So we told you how to game YouTube and get even the most pointless video to the top of the Most Viewed list. The next question is: what’s the best time to execute your evil plan? According to the latest ComScore report about online video viewing, it would be between 5 and 8 pm on weekdays.
ComScore reports that in January 2007, 123 million people in the U.S viewed online videos, racking up 7.2 billion total views. That number accounts for 70% of the Internet audience. The average video streamer viewed 59 streams at an average of 2.6 minutes for the month of January. Not surprisingly, Google-owned sites topped the charts for online video activity, thanks largely to YouTube – 85% of Google’s videos streamed were from YouTube, with Google holding a 16% market share for total U.S. online video streams.
Are viewers trading in their television sets for computer monitors? There are so many factors to take into account, such as the programs being viewed online, whether it’s rerun or sweeps season, that it would be senseless at this point to make large assumptions for this type of viewing behavior. What we do know is that TV primetime is a little later: 8-11pm on weekdays.
The ComScore report shows another trend, too: massive growth in the number of videos being viewed online, raising the question: how will the networks make money here? What’s the best way to integrate ads into online video streams, or even on the sites where they’re hosted and displayed? Including a video ad within the clip would be ideal, as video clips have a tendency to be embedded all over the web, becoming among the most mobile of media. How will marketers reconcile their misgivings towards placing ads with user-generated content, and how will content owners receive opportunities to be rewarded for their provision of good entertainment?
These questions have been around for months now, but a clear-cut answer has yet to emerge. It seems as though the media industry is straddling the fence, offering packaged video ads to be distributed at the discretion of the website owners as their Internet strategy while cooking up new ways to cram commercials into broadcast television during the actual program (an annoying kind of product placement, if you ask me). Whatever the solution may be, it certainly must include a program that incentivizes the creators and owners of content. They are the ones providing and promoting the videos.
In terms of broadcast television producers potentially losing their viewership to the online video market, they too must continue to grow their online presence. It’s not hard to recognize that snippets of broadcast and cable television programs are part of the viral video revolution, and networks must take that and run with it. They must make sure that they are being readily included in the 7.2 billion videos people have to choose from online. NBC and News Corp are trying to seize control from YouTube with their own video plan, while Viacom has chosen to sue. Ultimately, this is a battle over a medium which will eventually become more popular than TV.
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