Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Happy Holidays and Welcome 2009

2008 has been a learning and growing experience for many of us in the social media/Web 2.0 space. With that being said 2009 is going to be a really exciting year for web video as overall ad revenues increase to (upwards of) 45%, higher quality content gets produced, mobile gains traction, more interactive features and connection utilities are developed, and as advertisers shift their focus from interruption marketing (TV) to interactive brand engagement (web video). Our one year anniversary is early May 2009, and it will be nice to reflect on how far we've come as a video sharing site in terms of content and viewers. 

For early next year: There has been some early talk that our parent company (Socially Collaborative Media, Inc.) is developing a connection/collaboration platform for video creators and professionals so that new content studio models can be established. There is a lot of excitement to announce that we can't wait for its private release next month. It will be a soft launch, so if you're interested in getting a beta key to join our community very early on, we are now starting to take requests through Twitter. Just direct message us with your email address, and we will be in touch when we're ready for you. Our current code name for this utility is CollabGuru, and we are in the process of officially naming it. Something fresh, memorable, short, and "brandable" are the goals.  

So happy holidays to everyone reading these words, and cheers to a remarkable year ahead for web video in 2009. 

Thursday, December 18, 2008

9 Online Video Predictions for 2009

2008 was a pretty good year for online video, there was good growth, interesting experiments, some crazy creators really broke out, the emergence of live video, and overall a lot of positive buzz throughout the emerging space. 

I'm going to go out on a limb and post my 2009 predictions for online video:

1. Videos continue to spread throughout the social web via embeds and syndication deals, making content even more fragmented. 
2. Some innovative creators with good shows start getting sponsorship dollars. 
3. Shows will get more interactive, so rather than watching a new show once/week with nothing in between there will be things happening on a daily basis. Much like what The Resistance has done with theirs. 
4. Online video will have the strongest ad growth numbers in comparison to other ad formats i.e. search, social networks, etc. I know this is a pretty safe prediction but worth mentioning regardless. 
5. Hulu will get to the number 2 spot behind only YouTube in terms of monthly unique viewers.
6. Increased collaboration will lead to more quality content, and raise the bar for video creators and producers. Human resources will become more available as the more jobs are lost, and creators will be empowered to form their own virtual studios to openly share the recognition and ad revenues with others.  
7. CDN bandwidth will get more affordable as the space further consolidates and matures.  
8. Mobile video really starts to take off thanks to cool new iPhone apps that allow viewers to discover content they didn't before know existed. 
9. Online video advertising is expected to grow to 45% next  year, I say the figure will be more around 30%-40%, but great nonetheless. 

Do you have any of your own predictions? Feel free to share them below. 

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Assisted Living Season 2 Unleashed

We are proud to announce the debut of the 2nd Season of Assisted Living. The 1st Season kicked things off nicely, and with the new one we will continue to push sexual appeal and controversial humor. 

Here is a great review of the show on TubeFilter.tv

Thanks to the show's creator Dave from ViralFilmVideo, and lead actor Dustin for their passion and dedication to continually push the series forward. 

We are looking forward to again sponsoring and producing Season 3 in the Spring. 

If you like the show then please share the videos with your friends, subscribe to the RSS feed for new webisode updates, and don't forget to rate and comment. 

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Creators: Where should my videos go?

There is a debate in the web video production community right now on where creators should upload their content to, and if more video sharing sites equals more views and overall success. 

Here are some key questions that creators must first ask themselves: 

1. Do I want my content to be as widespread as possible? 
2. How many video sharing sites should I upload to? 
3. Do I want my content to be viewed by as many viewers as possible? 
4. What is my main goal as a web video creator? 
5. What are my core values and objectives?
6. Should I aim to make lots of money right away? 
7. Where should I spend most of my time on the distribution side? 
8. Which communities should I engage and interact with? 
9. What video sharing sites are right for me and my content? 

Some industry thought leaders say that creators should get onto TubeMogul and upload their videos all over the place to maximize their views. While others say that the best strategy is to upload to just a small handful of targeted sites, and engage deeply in those selected communities. 

While I don't have a clear cut answer, my opinion is that early in the game creators should syndicate their content to as many places as possible, build a brand and get known, and then see which communities best respond to their content. As time goes on a natural fit should occur, and a clearer strategy will eventually reveal itself. 

Whatever direction is chosen, it's vitally important that the creator has a core group of at least 5-10 viewers who absolutely love their content, and that they are willing to share, bookmark, and promote those videos to help the creator succeed. 

As Seth Godin and others (myself included) believe, it's not always how many but who your audience is that really matters. If you can build trust and permission within a small audience it then doesn't become where to upload to, but rather, how can you get these people to talk about you and best spread your story.