Online Video is Irrelevant

The headline is a quote by Mark Cuban, who is very rich. The full quote, as captured by Adam Kleinberg in last week’s Videonomics event in Dallas Cowboys stadium, is: “Online video is irrelevant. The top videos most days on YouTube get 250-750k views. If you got that kind of traffic on TV, you’d be a huge failure.” 

Before I comment on Mark’s thoughts, I gotta say… I love Adam’s post for three reasons:

  1. He references me before Mark Cuban.
  2. He captured the quote I was too lazy to write down.
  3. Adam let me kiss him on the head, and he’s like a human teddy bear. I told him I almost want to go back to a big company just to hire his agency, Tractionco.com. If you know anyone from Studio Lambert, tell them to get Traction Co on The Pitch (AMC) NOW.

I did get a photo of Mark Cuban and me, but nobody seems to care as much as I might have thought. Only 5% of the people I know seem to recognize him, and only 14% of that segment seem mildly impressed that I arm wrestled him. Some were more impressed that he’s on Shark Tank than the fact that he sold Broadcast.com for 55 billion.

Mark Cuban arm wrestling me

And now to the point (you buried your lead again, Nalts): Mark Cuban’s point was that the view count of “YouTube’s most viewed videos of the day” pales against television-show viewership. He’s got two reasons, the first is that YouTube most-viewed daily videos sometimes don’t often more than a few hundred thousand views. Second, the views are brief relative to viewing durations of Shark Tank, which Mark says is the show most watched by entire families. Mark appears on that show.

What Mark didn’t point out is that the most-viewed YouTubers (top 50-100) typically have daily views that exceed top television shows. Annoying Orange or Ray William Johnson get 10x the daily views of many network shows. They are, in effect, small networks. Sure the views are minutes not 30 or 60 minutes. And they’re less monatized. Furthermore, here’s another little secret for Mark. Sometimes a creator’s “daily views” are not, in fact, driven by their most recent video — a creator’s daily views are often driven by the cumulative views of the creator’s collection. (For instance, my recent videos tend to be viewed a mere fraction of the total daily views I have; the latter number is driven by a few older videos, like “Scary Maze” or “I Are Cute Kitten,” that continue to accumulate views).

During last week’s Videonomics event, Mark invited people to challenge him, but I declined because… this is all a moot point. Why? For starters, advertisers want eyeballs, and they don’t generally care if they bought 100 ads on 100 YouTube videos or 5 ads on 5 television shows.

They want targeted reach with spending efficiency.

Period. Advertisers also need scale, and if media fragments so too will their media spend. Most studies show that online-video advertising growth will come at the expense of television advertising in years ahead… but eventually these budgets won’t be separate. That brings me to my second point… in the next 4-8 years we won’t really discern between online video, cable TV, mobile and television. It’ll all be video, and the long and short tail will both matter to advertisers.

(Whether Mark Cuban says so or not).

P.S. I let him win in arm wrestling.

Hurricane Irene: Best and Worst of Live Online Coverage (and Puerto Rico Street Shark)

Forget FEMA and television newscasters. How’d the web do for live coverage of Irene? Surely I’m not the only guy bored by our local coverage, as Yahoo Buzz puts “Hurricane Irene” as the third-most searched term on Yahoo (after the words Facebook and YouTube).

So how are we doing? Well the online-video coverage is varying about as much as the weather in the U.S. right now… from amateur (consumer generated) weather footage and news reports to the coverage of the Puerto Rico street shark, let’s have a look…

A shark on the streets of Puerto Rico during Hurricane Irene

 

 

 

 

 

Improve Your Friday With Batman’s Fake Shark

Are you enjoying your Friday afternoon? Well here’s my gift to you to improve it. Batman and Robin fight the fakest shark ever. Now a free piece of cheese for anyone who can find me a video clip of Batman telling Robin, “drunks are people too” as they decide to not toss a bomb into a bar.

No batman since adam west knew how to beat the crap out of a fake shark

Tell me, dear friends… Did Christian Bale ever kick a fake shark’s ass? How about Val Kilmer? Nope even Michael Keaton didn’t carry bad-ass shark repellent.

And I’ve always had a thing for Batman because he was the only super hero who had no magical powers. Just an assload of money and free time. And a sidekick, butler and city commission as his personal bee-atches.

Fish Video Surprises Creator

If anyone tells you they know what will go “viral,” they’re lying. We all know the general rules: short, comedic, shocking, funny, sexy. But even those of us immersed in this space are surprised about what we think will go viral (like “Filthy Little Lemon” or “YouTube is My Wife“) and what viewers actually like.

COOL FISHYesterday I took my camera to the New Orleans Aquarium, but decided I didn’t need another home movie of a field trip. My mom noticed I wasn’t shooting, and pointed out the sting rays that swam above our heads. I was charmed by the sting ray’s funny face, since we don’t usually see the bottom of a sting ray. So I began to collect footage of fishes moving their mouths. I thought it would be fun to have them all singing.

As I looked over the footage, I was memorized. And since I’m on vacation, I don’t have the time or equipment to make a song for the fish. So I opted to compress the video to two minutes, and play it aside Kevin MacLeod‘s soothing piano music. I really liked it, but was pretty sure viewers — who expect comedy or kids in my video — would be turned off.

Then I checked the vital signs today, and was rather surprised. See “more” below for the list to date.

So what’s the lesson? My marketing professor used to say “cows sell,” and I’d augment that with “so do fish.” But it’s also a reminder to create for yourself and not for the audience.

But lest I end on a meaningful note, let me remind you editors of other sites fed by TubeMogul (Revver, Metacafe, Yahoo Video, Viddler, Veoh, Brightcove, AOL Video) that the fish video is on your site as well! Just search “Nalts and Cool Fish.” 🙂

Continue reading “Fish Video Surprises Creator”