

What "works" as an eventual model is what turns viewers into customers the best. The best user experience is just not to have any sponsorship at all, so any ad model is going to have a negative impact on user experience.

The question for the folks with the dollars is, "which model gets my message across most effectively, and in a way that doesn't destroy user experience to the extent that people won't watch it."

Remember, the 23 minute half hour, the "hook", the sitcom, the procedural drama - these are not conventions built around the best way to tell a story. The first concern is always, "what's the best way to advertise". Our television conventions come from "what's the best way to tell a story given that we're advertising this way."


Anonymous Charlie said...

Thanks! I just really want all my videos to open with the 007 gunbarrel opening... :) Good advertising for the new movie...

3:33 PM  
Blogger Adam Elend said...

Or how about a nice "Lets Go Mets" montage?

I don't know if Glavine can keep his second wind going through the play offs.

4:54 PM  

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