With the recent announcement that YouTube has been named Time's invention of the year, as well as the video-sharing sites' disclosure this morning that it intends to collaborate with Verizon to bring content to mobile phones, online video is becoming a very hot topic. It was even a topic of discussion at ad:tech this year.
This morning, while at the Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco, I decided to learn more about what those in the trenches have to say about the future of video so I attended a workshop that attempted to answer the question, "We just wanna' watch, or do we?"
Live blog of the session:
Tod: We're far away from leveraging video consumption.
Mary: Does your ad network work with anyone with trying to get closer to contextually match ads without getting too much into who the user is and what they're doing?
Tod: We are geo-targetting based on channels. Different levels of optimization based on content.
Mary: Making video is hard if people are doing it in a sustainable way they are modeling after the eepybird.com, where people are engaged in it. People are creating because they want to build reputation, like text bloggers, want to be known as creating something that's interesting and getting attention. Not the way we're used to in the broadcast and analog world. Getting a lot of juice as it were from making the video.
Mary: If you're politically motivated maybe your goal is to make jokes about or make serious video.
Mike: We think about that a lot.
Q from audience: Where do you see the landscape going on the video front in light of YouTube acquisition, copyright, and advertising models…where do you see your business going?
Josh: Difficult to have one video that focuses on copyrighted, commercial content, or user-generated family. It's hard to be all. Have to focus on one. We focus on the pro-sumer. It's going to be in all of these areas. Sites will have to choose focus.
Mary: Dabble is a social community. We are aggregating links to video all over and it can be all kind of video. I agree with Josh. People are developing into micro-communities around different areas of interest.
Q from audience: What's the relationship that's made after uploaded video?
Mike: When you sign up for contest there is contact information and the relationship is built.
Josh: Our users are submitting videos of themselves for the Gap. The Gap may hire the person, turn it into a commercial, and they keep all of those names.
Q from audience: Can I select a red tie in the video and then go to the store to purchase that red tie?
Mary: No one is doing that yet. There's a number of different folks who have to be involved in that transaction. It's terrific but I don't think anyone has done it yet.
Mike: We can do it. If you go into Jumpcut – you can add titles and URLs and we can make them clickable. The problems people will have with this, if you're the creator how do you link up with the perfect store. We can do it, but we haven't built out a solution for it yet.
Q from audience: Populatity of video is tied to quality. How to you maximize quality to boost popularity.
Mike: We're not very scientific about it. You ask the users what they want to do. Opportunity to differentiate price in terms of tier based on higher quality .vs lower quality. Right now we just look at what's acceptable to the users.
Q from audience: How are people using your sites?
Mary: During the day most visitors are from corporate domains.
Tod: On our network across 45 sites we see an enormous amount of international traffic.
Mike: We got picked up in the blogosphere pretty early. A lot of things that happened cascaded into usage in Europe for us, and lately a lot of usage in China. Content is content. People want to screw around with it no matter what the language is. We allow people to make private, and we're finding a lot of people make their content private.
Josh: 90 percent is public. I'm shocked by the interest in sex.
Josh: Right now most people aren't believers that they can create something interesting and have most people say so.
Q from audience: Are you waiting for Flash equivalent to enter mobile?
Mike: That market is going to explode. Once that becomes a bigger source of content for people. There are huge issues with all the different standards. There are a lot of smart companies working on that problem we'll probably work with them to solve that issue.
Tod: Versioning on the Web is an issue. We still have to solve that on the Web. On mobile who has the right to monetize. The carriers want a piece. Who has the volume? We haven't had that many opportunities to monetize volume yet.
Mary: Carriers make it difficult in US. I think the potential is with Wi-Fi. There is some opportunity there to democratize mobile.
Josh: We wrote a version of Groper for Wi-Fi enabled phones.