Sanchit Sanga

The web has been long known to be synonymous with democracy. Surfers choose their own diversions and usually the truly liberal nature of the worldwide web lets them head where they want to go! ‘Entertainment’ on the web follows the same streak, be it in the form of music, arts or the richer format of video!

Video entertainment has seen slow but steady evolution in quality and form while moving from VHS tapes to compact discs to laser discs to digital video discs. However, video entertainment saw a dramatic upsurge the moment the western world realised fatter pipes meant higher data flows and seamless delivery on devices. Suddenly the online populace was abuzz with names like YouTube & Metacafe which paralleled the buzz indexes of old (relatively used) warhorses like Yahoo!/MSN/Google.

Anyways, the web doesn’t have shelf life so let’s not dive into historical events but deep dive into what might be the emerging avatar of this phenomenon.

First things first, these brands are ‘web super brands’ because of consumers who became Editors, Schedulers, Cameramen (and Critics)! The entire non-commercial ‘produce and distribute’ machinery of video was re-created by none other than the ‘Viewers themselves’. I wish someday the much-touted TV business follows suit!

Secondly, some fatigued TV advertisers have found a outlet to distribute advertising messages and commercials to a completely different audience where consumers had sought them out instead of the pesky push on TV.

While consumers and advertisers were convening, the researchers won’t be far! Research agencies thronged to measure brand effectiveness of the advertising messages on Video websites vs. television and came out with findings which converts like me are not much surprised about: Online video ads delivered recall of 82% Vs. typical 54% on TV (Same commercial)!

While most elements are working for them, one thing which most video publishers are grappling with is monetising the wealth of content that they own. While the sponsored video approach is a step in the right direction, like all things digital, innovation in creating multiple revenue streams remains the big challenge.

If clustering of content affinities is the way to go for the future, consumer-generated and media-created content galleries would well emerge as standalone vertical web properties which can well be visited to quench consumer passions. Most brands target consumer passions and if you can bring most of the big

players to target passion quotients of these aggregated communities (instead of archaic Reach/Frequency numbers), I am sure there is serious money to be made out there. It will definitely result in creating more measurable consumer engagement-centric media metrics and also ensure viewers get advertising which is more relevant to them.

Let’s keep our fingers crossed and our Google alerts coming to track the video pulses.