Highlights from the 2010 Brightcove Video Monetization Summit

On Wednesday I attended the Brightcove Video Monetization Summit. After a brief geeky starstruck moment – seeing Brightcove CEO Jeremy Allaire (formerly of Allaire and Macromedia) in person and resisting the urge to scream “I LOVE COLDFUSION” at him – I settled in for a long day of video learning. Let’s just say, I was not disappointed. There was a lot to take in. Here are some of the highlights:

Video is KING of Growth Mountain

In his keynote Jeremy Allaire presented some staggering figures about video growth: In 2005 video ad spend brought in approximately $200 million dollars in revenue. Last year – during a recession – it was 1.1 billion. That’s Billion with a “B”. Projected forecast is around $4 billion by 2013. I forgot to write down the source of his numbers but the IAB and emarketer certainly back it up.

Brightcove and TubeMogul released their own joint research study on Thursday and presented some of the key findings at the conference:

  • Broadcast Networks and Pure-Play (online based) Web Media have the most exponential growth
  • Newspaper and magazine sites have the most player loads
  • Newspaper publishers show the most growth in video production (Online Video & the Media Industry, 2010)

You heard it before… Standards and scale

Several times during the day VAST and VPAID were mentioned by the speakers. It’s a key message for a lot of the video professionals in the room who may not have ad operations top of mind in their daily priorities. Allaire said it best in his keynote – standards help get us to scale.

Empower Ad Operations

Industry veteran and Brightcove Director of Best Practices & Advertising Operations Erica Crossen discussed the importance of VAST and XML ad delivery to ad operations in her presentation Anatomy of a Video Ad Campaign. She also emphasized the importance of giving ad operations teams access to video player metrics (such as streams and interactions) so that they can cross-reference them with video ad analytics to see if there are any problems. Empowering ad operations to fulfill on campaigns (especially given the short life-span of video content relevance) is always a proactive approach.

Search and Placement drive traffic

If you haven’t heard the terms Video Search Engine Optimization or Video Search Engine Marketing before get ready to do your homework (I know I will be). VSEO and VSEM are an essential part of any video advertising campaign and of overall site SEO strategy. Both presentations from David Miller and Victor Haseman of AOL and Rob Davis of Ogilvy had best practices including:

Have the video metadata in the text of page
Whenever possible thread related content into video player pages (and video into content pages)
Unique URLs for your video

Where you place your video is key as well. Miller and Haseman of AOL brought along some excellent examples of how they utilize video hubs, video in blogs, and video in content. Enabling autoplay where appropriate as well as playlisting were other key points.

Don’t forget devices

Of course you can’t have a video conference without talking about devices. The Brightcove/TubeMogul study indicates that half of publishers surveyed anticipate having ad-supported mobile video within the next year (Online Video & the Media Industry, 2010).

The take away around development is Flash will be around on PCs (and some form on certain devices) for years to come but HTML 5 is being seen as the future open standard of video delivery. Publishers need to have a cross-platform strategy that includes both mobile applications and mobile web that includes an ad serving platforms.

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In order for great content to exist it has to make money. How it exactly that content get paid for was a hotly debated topic during the panel discussion. Do you go for a pay-wall, a subscription-based service, individual video content on-demand (think iTunes and Amazon), or do you go ad-supported? What about a hybrid of those options?

There have been articles on how users are willing to sit though ads to get their content. There also may be an expectation for users to cherry pick only content that they want, when they want. And there may be some who willing to pay directly for that access. However a pay-per-view model may not cover the production costs or turn a profit and in the end is not as economical for the user.

This is were the concept of TV Everywhere comes in. It’s supposed to be a compromise based on similar revenue models as cable television distribution. Will users go for it because most of them are already paying for cable bundles? Or will they be resentful of having to go through a multi system operator for their video content they used to get “for-free” ad supported on the web?

This may make sense for network broadcasters but what about movie producers, pure-play media sites, news or specialty content? What about UGC and how will social sharing of content work? And what about advertising rates – “digital” video versus “traditional” television?

Figuring out the economics is a dicey subject. Clearly, one single revenue model won’t work for all video content. The type of business model will depend on the type of content. When it’s all said and done those who make the content, own the content, and distribute the content need their slice of the pie. These type of discussion panels are a great way to bring the challenges to light.

Coming up next

I hope to hear the opinions of the AdMonsters community at our upcoming events and in our online discussion forum: Operationally Speaking. Hopefully these community discussions will help your business find solutions to the complex challenge of monetizing video.

If Brightcove makes the recording of the event available I’ll be sure to update this post with a link to it.

If you attended this event please share your thoughts either in the comments below or contact us directly.