Mandatory Reading for Journalists Covering “Online Video”

Dear regular WillVideoForFood readers: permit me to speak directly to the media in this post. Read this if you wish, but most of it’s not new to you.

angry.jpgMy friends in media. You’re under deadline. You want to do a story about online video. Your instincts tell you to package another human interest story about the popularity of YouTube. But you know better. The story isn’t just broken it’s shattered.

Now you want a new angle. While some people are happy being popular online, others are looking to make money. And they are- little folks that have day jobs but talent that once never left their living rooms. You’ve read about the EepyBird folks that made the Diet Coke Mentos fountain, and earned probably $50K by now via Revver. So how does this new “consumer generated video”  turn to profit?

The most important thing I hope you’ll take from this post is that all online video sites are not the same. Are eBay, Monster and Amazon the same company because they all sell via the Internet?

There are 4 distinct classes of online video.

Please don’t confuse them, because you know the folks at the other network will. Which is probably why you left that network (in addition to the fact that the psycho who ran the booking department was totally hitting on you). Four classes:

  1. Popular Stand Alone (YouTube is ahead by miles according to Hitwise, Comscore, Alexa, etc.). Probably 30-40 percent of online videos are served from this San Mateo company based in a loft over the pizza store (be sure to add that to your YouTube story because only 4% of stories about YouTube neglect to mention that. Don’t forget to enter our YouTube “bubble burst” pool while you’re here, because it’s not yet a viable business.
  2. Top Online Sites with small but growing online video status (Google, Yahoo, AOL)
  3. Revenue-Sharing (aka pay-for-content) sites (Revver, Metacafe, Eefoof). These folks sell advertisements around the video and give the video content owners (mostly amateurs) a piece of the action.
  4. “Destined for Bankruptcy” sites… like my own CubeBreak and

Now you know that you can’t really compare “revenue-sharing” sites with YouTube. And I know your EP is asking for a story outline in 15 minutes, but let’s make sure you know the difference between the three “revenue-sharing” sites. I’m going to save you the trouble of taking boring calls from PR people (while you daydream about hte moron that just got promoted to EP because he sucked up to your bosses’ boss).

Revver: The first site to split ad proceeds, Revver debuted in beta mode late in 2005. In the next few weeks it will officially launch, and it is unique in that it’s not a destination site. Think of it as the Visa for online video. It facilitates people sharing their content without digital-rights management. When someone clicks the ad at the end of the Revver video, I get 50% of the advertisers payment to Revver. I’ve made about $2000 on my 200 plus videos since January. Note that you have to market your videos to get clicks because Revver’s monthly traffic doesn’t touch YouTube’s daily traffic. For press inquiries contact Revver’s Queen of Content Relationships, Micki Krimmel, via the Revver Blog because she’s nicer than the PR person. Ask them to let you interview Steven Starr – the co-founder who has really big muscles. Revver’s new site is a technical dream (flash, advanced sharing, etc.) and the company is partnering closely with major media players for advertising and content partnerships.

Metacafe: A new entrant to the “revenue-sharing” space, Metacafe launched last week a Producer Rewards program in which it provides video owners with $5 for every 1,000 views a video gets. This amounts to somewhat less per view than Revver but Metacafe has lots of traffic. It’s in the top 10-15 most popular video sites depending on source and when you check. Within the past several weeks I’ve made more than $2000 on the 4 videos they’ve accepted and featured. For press inquiries contact Dan Sevitt (and I’ll insert his PR agency’s contact later today). They’re in Israel so they can you can call them at 3:00 EST as you’re eating old Chinese Food and wondering if you should change professions because your boss is such an egotistical jerk.

Eefoof: Eefoof is a small startup that’s in a beta mode now. Eefoof allows creators to submit photos, audio and video. At the end of the month, Eefoof takes its piece of the advertising revenue and then spreads the rest out to creators based on views. I just started using Eefoof but my videos haven’t received much traffic. I know others that have experimented with Eefoof and made about $7 in a month. Contact CEO Kevin Flynn (here’s his appearance on CNBC). Contact here.
Note: Google’s new contract/terms suggest it will soon share Adsense and Google Video revenue with content creators, although it hasn’t officially launched yet.

So now you’re ready for the story. All I ask is that you consider using some of my videos in your b-roll. Oh- and feed your cameramen and PAs beause they’ll be your boss one day.

13 Replies to “Mandatory Reading for Journalists Covering “Online Video””

  1. Whatever. This is confusing and “inside baseball” for TV people. You need to speak in non-viral video terms. The reason why everyone does stuff on YouTube is because its the biggest and most popular. And they think that all of the good videos are on there. This is, at best, a finance story.

    P.S. The psycho from booking hit on other people besides me?

  2. You forgot one more type of online video, video in a blog.

    You know how you sometimes put video in a blog post here? That’s videoblogging. Lot’s of people are doing it. They can actually host their video on any of the sites you mention, use others, or host the video themselves.

    What video blogging enables is the person to have their own home on the internet where people can come and see new videos from them. Engage in a conversation in the comments. Point back to the video via the permalink of the post.

    It’s different than the sites you mention because with the addition of your own blog, you control your own site. Comments from visitors live there, and you can even ad you own ads if you want to.

    Learn all about videoblogging here:

  3. Excellent point. That’s where BlipTV and others play nicely. Since most sites enable this, I saw it as a secondary distribution channel that didn’t need a separate class. But now you have me wondering what percent of videos are viewed on video sites vs. blogs. Obviously MySpace is at the top of the online video list (even though it’s not a video site) for a reason.

    BTW- why wouldn’t everyone use Revver to put their videos on blogs? All things being equal why WOULDN’T you do what ZeFrank is doing? And what I’m doing with CubeBreak? Free hosting and revenue (20% affiliate revenue for all videos and affiliate PLUS 50% on my own stuff).

    Do vloggers not know this? And am I a vlogger and I don’t realize it?

  4. Hi Nalts,i checked out Metacafe and they accepted 6 of my videos,which have received great traffic in a short time.So i submitted them to “producer rewards”,and have’nt heard back from them yet.I realize they have to authenticate each video to be sure i’m the author.How long did it take for them to approve your videos?Thanks for your time,danny

  5. Danny- the process for Producer Rewards is not easy but well worthwhile. You need to demonstrate not only that the content is yours but that the actors are providing permission- signatures required. This seems like overkill, but it’s Metacafe’s way of making sure they have content that’s truly approved.

    I don’t know how they’ll deal with content submissions (especially the process for alerting to someone that they don’t want the content). My interactions with Metacafe preceded the Rewards announcement and were fairly informal and manual. I’m sure there’s a more formal process they’ll use going forward.

    If they don’t respond- keep trying. If your videos have lots of traffic than people like them. They’ve only accepted about 2% of my total videos, and now I’m trying to make videos with Metacafe’s audience in mind.

  6. I know how they’ll deal with videos they dont want….they wont answer!,lol. They accepted 2% of your videos for The producer rewards program,or just into metacafe’s regular videos? I can see why they require signatures,after all,their motto is”Discover the worlds best videos”.I’m also going to film with their audience in mind,lots of “pet”videos,fireworks,and anything funny or action packed.I thought it was pretty cool that metacafes founder&ceo(Arik Czerniak) is a former Israeli air force fighter pilot! Thanks again nalts,danny

  7. I think you can submit as much as you’d like but they feature only what they think will sell. I was contacted by them, so I don’t know how it works the other way around. Sticky site, though. Hard to stop viewing videos.

  8. There are rumblings that Veoh is about to start its revenue programs, including letting you charge for videos, offer them as a subscription kinda like cable tv, and insert ads and share revenue. I have some videos on there, and prefer their non-restrictive model over YouTube.

  9. Hi again nalts,i just got this email from metacafe:”We are excited about your interest in Metacafe’s Producer Rewards program. Because of the great response we have received to this program, you can expect to hear from a member of our content team within 5 working days with more details on how to start being rewarded for your videos,In the meantime, please keep the cameras rolling,
    Producer Rewards” ….just a little FYI,Danny

  10. Once your videos are in the producer rewards program, how can you tell? I’ve been in contact with a content manager there, and he/she said my videos were approved for the program, but I have no way of telling this from the site.

    Also, nalts, can you e-mail me?

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