Friday, June 13, 2008

original programming for the web...the much talked about and so often overlooked stepchild of the repurposed majors

So much talk these days centers around the dichotomy between UGC and professional content - and by professional, we are referring to television and film programming that has been primarily repurposed for online viewing. With all of the energy and commotion around the advent of web-specific online video, it is frustrating that only once major brands began to move online with their popular offline programs, that advertisers have started to prick up their ears and pay attention.

Perhaps that's not entirely fair. After all, publishers and networks alike have been putting their heads together to formulate a viable online video business model for some time, with varying results. And further, if we're just buying/selling television on the web, then it's a clear proposition, that's easy. People - whether or not they are internet people - will get it. This whole online video/fragmented market places and something about tails that are long can kind of all begin to seem like mumbo jumbo after awhile...

So I guess a perspective then is: big networks with their popular shows and films on the web serves another valuable purpose - to educate the market that this stuff works, and that the advertising inventory is valuable and has significant ROI - especially if you're trying to scrub in hard to reach places.

Will hulu indeed be the youtube killer? It's definitely too early yet to know, but it seems as though the internet video ecosystem is such that the two can co-exist peaceably and in harmony, without cannibalizing each other or competing for even the same eyeballs.

My vote goes towards putting all this beautiful competitive energy into creating an online video space with a few successful (financial) players first, then we can go about seeing how we can carve it up and vie for position, and dare I even dream, industry dominance.

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