As predicted: More media companies putting video on websites

October 21, 2008

It’s not the most amazing insight I came across today, but it is worth pointing out and commenting on. MediaPost yesterday ran a piece about the role of vide on media company websites, see it here: Video Use Will Continue To Rise, Per Web Influencers – 10/20/2008.

The gist of the story is that video is rapidly becoming a critical tool in the online sites of even non-video media companies like newspapers and magazines, half of which — according to the study cited in the article — feature video on their sites.

This is something we’ve been writing about for a while at Forrester, and I spent some time on it at Forrester’s Marketing Forum in LA earlier this year. It’s Phase 2 of what I called a 3-Phase evolution of online video. Phase 1: media companies with video assets and audiences combine the two online. Phase 1 started with ABC.com and came into full view with Hulu.com. Done. Phase 2 is the one we’re in now where media companies with non-video assets but considerable audiences supplement their content with video.

The slide from my Forum deck describing the 3 phases of online video grwoth

The slide describing the 3 phases of online video growth

This started a while back with sites like MarthaStewart.com, which added a very integrated video experience in early 2007. It still continues today as more and more newspaper outlets equip their journalists with cheap little video cameras and train them to capture video while they’re in the field. (This is a broadcast technician’s worst nightmare, all these people capturing video without a real knowledge of what makes for quality video, including lighting, white balance, etc., but as YouTube has shown, web viewers don’t notice or don’t care.)

Phase 3 is when marketers start producing significant video content that begins to compete with the media outlets. We see this already with Land Rover’s Go Beyond site, a fairly ambitious multimedia content site built around the brand. But there are precious few marketers committed to this kind of video experience on the Web just yet. I just spoke to a major financial service company last week who is trying to plan what technology they’ll use to support online video, but they confessed they didn’t really expect to have much video to watch — or many viewers to watch it.

That will change.

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30 Rock debuts new season on Web

October 16, 2008

 This was noted earlier this week in Mediapost. It appears that flush with the success of all-things-Tina-Fey, NBC is hoping to finally get some attention for brilliant comedy 30 Rock by premiering the new season on NBC.com and Hulu.com a week before it airs live on October 30th.

First, it’s an amazing show and Fey has taken her career to all sorts of new heights with her I’m-normal-but-everyone-else-is-nuts persona. But it’s a show that doesn’t get the ratings it deserves, largely because its popular lead-in, The Office, doesn’t either since a boatload of its viewers watch in via DVR, so there’s no lead-in audience for 30 Rock

Premiering a series online isn’t that new, either. It was common this season and will be the norm in the coming seasons. But it does emphasize how dependent networks are becoming on the Web to cultivate and keep an audience. As long as ratings stay relatively stable, that’s fine, but once people start abandoning linear programming in droves, there will be some network execs who have gone along with it who will shriek.