Bebo has announced that they will no longer self-fund their online video series, instead choosing to use revenue agrnered through advertising to pay for video content. This came just days after Hitwise released data detalling how “UK Internet traffic to Video websites has increased by 40.7% over the last 12 months.”
For the record…
Top 10 Video websites, based on market share of UK Internet visits to a Hitwise custom category of Video websites, February 2009:
1. YouTube: 62.9%
2. BBC iPlayer: 11.2%
3. Google Video: 2.0%
4. MegaVideo: 1.5%
5. MSN Video: 1.4%
6. Google Video UK: 1.3%
7. Channel 4 TV: 1.3%
8. MetaCafe: 1.2%
9. Vuze: 1.2%
10. Daily Motion: 1.1%
What does this mean then for video content? Where are we going?
It is clear that video is in demand and that Youtube has the current monopoly – why would you, as a marketeer, use the likes of Vimeo or Veoh to host your content if Youtube is everyone’s first port of call? You wouldn’t, unless you wanted to target that particular community.
With the sneaky imposition of adverts on Youtube videos, the content sharing website has acknowledged that there’s money to be made from emblazoning content with brand names and that it is a key revenue stream, and in particular, interest best adverts. Has it put users off? Evidence would so far say no.
What Bebo has done is simply re-align itself to the current viable economic model, and, like all good businesses, if that changes, they will adapt.
The whole PRS issue has of course brought this matter to the fore in recent weeks and is likely to rumble on for a while yet.
What we need to address at this current stage of video content evolution is the categorisation UGC and ‘official’ video content and once you’ve done that, is it right to monetize a consumer’s content if they are not directly getting any cash in return.