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Jan 8, 2009

CLIP @ CES: Online Video Exec: 'If We Don't Do Things Differently, The Industry Is Screwed'

from paidContent.org by 

imageOnline video viewing continues to surge, but the ad dollars flowing into the space still aren't scaling accordingly. Panelists at the Reinventing Advertising Conference @ CES trotted out well-worn reasons for that imbalance: lack of standard metrics; high volume of low-quality content; building the right amount of reach, etc. But Brian Terkelsen, EVP and managing director at MediaVest's connectivetissue, (pictured) avoided the hand-wringing and laid it on the line: "Advertisers aren't being aggressive enough in general—they helped grow TV to where it is now, so I think it's partly up to them to drive video. If we don't challenge the industry to do things differently, we're screwed."

BitGravity CEO Perry Wu said time was already up for many of the smaller online video development and distribution studios: "We work with hundreds of content companies and to be honest, many of them won't survive. Indie sites that have premium news or sports content and a targeted audience can prove that they're valuable to advertisers—but some of the broad, more generalized companies will have a harder time."

Even larger video publishers like cable networks are at a crossroads of sorts. Steve Ronson, A&E's EVP, Enterprises, said the company is struggling to figure out how to make enough money from porting its "premium on air content" to the Web. "Do we run outtakes? Show snippets? Do we run long form but not cream of the crop?" he said. On some levels it doesn't have a choice, since viewers clearly want to access their favorite shows online—but Ronson said getting it to the Web sans the "millions of dollars worth of TV ads" is a "troubling issue." He added that many networks were weighing the ad-supported vs. subscription model or some hybrid of the two. (And with brand advertisers cutting budgets across the board, that subscription model is looking more and more lucrative.)

The rest of our coverage is on our CES 2009 channel

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