Online Video Advertising For The Professional Publisher: A Video Interview With Jeremy Allaire - Part 2
Photo credit: Robin Good
Professional online video advertising is a business sector that is rapidly evolving, but which is still defining itself. This is why web publishers have yet to find the best way to fully leverage online video as an engaging medium and monetization venue for their products and services.
Overall, when it comes to online video advertising, there are two main obstacles to overcome:
- Creating compelling content: While the emotional drive makes video a powerful medium to engage customers and promote products, creating compelling content is not as easy as it may seem. Many companies and individuals still struggle to create valuable content by using approaches, methods and tools characteristic of the broadcast era, spending therefore a lot more than required and ending up with dubious production values.
- Defining new video communication strategies: A lot of advertisers have already created video commercial assets for TV. These same advertisers tend to re-utilize the same TV assets when approaching online video advertising. While such strategy is good to reduce operational costs, to adapt existing advertising assets to monetize online video usually reduces the ability of the advertiser to break away from traditional mass media approaches and to start exploring more closely the pros and cons of using web-specific online video advertising formats.
In part 2 (Part 1) of this video interview, Jeremy Allaire shares his vision, advice and expectations about the future of this fast-growing online advertising sector.
Online Video Advertising - Jeremy Allaire
Duration: 2' 29"
Full English Text Transcription
Jeremy is really a nice guy. I have been able to talk to him in the past and this time I would like to ask him a little bit more about the opportunity to integrate advertising and video.
Jeremy, before you dive into telling me all the features, do people really enjoy having a pre-roll ad come from before they video? Are we just bringing in the broadcasting metaphors of how advertising is done? Or are we just about to introduce a new way to look at advertising also when it comes to video distribution platforms?
What is your take?
Jeremy Allaire: I think it is a pretty complicated area, but I think what we have seen really over the past several years is that the kind of first wave of video advertising has really tried to mirror the broadcast advertising model.
Video commercials, typically 15-second video commercials are really the predominant kind of sponsorship and that really accounts for the vast majority of revenue that people are generating from online video today.
I think there are good reasons for it.
I think that video itself is a very powerful medium, it conveys information and at least its emotions better than any other medium on the planet.
It is quite natural that an advertiser or a sponsor is going to want to have this impactful branding experience as it is possible. Video has proved itself to be a very potent advertising medium and I think that is why it really is the preference there.
There are also operational issues.
A lot of advertisers have already created video commercial assets. It is hard for them to justify creating completely new creative assets for online, when the size and the scale are still much smaller when compared to television, and so there is a sort of re-use of those assets.
But I do think we are on the cusp of seeing some additional innovation coming in video advertising inside of online video.
I have been a big proponent for many years of producing original Flash-based interactive marketing advertisements, and Flash really is a very open creative environment. It is used quite a bit for rich media advertising already today in web pages, and what we really would like to see is the commercials themselves, that are associated with video, be more engaging and interactive: play a game, interact with and learn about a product or service. Lots of really exciting possibilities there.
That, really I think, is going to be the next wave: is this sort of interactive advertisements that are opt-in for the user, so you do not have to interact with it, but that are more powerful for the marketers as well, because they create really much richer opportunities of engagement with that viewer.
I think there are going to be continued innovations.
The Challenge of Video Content - Jeremy Allaire
Duration: 2' 17"
Robin Good: Good. I would like to know your view, though I would enjoy being hoping to see even a more radical approach to advertising.
My take is that, eventually, probably as we have already seen happening, some of the videos become the advertising themselves and advertising subdue its role of having to market openly something to be used to build the trust and credibility you yourself are building now, answering my question.
Advertising, to me, is going to gradually take a backseat to the real communication content and trust-building activities, that are so much more natural to be the correct builders for a commercial relationship of any kind. That is what I am trying to say.
But let me take you for one last drive onto one of my hard questions, which is: in your experience you have lots of companies using the video services you are providing, large, small, medium-sized ones.
What do you see being most often the obstacle that these companies run into even though they have the money, they have the way to use video, but sometimes companies just do not seem to be able to leverage or make the big jump ahead that these technologies should provide them.
What is holding them back?
Jeremy Allaire: That is a great question.
I think it definitely depends on the type of customer, on the type of company that we are dealing with.
What we see on the media-oriented publishers, so publishers and producers of content whose mission is to really build an audience and gain revenue from that.
For that type of publishers I think the reality is:
- It is extremely hard to create compelling content,
- it is extremely hard to create content that is compelling from a storytelling perspective, an entertainment prospective, and
- it is even harder to build broad awareness and create audience loyalty around that.
I think at the core, the problem has very little to do with technology or with the openness of distributing on the Internet, that is sort of ubiquitous now.
I think really is still the age old problem of: Content is king and it is really hard to create something compelling.
We see a lot of content startups and broadband content startups that have struggled to really break out and make a business of it and I think that will continue to be challenging. So that is one thing.
On the flip-side, when you are dealing with corporations, non-profits, other types of organizations, they instinctively really like the idea of using video for marketing, communications and education, but similar to the media publishers it is hard and also expensive to create compelling video content.
I think a lot of organizations stumble into it. They maybe create video talking heads, or interviews in an office or things like that, that maybe are not compelling, do not have the production values that users of this kind of media are accustomed to. They maybe become discouraged because they are not getting the amount of usage of the video that they thought they could get.
At the end of the day, again, it really comes down to having really great people who understand
- video as a medium,
- production values,
- cutting and editing.
in a way which is compelling to whomever it is you are trying to communicate with.
My Wish For Online Video - Jeremy Allaire
Duration: 1' 05"
Robin Good: Great, Jeremy thank you. You have been very kind to spend some time to clarify these issues.
I will leave you with the possibility of expressing a wish, if you had the Aladdin lamp and you could just rub it right now, what would be one little tiny wish about business, life, personal that you would have for the future?
Jeremy Allaire: That is kind of you, thank you.
One thing that was really one of the kernel ideas behind my company originally, was that online video could reach into the living room and could reach into traditional TV environments as opposed to just the personal computer or mobile device.
I have a wish that the consumer electronics industry, the PC industry and those that deal with that kind of technology would really embrace open standards and come up with open standards for how these devices can interact with video services on the web. I think that a lot of the attempts today have been very close, very proprietary, not really open in the same way that the web is open.
My wish is that industry really embraces that and those consistent kind of browser-type platforms for video services on the Internet that could get into these kinds of devices. And I think we will see that eventually, but it is still something I am wishing for.
End of Part 2
Original video interview recorded by Robin Good for MasterNewMedia. Article editing by Elia Lombardi and Daniele Bazzano. First published on October 21st, 2009 as "Online Video Advertising For The Professional Publisher: A Video Interview With Jeremy Allaire - Part 2".
About Jeremy Allaire
Jeremy Allaire founded Brightcove in early 2004. As chairman & CEO of Brightcove, Jeremy leads the company's technology, marketing and business development strategy. Before working as a technologist and entrepreneur-in-residence for General Catalyst, Jeremy was Chief Technology Officer of Macromedia. Jeremy joined Macromedia with its merger with Allaire Corporation, founded in 1995, where Jeremy was a co-founder and Chief Technology Officer.Robin Good -
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