Why Professionals Avoid Web Video

In professional productions, broadcast or corporate, there is a deadline. If you miss that deadline, you lose. If you don’t want to miss that deadline, you have to hire someone competent and trusted. People competent and trusted have rates. If you don’t want to pay that rate, you can hire someone else.

Since you have an air-date, there isn’t an infinite amount of time that can be spent on your project. This is another reason to hire a competent editor. You can either have a REALLY GOOD video in 8 hours or an “ok” video in 8 hours. Actually, depending on how much you skimp, you might not have a video AT ALL in 8 hours and miss your deadline.

Quality’s important when you’re doing professional work. This is because the company that hires you cares about its image and its brand. The whole point is to get people to feel like trusting the company with their business based on how they present themselves through media. Because of this, companies tend to go with post houses or editors that they know can and will make them look good, and pay those people accordingly.

Elizabeth Hummer & Bill Cammack

Getting involved with video productions on the web is totally different. There’s no revenue stream coming from advertisers down to companies down to producers, shooters and editors. If a company’s going to make videos for the net, they have to be prepared to take a financial loss in return for increased brand recognition or social cred. They will NOT be making their money back via revenue-sharing. Unless they get tons of views, they will NOT be making their money back via sponsorships. They *have* to treat their videos as ADVERTISING and not some vehicle to make money with. They have to weigh their increase in social and business cred against the cost of their videos in order to justify a budget… ANY budget.

This is what makes it tough for professionals to feel like getting involved with the internet video business. Everyone in the space is trying to “make it”. Everyone’s clawing for that next dollar and that next passionate viewer and that next page hit to the point where it’s like a high school play. “Oh… could you run the lights for me?” “Could you dress up like a tree and stand in the background here for an hour?” “Can you pull the string that opens the curtains?” It’s REALLY incredibly unprofessional, but like I said, it needs to be, because these aren’t video production companies… They’re companies that are attempting to UTILIZE video on the net to gain something else. The bottom line is to spend as little as you can to produce videos that get you as many views as you can get that you can turn around and sell to someone that wants to advertise something.

So what you end up with is individuals or groups whose budget is 1/3 of your day rate who want you to get on board with doing a project that you know is going to take you three days. This is where TIME comes back into play. The question you have to ask yourself as a freelancer is “What else could I be doing during the time that I’m spending on this person’s project?”. Let’s see… You could be:

  • Doing work at your actual day rate
  • Socializing and making new business connections
  • Learning new styles and concepts in editing
  • Learning about new sites and apps on the web
  • Reading what others have to say in their blogs about your chosen field
  • Doing Trial & Error testing of new tools and concepts you’ve recently acquired
  • Doing follow-up calls & emails on invoices people haven’t paid you for yet
  • Posting to your blog or video blog
  • Spending time with family & friends
  • Enjoying your hobbies & other entertainment
  • Living YOUR life

So, basically, the point of the budget is to get the producer, shooter or editor to focus on YOUR project instead of doing ANYTHING ELSE UNDER THE SUN that’s more beneficial or entertaining to him or her. Therefore, the lower your budget is, the less time that person’s willing to apply to your production.

Unfortunately, there’s a baseline to the amount of time that’s necessary for a project, so there’s a baseline to the budget. For instance… If someone gives me a tape that’s an hour long, off the bat, that’s an hour that has to be spent loading the tape onto the drive (less time if it’s coming from a digital source, like an SD card or P2 card). There are only two other ways around this expenditure of money/time. Pay someone else to be a loader and make sure they coordinate with the editor so they know how to load the tapes properly, or DO. IT. YOURSELF. Do it yourself and say to the editor, I have this drive with all the footage on it, and I need you to edit it. Saves you money right off the top.

There’s also a baseline in PLANNING that’s necessary for a video. If you give me a page with clearly marked ins and outs, video and dialogue cues, I can crunch that out in no time. If you give me NOTHING, then you have to pay for all the time it takes me to watch all your footage and make up an entire story in my head that makes you and your company look good. Even if the final product is 30 seconds long, if you gave me three hours of footage from which to select the best 30 seconds…….

Then you have to deal with changes. If the editor you hire isn’t also going to be the EP (Executive Producer), you’re going to have opinions about the video after it’s done. “Change my title”. “Move this part here”. “Take that part out”. “Change the volume”. “I don’t look good here”. This means that MORE time is taken listening to / reading your changes and more time is taken making them and then encoding the file and getting you a review copy. This is why a lot of work is done on a day rate basis instead of a package deal basis. Video is almost entirely SUBJECTIVE and people will tweak and tweak until they run out of time (air-time deadline) or money (budget / agreement). As long as they’re paying for the time they’re taking up (and to the degree that it makes it worthwile to the editor), more power to them.

Bill Cammack

This is why production companies are now swooping down into the space and creating all these web shows. Their editors are STAFFERS. They get paid REGARDLESS of how many people watch the videos, whether they go viral, whether there’s rev-share advertising on it, whether it has a shelf-life of more than three days. This works for the reasons I stated above. Production companies gain social & business cred from doing QUALITY WORK. Since they pay their editors to DO that work, their ROI is continued and increasing business from clients who want that same level of quality and consistency for their productions.

Is there a solution to this? I don’t think there will be. In fact, it’s not even actually a ‘problem’. Since most people are concerned with hits and viewership and membership, it’s not an issue for them to output GARBAGE and do that for as close to $0.00 as they can. Their reputation is based on how many eyeballs they can attract to sell to advertisers and NOT the quality of the video on their site(s). Nobody’s ever going to ask them to get their team to make a web video for them or a corporate video for them or something to go on broadcast television. Nobody’s going to ask them to work on a film… evAr. As long as the video is the means and not an end, it’s going to remain a high school production, and as long as that translates into hits, views and sales, these web companies are going to be happy.

The only decision here is whether to dress up like that tree and go stand in the background or only entertain video production proposals from individuals and groups with a focus on quality and an understanding of what it takes to make that happen.

~Bill Cammack

Twitter: BillCammack
Social Media Category: billcammack.com/category/social-media
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  1. Great read and incidentally I just nailed a video contract with an International Governance organization to get their videos on the net FOR CHEAPER! Geez, what they were paying some “high profile” video company to produce a 320 x 240 WMV video for the web was ridiculous!!

    Problem here is that major organizations feel the need to “pay good to get good” and the flaw sometimes is that these organizations aren’t aware of the details of what they are getting compared to what they NEED from what they are getting.

    The fact that the videos were WMV should be a sign that the “good production company” wasn’t educated in streaming web video… nor had any knowledge about RSS feeds, browser compatibility, etc…

    Anyways, to wrap up: If your project is exclusively for the web, the way you can cut corners and cut the final fee, is to know exactly how much you need from a production company to get the job done efficiently and effectively—and GET a company specialized for the WEB not for weddings or even network television!

  2. Nunoooooo! Congrats, man! 😀 Glad to hear about your new contract!

    You bring up another important point. There’s more to putting video on the web than making a video. There’s compressing it. There’s knowing what data rate you want to use, especially if a lot of your viewers are using older, slower machines. There’s the consideration of what host to use or serving it yourself, RSS and browser compatibility, as you mentioned…

    There’s so much to know that it’s really NOT in a company’s best interest to hire some company, BLIND, because they put the word web or internet on their video production page. WMV??? omg.

    So, yeah, CONGRATS again on the new contract and thanks for the comment, Nuno! 😀

  3. Great post, Bill. You have raised a bunch of issues that are really crucial in this space. Theres a couple of thoughts I’d like to throw into the mix…

    In regards to the first part of the post, I do think its possible to attract quality people to a project, without necessarily paying their full rate. I’ve been lucky in this regard, having worked in “traditional media” for a number of years, in that I was able to cash in favors from professionals who know what they’re doing, or people who are as passionate as I am about a project. Even for those who do not necessarily have connections, it is still possible to attract quality people to online video. If you post for a job on Mandy or Craigslist, there will always be students willing to work for free, and in many ways a web series can offer much more valuable hands on knowledge than working on a film where all they do is “gopher” coffee. Also, as you know, on most paid gigs people basically work as a “hired gun”—if you can stir the creative juices and get someone passionate about the project, theres a way to attract quality crew to work on your project, espcially considering that most filmmakers work on a freelance basis so theres often some downtime in between gigs. I also think that its important to give people who work on the project a share in its success. I know for the most part this doesn’t pay off and is sort of similar to the dreaded “deferred pay”, but at least it lets people know that you are trying to be fair and that you value their work.

    As far as the second part of the post, I think you are hinting at a larger truth and a MAJOR problem for online video. Due to the fact that hits and views are king, the content has suffered tremendously and you basically have a bunch of marketers trying to create content. The dirty little secret is that you get a much higher level of resources, energy, and attention poured into the marketing rather than the creative/production side, and in my opinion ways to game the system (ie scripts on Youtube to inflate hits). Marketing is OK to some extent, but when it completely overtakes the entire business, you’re in trouble. I think we will see several players in the space fall due to their lack of respect for the audience and failing to devote resources to creating high quality product/videos. Time will tell.

  4. Hey Matt! 😀

    As far as the ability to attract quality people to a project, I agree with you entirely… However, that’s a different topic. That would have been “How to do a good web video even though you don’t have any money”. This is clearly possible, like when I used to do Scriggity with Drew Olanoff & Shauna:

    To go point by point… “Cashing in favors” assumes you either DID favors for someone in the past or you have some sort of skill where they might be willing to ask you for a favor in the future, essentially being “glad to pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today”. 😀 Bartering is fine as long as one actually HAS SOMETHING to bring to the table.

    Posting on craigslist and getting “hungry” individuals to work on your projects is a great idea, but again, for the different topic of how companies can get videos done without paying for them.

    I *do* agree with the concept of creating a project/product that people are PASSIONATE about and willing to DONATE their services towards completing your video. However, when YOU are going to get paid / recognized / bought out at the end of the tunnel and everyone else is left with “good feelings”, which you can’t buy Hot Chocolate with, again, you’re going to trend towards the inexperienced and the “hungry”.

    Mainly, I’m not talking about how to get people to do you favors. 🙂 I’m talking about when someone steps to a professional producer, shooter or editor with what they consider to be a BUSINESS proposal and it’s really insanely under-budgeted.

    Yes, you’ve hit the nail on the head. What’s going on here is MARKETERS creating content, not videomakers creating videos or filmmakers creating films. There’s nothing wrong with that, and business is business, 🙂 but that’s not going to attract quality content creators to the space. Also, what I’m saying is that nobody CARES to attract quality content creators to the space.. just people that can market.

    The move in the not-too-distant future is going to be for freelancers to align themselves with professional production companies that are now entering the space fully funded and ready to make it happen.

  5. As long as the measuring stick for all web content (video, images, text, etc.) is eyeballs or conversions, there’s no reason for anyone to produce anything challenging / interesting / multifaceted / of depth. And, as such, it becomes much more difficult to attract talented people to the web for such a low payoff; it’s a vicious cycle.

    In the ’70s, TV execs adhered to the idea of Least Objectionable Progamming — they wanted to create the most mediocre content possible, just to avoid offending anyone and losing their baseline 33% market share (when there were only 3 networks). Cable (aka variety) forced them to become competitive and fight for those eyeballs, and that continues to be a battle between quality and shock value.

    I’m still waiting for quality to enter the web equation on a consistent basis. Unless we raise the bar of expectations, there’s no reason to think we’ll be producing anything other than shock value clips designed to drive in eyeballs with no stickiness factor.

  6. Justinnn! 😀

    Absolutely. A vicious cycle. Quality remains low (as far as depth/intelligence of content/scripting, as you mentioned) and as long as the hits keep coming in, there’s no need to do any more than that. You also have people trying to cheat the stats by hiring people that are already internet-famous to be the talking head for their show. This makes it look like people are tuning in, when they’re really just following ANYTHING that that person would have done on the internet.

    Good point about television vs cable. Some people like the reality of cursing. Other people like the shelter of censored programming. Cable offered an option and took the ball and ran with it.

    I think quality will enter once the space gets saturated with professional teams being sent down from MSM companies. It will also enter IF they figure out a way to monetize web video content. Unfortunately, you have to have funding AND talented content creators in order to deliver consistent and good programming. The MSM crews have that already and are allocating man-hours from their staffers to crank out web material. I just saw a 3-minute summary of “The Shield” the other night. Tell me that’s NOT geared towards web audiences.

    Oh… and AGREED about “Stickiness Factor”. I think “uniques” are highly overrated.

  7. I think you point out an important distinction that many don’t even consider. As long as immediate, snap judgments are used when viewing videos on the internet, quality won’t matter.

  8. Video Producer,

    That’s right. That’s why it’s a commonly known and used trick to make sure there’s an attractive female in the thumbnail of youtube videos. Guys click on it thinking the whole video’s about her… when it’s not about her AT ALL, or if it is, it misrepresents what’s going on in the video to make it more ‘attractive’, and by the time they figure it out, it’s too late, the video already has that extra click.

  9. Hi all. There’s a lot going on here, and wanted to add my two cents. Agree with most of the above, but would like to add some information.
    Bill wrote: (in response to Matt)
    >>Yes, you’ve hit the nail on the head. What’s going on here is MARKETERS creating content, not videomakers creating videos or filmmakers creating films. There’s nothing wrong with that, and business is business, 🙂 but that’s not going to attract quality content creators to the space. Also, what I’m saying is that nobody CARES to attract quality content creators to the space.. just people that can market.<<

    Very true. And, it goes deeper too. From the Hollywood perspective, this should be the perfect money atmosphere, but… it’s not. Why? Hollywood producers have the best $ connections, and the ability to take web media to the next level, but they are sitting on the sidelines. The reasons are twofold: they don’t see the format as being solid yet. It’s still very nascent.

    The first “dot com crash” is still very much on peoples minds. Sites like comedy.net and pseudo.com had millions of dollars in startup money, and they failed. The reasons were pretty simple: they treated the internet like an extension of TV and movies. And, it’s not. What is going on now is similar to that in many ways. The only difference between now and then is that now the marketers are on board, when they were not then. And, social networking is a pretty viable way to attract eyeballs.

    In a nutshell, the reason that many talented professionals are wary of the web is that the medium isn’t fully fleshed out yet. It’s still a work in progress. What we know is that you’ll only have limited success as an extension of tv, or film. The real future success of the web lay in a format that has yet to be discovered.

    Early TV wallowed in infomercials and talk shows before someone had the idea to transfer radio drama to TV. And, then game shows… the format was solidifying.

    But, the web is different. Look at the gaming market. That’s the perfect example. It is an independent format that exists on it’s own. It’s influenced by film and tv, but it’s not interdpendent or an extension of it. And, it’s huge. Bigger than TV and movies combined. Why? For those exact reasons. It’s stand alone. You can’t do what you do with games in any other way.

    The web needs to develope that type of independent open system that fosters a new format and medium of expression and entertainment, rather than simply being a low budget version of tv and film like public access tv.

    There are some fantastic changes coming down the pipe that utilized properly can help lead the way to the next format on the web…

    IMHO, it’s going to be fun, social, well made, and real time. (or nearly.)
    Real information for a new reality.
    That’s the future.

  10. Excellent points, DJ. That should be a post of its own! 😀

    This is the first time I’m thinking about what you wrote, but I can see it as being valid. The only place where my concept of web video seems to be different from yours (and not vastly different) is that I see a difference between web video and television / public access, and we’re utilizing it right now.

    I made a post this morning that several people have now commented on, and this post ‘means’ something different at this point in time, because of viewer participation. That’s the edge and the opportunity that internet video has over television and low-budget television. Instead of a one-way communication, it’s at least two-way and in lots of cases, one-to-many.

    So, if you take for example, Next New Networks’ http://Threadbanger.com , you have a show, but then you have comments on the show page just like the comments on this page. You also have a forum where people can say what they want about the show, what they like and what they don’t like. You then have the opportunity for your users to upload or send in UGC (User Generated Content) not only to be a part of the forums, on the sidelines… but actually being part of the next show.

    So the opportunity with web video is to create virtual communities as opposed to a fan base that really has no voice, like on television. There’s also the opportunity to do behind-the-scenes videos and other sorts of character development that don’t fit into the television model. Televison shows shoot EPKs (Electronic Press Kits) which are usually sit-down interviews with the stars of the show, where they’re answering particular questions and it’s edited into a presentation. That’s not much more endearing than the show itself and isn’t going to generate passionate participants/viewers.

    Unfortunately, one has to know what one’s doing to deal with shows and social media sites and forums and live shows and post comments and UGC and contests, etc etc so the fact that this IS a very new format means that there aren’t many people that are any good at it at all. They may excel in one or two areas, but they can’t rock the whole thing.

    So, yes, while I agree with you that web video would be way better off if something were found where it became its own entity like video games instead of a ‘knockoff’ of televison, film or public access, I think a grand opportunity’s already here, but most people don’t see it and out of those that do, most people can’t do it well.

  11. Hey Bill,
    Great post, thanks for hooking me up with your thoughts via the vlogging list.

    Anyway, I think that there really is something to the idea that the folks on that videoblogging list tend to have a good deal more knowledge and familiarity with the online mediascape.

    I remember a friend of mine who is a sales rep at IBM used to point big business to my personal site, K9Athlete.com back in the late 90s to show what you could do with online video on a shoestring. It was really funny. He’s sending CIOs of fortune 500 companies to a little frisbee dog site for proof of concept in web video.

    I know that with myself, and most likely with other online content creators, there is that problem of belief in my ability to produce high quality content and the fear of being responsible for a large budget – I just can’t seem to get myself to the point where I feel comfortable charging a client a proper fee, and wind up low balling any project, or avoiding pitching it. It’s a shame too, as I think I’m pretty well placed in terms of talent and knowledge of the mediaspace to turn a project into a winner in terms of ROI, or marketability.

    I also agree with the idea that having marketers at the forefront of online video is a horrible situation for the mediaspace. It creates a cheap and oily vibe that is hard to punch through – even with solid content.

    Thanks for the thoughts…


  12. Hey Ron. 🙂 Thanks for the comments.

    There’s a lot of that going around now… big businesses looking to smaller sites/companies/groups to try to figure out what to do with online video. They’re used to corporate video, which is basically just “in-house television”. Beyond the ability to distribute to their employees easier, they really have no concept of the opportunities available to them through what people on our list have been pioneering since 2004 (I’ve only been involved since 2006).

    As far as low-balling, you’re not alone in that. I know quite a few actual professional editors that are scared to charge over a certain rate. It’s a little different from what you’re talking about, because that’s their entire JOB, to edit, and it’s not your entire job.

    Having said that, low-balling isn’t the issue, because if you do it to YOURSELF, then you’ll be glad to make what you asked for. 🙂 The issue is that it calls for the same skills and time expenditure to do a video for the web as it does for a corporate or broadcast video of the exact same content. The broadcast and corporate videos are both ENDS, and companies pay to get those made. For the most part, online video is a MEANS of getting hits and views, so since it’s not the end product, it’s not respected in the same fashion when it comes to budgeting.

    Yes. Having marketers at the forefront is HORRIBLE in terms of art and craft, but somebody’ got to get in there and find out where the monetization potential is so that we can finally get this show on the road! Once that happens, we should see more respect for online video budgets since our clients will be able to demonstrate actual monetary or sales ROI.

  13. This is a great post. I wish I had time to write an essay in response. Lots of my reactions have been covered by other people – I was just having exactly this conversation with my brother in law an hour ago.

    A lot of us who got into this early were not overly invested in the status quo – we weren’t working for big MSM corps – so it was easy for us to experiment. The problem with that is that most of us were/are solo freelancers. And that a lot of us are doing it in our spare time, because it’s not a job or a big money earner. Which limits our ability to put the time and resources into creating high quality content.

    The big misconception about the digital revolution is that it’s about the cost of making things. Sure, the equipment is cheaper – but talented people’s time costs the same, as you point out. Cost is not what the revolution is about, as far as I’m concerned – it’s about access. But the misconception started a long time ago, when we were all getting excited about the possibilities of all this new production technology and hadn’t foreseen the future of *consumption* technology.

    Even before web video, solo freelancers and cheapo production companies have been knocking out cheap corporate videos for years, and also knocking out cheap DV shorts & features. Most of these are sub-standard. They haven’t really changed anything.

    Larger production companies with talented directors and producers and *writers* on their books have been biding their time, seeing where this whole web video thing is going. They couldn’t afford to invest the time & resources back 2004/5 when we were started to get all excited about it – there wasn’t enough money in it. But now they’re all starting to set up separate digital/viral arms to their operations, and the quality of their output will surpass anything that smaller operators can do, for all the reasons you give.

    It’s just a matter of time before there’s very little difference between quality TV production and quality web video production. When the internet gets integrated with TV sets & the couch, the competition will really start and people will start considering it worthwhile investing proper budgets and time in the creation of non-TV & non-theatrical content. And most of it will be produced by the same big corporations. But – crucially – there’ll be more access for independents, too. And they’ll have to produce material of competitive quality just as independent movie producers do now.

  14. Hey Rupert! 😀

    That’s a great point that ACCESS is the difference, not COST. Whatever MSM comes up with (like Hulu), they have to put it on OUR playing field.

    As far as public access, you have to apply for a show and then get a time slot and that’s all you get. No advertising/marketing for your show. No interactive component to engage passionate subscribers. Even if you can output five shows a week, you’re not going to have five slots a week to show them in, and if you do, it’s only going to be local viewers that have the CHANCE to see your work.

    So, Yes.. The main difference here is that everyone has access to the tools which allow us to place content on the net the same way MSM does. I remember this was a big issue that Jannie-Jan had with Joost when we first found out about it. Where was the ability for independent content creators to get their material on Joost? This is why people have become popular by sitting in front of their webcams doing YouTube shows. People are getting used to deriving entertainment from independent productions or even from making media themselves.

    That’s the difference, for sure. There was ZERO opportunity to tell someone “Turn on channel 7! My show’s coming on @ 10:30”. Now, if you drop an episode @ 10:30, people can get it via RSS, immediately and just about anywhere.

  15. All very true Bill. And, I very much agree. Keep in mind though that interactivity has been around on Public Access for a long time as well. It’s never been as evolved as it is today, that is for sure. David Levitt and Big Twin had shows in the early 90’s at NYU’s ITP that used computer models and phone lines to control interactive 3D models, (one of Tim Leary) and conersations were conducted by phone message, live multi-line, and early text based. (for those on dialup with BBS access.)

    My point is that while the technology has gotten better, the content is pretty much the same: people talking to each other about what they are watching/reading/etc. We’ve gone from MUD to AOL chats to forums to bogs, from IRC relay to IM to Facebook, from ascii text to graphic text to video on the web, and whjat we are doing is essentially the same; it’s literally the same process with new tech. There is no difference or anything new with the social networking thing. It’s been going on for 20 years. The tech is just better. And, I think there is probably a next phase coming over the hill, where the tech and the create content world really comes together…

    An interactive community format… something that brings it all together… Spore, Android, et al… is going to breed new formats.

    It’s evolving…

  16. you sum up the current situation well (along with the other commenters): many online video shows seem to be made by/for marketers. The content is usually blah, but boy do they make a lot of noise.

    How do we change this?
    Storytellers just have to start telling stories. Throughout history, artists have had to beg, borrow, and steal to tell their story.

    As Rupert said, the real revolution is simply access/distribution. Anyone can have a page where the entire earth potentially can watch you story. This is a huge problem now removed.

    I also think we forget about endurance. If you cover a story long enough, you become the authority on that subject. People will eventually notice.

    In old Hollywood, they made movies every week. I think current Hollywood has spoiled this idea with their notion of the 150-million dollar one-shot, gamble.

  17. Great post, Bill. I’ve been working with companies for the last 10 years creating compelling video work for internal and external audiences.

    I totally agree with you that quality is the key for these clients.

    I do think things are changing as more content is aimed for an on-line audience. The desire for quality is starting to show. However, there’s this funny thing about web video. You can’t be too slick. You can’t be overtly “selling”.

    But – if you can entertain then everything falls by the wayside. It could be a huge budgeted show or made with a flip mino. And, this two sided sword boggles the marketer.

    I’ve got to believe – in the not too distant future – that great companies will be using video on the web to get their message out with scale. It won’t be a video this quarter and maybe another one next year. But rather – a season of videos that will supplant all their current marketing channels.

    These companies will want to align with storytellers who know how to make compelling content that entertains – on a regular basis.
    Quality will win out!

    As a sneak peek to what I’m talking about. Check out this Random House Children’s Book video (full disclosure: my firm produced it) aimed at teachers and students but also the general public (note the HTML!): http://tinyurl.com/7e5tho

    You and I know that to make a product that entertains takes professionals who know how to craft stories. Our day on the web will come!


  18. Thanks for the comment, Chris. 😀

    Our day MAY come, and it may NOT. 😀

    Over the last year, I’ve been able to monitor the “success” of shows that were based on talent vs shows that were based on popularity. The bottom line so far has been “eyeballs”, because without the ability to demonstrate the demographic that’s clicking on videos, companies have to advertise in a “shotgun” method, which is basically selling a percentage of their actual hits as POSSIBILITIES that that percentage is going to be intersted in the advertiser’s product and the advertiser’s going to be interested in selling TO them.

    Quality hasn’t been justfied by budgets because the ROI isn’t there. Companies are doing well enough, hiring guys that completely SUCK at producing videos, but who have a large following = automatic audience. The only other option is to hire someone GOOD at creating videos, but then hire someone GOOD at marketing and building and maintaining communities.

    It’s all going to change *IF* they figure out how to make money from online video. Until that time, they’re going to keep scraping the bottom of the barrel and going with the cheapest way they can get a bunch of people to click over to their site. You’ll notice that they aren’t even making a lot of “Chick In Front Of The Camera” talking-head shows anymore. The old formulas are falling off and being replaced by actual production companies who are allotting part of their budget or their staffers’ prepaid time to generating content for the web.

    The window’s closing on both sides. The “haves” and “have nots” are being decided. The separation’s becoming larger every day between the pros and the hobbyists. 2009’s going to determine who keeps going in this industry and who takes their toys and goes home.

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