WHAT IS THE OUTLOOK OF PAID ONLINE VIDEO CONTENT?
The question I get all the time from my clients is; If we create this online video content, will people really pay for it? For me, clearly the answer is YES! You may be saying: what is he thinking?
I believe the answer is simple, but the implementation is a bit more involved and not always that easy to achieve. I often answer with questions like; Does your content bring intrinsic value? Is it professionally produced? Is it easily accessible? Can you connect your target market to the content and clearly define/sell the benefits? If you are successful at the previous then I strongly believe people will pay for your premium video content and you will achieve greater ROI.
“For this digital marketplace to evolve into a substantial revenue generator, consumers must be convinced of the value of paying for digital content,” said Paul Verna, a senior marketer for eMarketer.
No doubt that the public is conditioned to FREE, like the advertising supported television model and other similar content distribution models of the past. True, most video inventory on the internet today is either ad-supported or not supported at all, but some video content creators have started to build successful paid systems that serve as next generation case studies for selling premium content directly to consumers. I will go into some examples in a minute.
Several studies indicate that downloading movies, TV shows, niche content, and even corporate content is on the rise. This is a shift in consumer behavior driven by the convenience of instant access and the growing availability and usability of download and streaming platforms.
Mr. Verna, also says: “Services from Netflix, Blockbuster, Amazon and Apple are harnessing consumers’ willingness to continue paying for content as they transition to usable digital platforms.”
OK, it is clear that the big guys are able to get people to pay for content, but what does that mean for the little guys, or niche marketers... Accessibility! This may be one of the most important concepts for success. If I can watch this content on my terms, like my iPhone, my mobile device, my television, my corporate website, or my computer...I am willing to pay. This will prove as a key to the upcoming changes in the digital content distribution industry.
Another interesting advent that is going to help this shift of downloadble accessibility and increased value are, the soon to be 'uber' popular internet enabled TVs. Have you seen the apple.tv solution? This is going to be big for paid online video content usability in the near future.
“One of the keys to the growth of paid video content is technology integration,” noted Mr. Verna. “With consumer electronics firms launching a new wave of Internet-enabled TVs and other devices, the next decade will bring about a wholesale shift in the home video experience.”
There are many examples on the internet of the paid-for video model already working, but one the best online corporate video solutions that really personifies what I am trying to discuss is the guys over at Common Craft. They are selling their content everyday and really are the corner stone of the idea that if you build quality communication solutions and connect it to your demographic, and make it usable, then you will b able to charge a premium for your content. By the way to just license one of their videos the cost starts at 350USD, not cheap...but they get it all day long!
By 2012, UBS expects paid video to make up the vast majority of the US online video market whereas 23% will be ad-supported with an estimated 1.6 billion dollars and PAID ONLINE VIDEO will be 77% of the market with an estimated gross transactions of 55.4 billion!
Source: USB, "Q-Series Global Media Themes" eMarketer calculations, June 22, 2009
So clearly, in my opinion, things are shifting and the opportunity for small groups to get a piece of the big digital video distribution pie is in everyone's reach.