Sunday, May 13, 2007

Online Video and User Generated Content -- Traditional Media Friend or Foe?

The net impact of online video and user generated content on traditional media habits continues to be a central question facing so-called "traditional media" executives -- and, two recent surveys yield seemingly divergent results.

Bear Stearns, in a recent report dated April 20, 2007, gives traditional media executives hope by concluding that online video usage is not cannibalizing traditional TV usage (with about 75% of online video users claiming to view the same amount or even more TV). This study found that 57% of consumers now watch video over the web -- and, not surprisingly, the target demo are young men (18-24 years) who stream video at least once per week.

What do these folks like to watch online? Again, the answers are not surprising -- short form content, with movie trailers, user generated content and music videos being the most popular.

But, this is where it gets tricky. In the second survey -- this one by Accenture -- traditional media executives are not so sanguine about how online video in the form of user generated content will impact their businesses. In fact, 57% of those "media and entertainment executives" polled by Accenture see the ability and enthusiasm of individuals to create their own content as being one of the biggest threats to their business.

These same executives, however, understand that they will need to "deal with it", because 70% of them feel that so-called "social media" (one of the largest segments of user generated content) will only grow -- only 3% of them view social media as being a fad.

The majority is right here -- online video and user generated content is still only in its very early innings ...