Screen Time

No other news has hit quite as hard or caused as much speculation within the online video industry as the recent news of Yahoo's acquisition by Verizon, as well as Twitter's second quarter earnings report. Many experts are pondering the future of the brands, speculating on how Verizon will integrate Yahoo into its fold or debating about the sustainability of Twitter as a whole. But there's an important lesson to be learned for content companies from Yahoo and Twitter's pasts, which shouldn't be overlooked.
By - Posted Aug 11, 2016
While the plethora of social video options may be confusing and even overwhelming, the truth is that choosing which one(s) to use to promote your brand doesn't have to be as complicated as much of the marketing industry makes it out to be. In fact, making this decision can, and should, be based on age-old, traditional marketing principles. Focusing on these guidelines, which are always relevant no matter what platforms come and go (and they do/will), will ensure you reach more of your audience, make the most impact, and even end up bringing in more revenue for your brand. Here are three ways for your company to help decide where best to invest your social video efforts.
By - Posted Jul 14, 2016
The more I think about it, the more I realize some online video companies--especially larger ones such as multichannel networks--are so entrenched in old media business models and structures that they can't get out of them. While that may be frustrating to me (I'd love to work for these online video companies from the comfort of my Phoenix home), I understand that despite the labeling of online video as "new media," the industry more often than not relies on old media for long-term success.
By - Posted Jun 21, 2016
As I do each morning, I opened up my business email and scanned over the subject lines (a practice I know some entrepreneurs would frown upon for productivity reasons). One email in particular caught my eye, as the subject line simply said "Point" and it was from someone I'm choosing to call Bob. In his email, Bob said he'd read one of my columns but believed I was missing a valuable aspect to the online video industry, and that was the human, face-to-face element.
By - Posted Jun 16, 2016
From mid-April to early May, my husband and I were on a bucket-list trip in Europe. We wanted to see Scotland, Ireland, England, and the Netherlands before we invested our focus on things like upgrading the house and starting a family. Through this entire trip, I only had 100MB of data available on my phone because of the lower-end international plan I purchased. Needless to say, that small amount of data makes watching YouTube videos nearly impossible.
By - Posted May 19, 2016
In this sense, online video has, and always will be, an inherently social form of entertainment. This makes sense if you think about it; for decades, people have been congregating in churches, town halls, theaters, and now their own homes to watch moving pictures (better known as movies). Granted, we movie-goers don't tend to interact with each other during films. But the very fact that many of us are willing to go out in public--or sit down with friends and family in our own homes--to watch films says something about the way we prefer to enjoy the movie-watching experience.
By - Posted Apr 21, 2016
YouTube hasn't had it easy in the copyright department as of late. In February 2016, a few well-known creators posted videos about their struggles with rights holders issuing takedown claims against their content. These creators claimed their videos were covered under fair use terms, and that YouTube's video claiming and copyright policies are so biased towards claimants that some of these creators no longer feel safe posting videos.
By - Posted Mar 17, 2016
The first week of February 2016 will forever be remembered as one of the most controversial sequence of days in all of online video history. Why? Simply put, YouTube creators Benny and Rafi Fine of the popular The Fine Bros. channel tried to introduce a new program called React World, which would allow other creators to license their own versions of the "react" video format popularized by The Fine Bros. A little less delicately put, the Fine Bros. made a business decision which led to a very poor reaction from their peers.
By - Posted Feb 11, 2016
Without Netflix, entertainment fans around the world are still essentially at the mercy of Hollywood, local or regional entertainment brands, and even their governments. For example, let's assume a movie fan in Qatar wants to see The Danish Girl. That citizen is as of this moment out of luck, since online protesters convinced the government to pull the film about a transgender character out of local cinemas. Now let's assume Netflix were to add The Danish Girl to its streaming library in the next few months; that fan in Qatar could subscribe to Netflix and watch the movie, essentially negating the local government's decision.
By - Posted Jan 21, 2016
The online video industry had a very impressive year. With YouTube's 400 hours of content uploaded every minute and Snapchat and Facebook's 4 billion video views per day (each!), digital video is only getting more popular. While individual milestones are important, so are the overarching trends in the online video industry as it moves forward.
By - December 2015 Issue, Posted Dec 15, 2015
You can barely open up your web browser without the words "live streaming" smacking you in the face. Whether it's someone raving about Periscope or claiming you must be on Meerkat or risk missing out on the "next big thing," you're surrounded by the reality that is the live-streaming phenomenon of 2015.
By - November 2015 Issue, Posted Nov 17, 2015
YouTube is, of course, only 10 years old-and online video, as a whole, is a very young industry. And yet, within that time frame, digital stars, multichannel networks, and branded entertainment have risen exponentially. This growth has been mostly driven by tweens (ages 8-11) and teenagers who obsess over online video creators the way that people used to obsess about the Beatles. It's why multichannel networks, such as AwesomenessTV, have their own young adult book imprints, and why DigiTour Media is doubling the amount of in-person shows it hosts this year featuring social media stars.
By - June 2015 Issue, Posted Jun 16, 2015
Right about now, you can barely turn a corner on the internet without an article or blog post popping up in your face about what the new year will hold. Writers are going crazy covering topics like "the top ten marketing trends of 2015" or "what will content creation look like in 2015?" And that's exactly why I'm not going to ask you to focus on 2015's trends in online video. Ask yourself, "What do I want to do with online video in 2015?"
By - Posted Jan 06, 2015
Netflix CEO Ted Sarandos wasn't boasting when he told GQ back in January that the company's "goal is to become HBO faster than HBO can become us." This prediction came true in August when Netflix's $1.146 billion subscriber revenue surpassed the cable network's $1.141 billion. Maybe this is why HBO announced on October 15 that it plans to create its own digital VOD service. And it's likely CBS heard about HBO's service, because the very next day CBS declared it too was going to release a subscription service. Only a few days after that on October 28, YouTube's CEO Susan Wojcicki noted the video site may soon offer an ad-free subscription option. But will consumers actually be willing to throw more money at any of the new services?
By - Posted Nov 13, 2014
One of the most frequent questions people ask me when they find out what I write about is, "How do YouTubers make money?" This used to be a simple answer. When the very first YouTubers started making money, it was predominantly through electing to run ads on their channels' videos (which you can still do today), but also through selling merchandise. Creators would link to their branded t-shirts, stickers, buttons... basically, whatever they could cheaply produce and still earn a small profit from. More progressive production companies, who were already successful enough they could afford to take a few risks, would encourage viewers to sign up for their membership sites, promising exclusive content and promotions galore.
By - Posted Oct 16, 2014
By the time this month's column is published, the Streamy Awards will already be finished, the winners having gone home and giddily placed their awards in a prominent location like a display shelf or a fireplace mantle. If this was a different column, I would start talking about the Streamy Award winners without having to explain who those people are, what they do, and why they won. But this isn't that kind of column, because you're not that kind of audience.
By - Posted Sep 11, 2014
Digital entertainment has been the favored medium of the younger generation for the last several years, and there's a new statistic in town to prove it. We've already seen in a past column that people between the ages of 18-36 are the least likely to subscribe to cable television. Instead, they beat out all other age ranges in subscriptions to Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime. But if you turn your attention to even younger age ranges, the divide between traditional media and new media gets even larger.
By - Posted Aug 12, 2014
Do you know what an MCN is? Neither did I until last month. The acronym stands for multi-channel network, which is a company that partners with online video (usually YouTube) channels to help streamline their management, finances, production, and public relations. I'd heard a few years back that some of the biggest YouTubers had managers and agents, much like "real" celebrities do. I just didn't know they were all part of this bigger thing known as an MCN.
By - Posted Jul 10, 2014
Sure, the deal was interesting. It now means Amazon Prime subscribers can stream many of HBO's top titles, including Boardwalk Empire and True Blood. It also means the general public no longer needs a cable subscription to view past seasons of these shows (and HBO doesn't need to worry about viewers resorting to illegally downloading the programs, either). Despite the fact that HBO didn't include its ever-popular Game of Thrones, the entire thing was still a no-brainer, a win-win-win situation for everyone.But that's about it.
By - Posted Jun 05, 2014
My suspicions about the popularity of digital entertainment have been confirmed by several recent events and statistics. Disney is in the process of acquiring YouTube network Maker Studios for $500 million, and Yahoo is aiming to create original TV series like Netflix did with House of Cards. In terms of using video in marketing, the industry's exploding with demand and opportunity. For example, 25% of marketers learned last year that embedding video in their email newsletters and campaigns resulted in a 280% higher return than traditional emails.
By - Posted May 08, 2014