Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Internet Video - Monetizable? Yes We Can!

To monetize, or not to monetize -- THAT is the question many are asking about Internet video. No one doubts that Internet video -- particularly high quality video -- is compelling and downright revolutionary. But, significant doubts abound about whether it can be monetized.

First, Internet video (as in the videos themselves) already are being monetized in a big way. In a new study, Strategic Analytics predicts global "paid" online video revenue to reach $3.8 billion this year ("paid" in this context means via pay downloads or subscriptions). This $3.8 billion eclipses the additional $3.5 billion expected to be generated via advertising. And, with online video expected to grow 38% annually up through 2012 (and, consume 90%+ of Internet traffic by 2013 according to Cisco), there is no doubt that online video itself will be directly monetized in a big way (though, to be fair, there will be much pain on the "traditional" TV side for quite some time by the TV content producers).

But, the relevant question of monetization for Internet video content is much deeper than this (and is oft overlooked) -- that is, 99% of businesses on the Internet today are not looking to make money from their online videos directly (i.e., they are not looking to sell or rent their videos). Rather, for virtually everyone other than a television producer, online videos are a revolutionary new means to their essential end -- i.e., building their business (and monetizing their businesses more effectively than previously ever possible). For "the rest of us", Internet videos enable us to better showcase our goods and services, sell those goods and services, educate our customers and prospective customers, and market to and interact with our customers and potential customers. I have blogged about this before and have laid this all out with much more depth.

Bottom line -- the answer to the topic question is a resounding "YES!"