Local Interactive Strategies

Where’s the video (revenue)?

Howard Owens posted a very appropriate told-you-so blog entry the other day — “Cheap camera video journalism going mainstream”   Howard has been beating the drum on the topic of newspaper reporters shooting lots of good-enough video clips with cheap cameras — very much against the institutional tide. Sounds like the good-enough crowd is winning, and hurray for that. Experimentation and volume — and cheap failure — are the only ways to figure out what’s going to work.

Meanwhile I’ve been developing an article for the next Classified Intelligence Reports on similar work in video advertising, and I have something startling to report: there ain’t any.

There ain’t any on mainstream media sites, that is.  There’s lots of interesting work being done in online video advertising. It’s just not happening where you might expect it. I was shocked at the number of sites with aggressive editorial video efforts, and no — repeat no — effort to figure out how to create a satisfying advertising environment around it. The real shockers are local TV sites, where you’ll see lots of clips from broadcast  but no — repeat no — effort to deliver advertising, aside from traditional sitewide banners.

I hope I’m wrong. Maybe I just happened to troll through the sites that aren’t fully engaged in the video business.  I did find a very few, and I’d be delighted to see more, so comment away.

What’s that? You’re a reporter or photographer or videographer,  and you find advertising a necessry evil? Please, find another job and free up your spot for someone who cares.  If you’re in the local media business, advertising pays your salary. You have to get involved in figuring out how to bring local advertisers into your site, and video could be perfect for many.

The scary thing in most local media businesses — both broadcast and print — is that the people who are just now “getting” video, thanks to people like Howard,  are the farthest away from the ad side. Worse, the traditional media culture prevents them from engaging with the ad side, even if they wanted to. As a result, you’ll find some good video ad models on media sites, like  walk-throughs of homes for sale —  but they’re safely sequestered in pure-advertising sections like classifieds.

Here’s the challenge for the creatives in local media: create engaging “editorial” video content that also includes engaging advertising. The folks in TV and radio managed to do it a whole generation ago. Were they that much smarter than you?


June 30, 2008 Posted by | advertising, video | Leave a comment