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YouTube InVideo ads tech a turn off?

Tuesday, 28 August 2007 — by

There’s more to YouTube these days than amateur video clips and 5-minute funnies. What with Google quite controversially closing the doors on their Google Video service, could YouTube point the way to video on demand?

In its current form, Google seem happy with the type and volume of content on YouTube, so there’s no reason for them to fool around with the recipe.

Of course, there’s the not-so-small matter of the illegal stuff on YouTube. But I’m confident that between Google’s legal team and the legitimate owners of the content, a deal will be found.

But what Google are keen to do is get their hands dirty with the advertising model on YouTube.

However, the response to Google’s attempt to infuse in-video advertising has been somewhat mixed:

“Google … is seeking further feedback on the video advertising service as a rising number of YouTube users threaten to leave the site if the advertising feature is not improved.”

The two “InVideo” embedded video advertising methods that Google have experimented with are quite a contrast:

“The company tried other methods of video advertising, including pre-roll video, but the in-video ads simply worked better. Videos that started with pre-roll advertisements were shut down 70 per cent of the time, according to Google, while only 10 per cent of in-video ads were abandoned.”

Irrespective of the type of in-video advertising being used, Google are pushing advertising in the face of an audience that just don’t want it.

Now, if this were my money, I’d be looking for a different revenue model. Of course, this is Google, so it’s going to be advertising all the way.

A lesson in alternative revenue models

“Often, tutorials posted on YouTube are put there by people who have stumbled on useful technology workarounds. The good news is, they’re available to you for free. I recently spent some time ferreting out some of the more compelling tech tutorials on the site, and I’ll point you to several of them in this post.”

If you’re looking for video-based on-line tutorials, then the Web Worker Daily article could be a good place to start.

And maybe therein lies the lesson? Maybe video-based tutorials could be a place for Google to begin their own search for additional revenue?

One idea could be to charge the content providers for the pleasure of having their content hosted on YouTube.

If you’re a smart content provider, then you’ve already got hundreds of megabytes of loss-leader “teaser” video content.

This is the kind of stuff they float around on the likes of YouTube, sometimes virally, if they’re smart / lucky.

This ad-supported content could then work to draw people towards fuller versions of video they can purchase to download.

This being another place that Google can catch an additional revenue stream by funneling all of the transactions through their Google Checkout service.

Content is king and he’s still in the building

I’m using tutorials as an example because functionally, on-line and video-based learning materials differ fundamentally in terms of usage and distribution.

You’re less likely to get an email from a friend containing a video clip showing you how to install a PCI card into a Dell PC.

While you’re more likely to get an email with a video clip of some over-weight middle-aged guy dressed as Superman being attacked by a Chiwawa.

But conversely, the tutorial video will likely either: 1, save you time, 2, earn you some money, or 3, a combination of 1 & 2.

All of which acts a neat segue into the broader video content arena, where entertainment is the content that is the undisputed king.

And when you factor in that Warner Media, part of Time Warner are interested in Google’s InVideo technology, there’s one major player with a lot of content that’s just aching to catch the odd eye or two .. million.

But should the likes of you & I have to suffer through a clumsy advertising model? Or is the web just another extension to commercial entertainment?

What’s clear is that if Google don’t get their “InVideo” in-video advertising just right on YouTube, then their viewers might just teach them a lesson they’ll never forget by tuning out and switching off in their millions…

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David Bradley → Wednesday, 29 August 2007 @ 15:45 BDT

A Google spokesman on BBC Radio4 Today this morning was talking about internet regulation and suggested at one point that TV and the net will ultimately fuse. It was hardly a newsworthy comment, but interesting that he was upfront about it, of course it will all end up like ITV and Sky…with intermittent intelligence from the BBC

db

Wayne Smallman → Friday, 31 August 2007 @ 20:50 BDT

I’ve been asked to talk on this subject some time in October, so that’s quite timely.

What’s going to cause a whole heap of confusion is what form will this convergence take?

Will it be a TV with computer smarts, or will it be a computer with a TV receiver?

This isn’t an entirely non-trivial question, either.

This is the difference between maintaining the status quo in terms of home electronics in the living room, or seeing an Apple logo on a widescreen TV in a front room near you real soon now…

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