Robert Cringely's column this week offered some interesting thoughts on whether Google, through their purchase of YouTube, has won the online video battle
But the very success of YouTube strongly suggests that there won't be another YouTube, simply because one site downloading 58 percent of all Internet videos and that site, in turn, being acquired by the second-biggest video downloading site that also has more money than God, well the YouTube guys would have to commit mass suicide to blow their lead at this point and I don't see that.
There is no question that YouTube
and Google Video
have the eyeballs today. That's an enviable position for the 100+ other video sites competing for viewers. YouTube built a massive video site through a combination of great content and a powerful user interface that keeps serving up relevant related videos to users. Google Video, on the other hand, grabbed massive market share through a link on the Google.com homepage - a very powerful blue underlined word.
But neither site, in my opinion, has proven to be a winner for content producers. This really comes down to revenue. If YouTube or Google was the de facto
winner today, why would A-List online video shows like lonelygirl15
, and AskANinja
distribute their content through Revver
Heather Green of BusinessWeek reported in July
that, "[zefrank] is deliberately trying to create a show and a brand and he wants to figure out a way to support himself. That's why he chose to upload his videos on Revver, a videos sharing service that shares revenues. But just as important, he's trying to keep control of the archive of his shows so that sometime in the future he can figure out a way to make money with them."
lonelygirl15's producers have largely jumped from the YouTube ship after building their brand. They now publish their shows to Revver then serve them to their own domain
AskANinja succinctly described
the benefits for Revver to publishers on their blog in July:
So here's what's happening. We did a test with Revver.com on our Pirates of the Carribean review.
It went pretty well, we made some okay money and the ad is pretty unobtrusive at the very end of the video. And the best part is that we don't have to waste time selling the ad. We can just spend time making the videos. w00t!
The trend I see is video bloggers creating their own homes on the web, uploading their content to the video blogging platform du jour - which happens to be Revver and not Google or YouTube - then embedding the videos back into their own sites. They use blogging platforms to maintain their sites, which allows them build their own community rather than enabling a discussion - thus page views and ad impressions - on video platforms like YouTube. If this is the case, YouTube could become the home for video publishing noobs and one-offs while the grown ups graduate to Revver.
A couple more Revver examples include Amanda Congdon and Vlog Santa. It's worth nothing that Blip.TV is also picking up a share of the maturing video blogging market, including MNStories, Steve Garfield, and Geek Entertainment TV. The one thing all of the content creators mentioned here have in common is that they have their own online presence and use sites other than YouTube or Google to serve the videos they create.
Is this trend going to continue? Yes, until someone figures out how to make video publishers more money through pre or post-roll video advertising. That could swing the pendulum back to Google, or possibly in an entirely new direction such as Brightcove. Who are you betting on?