Monday, February 05, 2007

Web Video Syndication by "Traditional" Media

Chris Gaither of the Los Angeles Times today writes about the growing movement of "traditional" media companies toward online video syndication -- i.e., distributing their video content through an unlimited number of endpoints (web sites) rather than merely attempting to drive audiences to their own web sites.

Why are traditional media companies now actively beginning to syndicate their precious video content to bloggers and other sites? To extend their brand to new audiences and to monetize it via advertising (content providers share in the advertising revenues generated by targeted ads closely linked with such content). Let's not forget that compelling video content can be very viral -- Doug watches a video, then shares it with Laura, who shares it with Luisa, who shares it with ... Each step along the way is a new branding and advertising opportunity.

Traditional media companies also are experimenting with online video syndication for reasons of "control." As recently reported, content providers are increasingly becoming frustrated with the prevalence of their unlicensed video content on other sites -- such as YouTube -- which they had not officially syndicated and have not yet been able to monetize directly. Viacom just took a significant shot across the bow at Google and YouTube, demanding that YouTube immediately remove over 100,000 of video clips from its shows. Expect those clips to be "coming soon" again after a revenue sharing deal is worked out by the parties.