Real Talk: One Too Many Online Video Platforms, Far Too Few Viewers

/ May 9, 2013

VIW-Platforms

Last week, Yahoo! was prohibited from acquiring Dailymotion due to French government interference. But this might be the best thing that ever happened to Yahoo! — it already has one video platform that isn’t really being watched.

In an industry as young as the online video world, you really can’t say that there’s such a thing as a hard truth. But here’s the closest thing to one: Expecting general audiences to watch content that’s not on YouTube, Hulu or Netflix is a very bad bet.

Hulu and Netflix have become genuine destination sites for content, thanks to their acquisitions of premium content, because here’s another let’s-not-call-it-a-hard-truth: Premium content matters. People will show up for shows they want to watch. I spent more time on Yahoo! in the last year than I have in the last six years, and it’s entirely down to Burning Love. And now that the season finale has aired, I’m back to watching content on other sites.

Especially YouTube. YouTube remains the 500 pound gorilla.

One of my favorite questions to ask people who make content for YouTube, or work for companies that make content for YouTube, is this: How comfortable are you with the fact that YouTube is your distribution platform? How comfortable are you, essentially, with the fact that YouTube has the power to make decisions that might hurt your business?

I like to ask this question, because I have never once gotten a good answer, because there isn’t one. It’s hard to be a business whose business depends on another business.

The desire to control the delivery method for content is understandable. But the fundamental issue is this: The number one real problem web content faces is discovery. That’s where the money needs to go. That’s where the development needs to be. Throwing money and time after the idea of owning a unique platform isn’t the solution.

The best way to understand this is to watch the moves Blip is making right now. Rather than pitching itself as an alternative to YouTube, the site is trimming down its programming, expanding distribution deals with sites including YouTube, AOL, and Yahoo and refocusing on premium content. If it works, it’ll give Blip the opportunity to fill a new niche in the online video space, making it a place where original high-quality web series can thrive.

“But from a conservator’s experience what it comes down to is building vertical channels for audiences that don’t live in one destination. I think consumers like curated channels, but I think they need to live where audiences are. We’re trying to create channels that live on every major form of distribution,” Blip CEO Kelly Day said in an interview with VideoInk.

A real YouTube competitor is probably coming, but it will take massive investment for it to be anything but the video equivalent of Microsoft’s Bing — second place to the Google behemoth.

Because a At this stage, web video doesn’t need another platform. It has plenty of platforms – arguably too many.

Here are the two primary battles of web video at this stage: Getting eyeballs on shows that deserve them, and getting those shows the ad dollars they deserve, or finding alternate business models that make them sustainable.

Multiple platforms that fragment audiences do not address either one of those issues; from this perspective, multiple platforms might just be the enemy.

Tags: , , , , , ,


facebook-thumbs-down

Facebook Says It’s Sorry It Vastly Overestimated Video...

 
craig-piligian-pilgrim-media-group

Pilgrim Media Group CEO Craig Piligian (‘The...

 
youtube-heroes-for-change

Heroes or Rats?: YouTube Unveils New Program for Creators Who...

 
Vessel says it's doing well in its first month

Why Verizon is Pursuing Vessel, the...

 
Industry Tickets Selling Fast!
Click above to lock in your registration for VidCon 2015!
 
jared-feldman-and-sam-hui-ph-d-at-the-2014-canvs-launch

How Canvs Media is Harvesting Emotional Insights on YouTube,...

 
marlon-wayans

Marlon Wayans Getting ‘Naked’ for Netflix with Regina Hall

 
huffpost-ryot-aol

HuffPost RYOT Launching Virtual Reality Comedy Series and News...

 
youtube-vote-irl

YouTube Launches #voteIRL Campaign Targeting Digital-First Generation

 
tyler-oakley-camp17

How Top YouTubers (incl. Tyler Oakley & Meghan Rienks)...

 
charlie-sheen-anger-management

Charlie Sheen to Star in Crackle Feature ‘Mad Families’

 
filmbuff_videoink_300x250

Gunpowder & Sky Buys Distributor FilmBuff As Vision for...

 
toy-freaks-youtube

Toy Freaks Top Viewed YouTube Channel in August According to...

 
jeffrey-tambor-transparent-amazon

Emmy Wrap-Up 2016: Jeffrey Tambor (‘Transparent’)...

 
Twitter

Twitter Scores 2.1 Million Viewers for Thursday Night Footall Kickoff

 
youtube-sad-face-error

Vloggers Not Unique Snowflakes: 90 Million Flag YouTube Videos...

 
Mode Media

‘Billion Dollar Startup’ Mode Media Shuts Down

 
raised-firsts-branded-tv

Who Is Winning The Marketing Revolution And Why?

 
shes-gotta-have-it

Netflix Orders ‘She’s Gotta Have It’ Series...

 
swedish-dicks-peter-stormare-keanue-reeves-viaplay

What Is ‘Swedish Dicks’ and Who Is Selling It?

 
seamlessly-she-monica-potter-aol-partner-studio-gmc-acadia

How GMC is Using the AOL Series ‘Seamlessly She’...

 
Netflix_new

Liberty Global to Put Netflix on Set-Top Boxes in 30 Countries

 
vincent-cacace-vertebrae

Getting to the Spine of VR’s Monetization Challenges with...

 
meredith_brandfront_videoink_300x250

Meredith Hosted Its Own “Front” Stacked with 20 New Series

 
complex-networks-hearst-verizon

Verizon and Hearst Move RatedRed.com and Seriously.TV Under...

 
Twitter

Twitter Launches Live Streaming Apps for Amazon Fire, Apple TV...

 
YouTube Community

YouTube Fights Back Against Social Media Rivals with Community Feature

 
Casual Hulu

Vimeo Opening Television Store with Lionsgate Content, Launching...

 
A Perfect Day in LA Tastemade Jaunt VR Virtual Reality

From Donuts to Malibu, Tastemade and Jaunt Get Immersive in...

 
Defy Media

Defy Media Close $70 Million Series B Funding Round

 
YouTube Space LA Halloween Set 2016

YouTube Spaces Team with Jason Blum (‘The Purge’)...

 
Yahoo Esports

‘Yahoo Esports Live’ Serves Up Reeses Puffs with...

 
univision

Univision and Lionsgate Team for SVOD Movie Service for U.S. Hispanics

 
People Entertainment Weekly PEN

People/Entertainment Weekly Ad-Supported OTT Service Preps for Launch

 
George_Kliavkoff Jaunt VR

Jaunt VR Hires Hearst Exec George Kliavkoff as CEO

 
Making a Murderer Netflix

‘Making a Murderer’ Scores for Netflix at Creative...

 
Future Man Hulu Josh Hutcherson

Hulu Orders ‘Future Man’ Series Starring Josh...

 
Heirloom Paten Hughes Tom Wopat Vimeo

How an Actress’ Real-Life Tomato Farm Inspired the New...

 
Robert Redford and Jane Fonda Electric Horseman

Netflix Rolls Camera on Robert Redford & Jane Fonda...

 
AmazonBox

Amazon Greenlights Docu-Series on Tennis Star Novak Djokovic

 
FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler 2-4-15

It’s Apps or Else: FCC Chairman Wheeler Clarifies Rule...