Video Ads in Web Video: Success!

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Everything old is new again.

The only effective (read: foolproof) way to monetize video is by matching and embedding sponsorship within the video itself – period, end of story. Relying on fancy-schmancy JavaScript and Flash overlays for complete monetization of video content is just… reckless. You’re cutting off your iPod / PSP audience, and you’re dropping the eyeball of any user who may happen to be running some kind of ad blocker, or who may discover the video after it’s been ripped from any given video network service.

Why is this approach to video sponsorship the wisest?

  1. Viewers can’t block out your logo or URL if it’s always there.
  2. Viewers can’t fast forward through your logo if it’s always there.
  3. Viewers can’t delete your logo, and likely won’t if they bother to rip and edit the clip.
  4. People can use the video on their own sites, effectively running your logo there.
  5. Producers can upload the video anywhere to generate traffic without relying on video network advertising capabilities.
  6. Obtrusive advertising behaviors upset viewers (which can include pre-roll or mid-roll placements).
  7. Value is always in the message – never the medium.
  8. Sponsorship is tied to the production forever, wherever, whenever, however (which isn’t as negative as you might have been lead to believe it is in general context).
  9. It’s the only model that works with YouTube (which currently has 60% market penetration, with every other video network running a distant second)
  10. Branding is priceless – and without a price placed on branding, producers are (quite simply) giving CPC / CPA campaigns a free ride.

Seems that not enough marketers in command of the purse strings are given the freedom to challenge long-held notions that the “almighty” CLICK is the only way to track campaign effectiveness.

With the lack of valid video sponsorship options in the marketplace today, I continue to generate significant revenue (IMHO) through strategic placement of plain ol’ Google AdSense on the periphery of any given video embed throughout my podcast pages. In the grand scheme of things, that is (or should be) icing on the cake. The Revver / Metacafe business models won’t work well for most producers unless they (the video networks themselves) change their distribution strategies.

I mentioned this in a video upload post earlier, but YuMe is the one to watch in this space – and every single video producer out there should be beating a path directly to their door. I’m not getting paid to write that (but I should be, eh). They were the only video-related startup at UTR that had a comprehensive game plan already in place.