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Videocasting The Next Wave In Online Marketing, Internet Advertising

Jun 28, 2008
Video and video casting as an integral part of a company's online marketing and Internet advertizing efforts is growing in importance. There is a surge of interest and interactive participation surrounding videocasting and videostreaming, focusing particularly around the meteoric rise and importance of YouTube as an online platform. Meanwhile, the amount of time consumers - particularly the tech-savvy consumers that are a prime target for online marketers - spend in front of traditional media like TV and film is declining.

Leading pollster, Ipsos-MediaCT, reports that the percentage of time active Internet users - i.e., those who have ever downloaded a video from the internet - spent watching video on TV continued to decline, dropping from 75% in February 2007 to 70% in February 2008. This is a small, yet highly significant drop, when one considers that "about half of all Internet users aged 12 and up have streamed a video file online in the past 30 days," according to Ipsos' research.

According to Ipsos MediaCT's Director Adam Wright, "The growing sophistication of home PCs, as well as the ubiquity of high-speed Internet connections in the home and outside, really facilitated the experimentation process with the digital video medium, and subsequently caused many to adopt the PC as a channel they rely on for video entertainment."

It seems that what may have initially been seen as a trickle will yet turn into a flood, as on the videostreaming front Google recently moved to allow longer videocasts on YouTube, one of the search engine giant's crown jewels. Industry analyst and tracker, the Silicon Industry Insider, reports that Google recently invited its "content partners" (primarily independent filmmakers) to upload videos of up to 1 gigabyte in length to YouTube, blowing the doors off the site's esrstwhile restrictions on video size, which hovered at 10 minutes. (A gigabyte of video is about the length of a standard feature film at normal resolution.)

Google CEO, Eric Schmidt made it clear, earlier this year, that one of Google's top priorities for 2008 was to monetize YouTube, an asset Google paid $1.65 billion to acquire in 2005. More and more it looks like one tact that Google is exploring to do this is to allow uploading of longer videos (i.e., videos that look more like traditional media). The thinking seems to be that longer video clips will allow sponsors to attach more or greater lengths of advertising, than the 5 to 10 second ad clips that are featured on some of YouTube's shorter videos right now.

What is clear, given the Ipsos MediaCT numbers is that there is a groundswell of demand for video content amongst consumers. And that groudswell is rising. The online marketing and advertising industry has already made note of this. Turn to Google's search results page and the growing predominance of videoclips and YouTube pages in the search results is self-evident.

This is not to disparage Google or to suggest that as the owner of YouTube there is a bias towards YouTube in Google's search results. Quite the contrary, the rising importance of videocasts across all the search engines mirrors what consumers are demanding. The "Don't Be Evil" folks at Google were simply prescient in 2005, and were confidently aware that videocasting and videostreaming would be the next Internet wave. It seems that they have finally caught that wave in 2008 and are beginning to enjoy the ride. Forbes magazine is estimating that YouTube will bring in revenue of $200 million for Google in 2008, and $350 million.

Those engaged in online marketing and Internet marketing who have not yet fully embraced the potentials and opportunities of videocasting, are like surfers who have paddled out and are waiting in the surf line. We can see that the waves are breaking and we can also see that they can and are being surfed. So now is the time to catch that wave and begin to explore how online videocasting can be used successfully as an online marketing tool.
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