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Which Online Video Sites do Video Producers Prefer?
Ed Kohler
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 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, zefrank, 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 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?


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1. Posted by: cowboy on December 15, 2006 10:15 PM:

i prefer to use watch live video on, the p2p streaming website, much better quality and free channels. The TVkoo team claimed the innovation of one streaming server supporting 200 000 users simultaneously, I think that is the reason broadcaster could make their own global TV networks world widely.

2. Posted by: Mike on December 18, 2006 3:01 PM:

Great post - just a quick note from -- Amanda Congdon is actually a blip user.

3. Posted by: Ed Kohler on December 18, 2006 3:07 PM:

Thanks, Mike.

Why do you think bloggers are choosing Blip?

4. Posted by: Mark on December 20, 2006 8:28 PM:

Blip.TV is now offering ad options like Revver. Actually they look to have more options than Revver, because they will offer pre-roll and post-roll positions for ads. Plus you can choose either video or static page ad. As a publisher, I like those options. I believe YouTube will be forced to offer ads to publishers within the year.

5. Posted by: Greg on January 5, 2007 3:21 PM:

OVGuide (Online Video Guide) is a platform that promotes all the different video sites, including commerical ones, like NBC and CBS. I don't think there will be just one winner... the space is just too vast. Just like cable TV has hundreds of channels, there is plenty of room for hundreds of video sites. Many are in very specific categories, like education or music, so they don't even compete with a site like YouTube. The real winners in this battle are likely to be the infrastructure providers that connect the sites together.

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