Sunday, April 27, 2008

Context

There has been a lot of debate going on around the context of video on the web. Is it best in a stand alone player divorced from textual website content, or is it best linked into existing 'flat' stories (it's fascinating how derogatory our view of a basic web page without rich media is these days - it takes me back to the 'dead tree edition' phrase - perhaps we should use 'dead web edition' as a moniker for non-rich media websites..) ?

The answer has to be contextual. I have widespread experience that, if you present TV, even on a PC, people will treat it like TV. That is they will sit down and watch sequentially for a long time. However, if all you offer is short clips linked from a flat web page, they will treat it like a webpage with video (yes, it's really not rocket science..).

But, the argument seems futile to me. Surely you should do both. By all means contextualise the video on a web page; better still make images on the web pages clickable so that they become video and play in situ. But also consider launching a player that provides a more TV-like experience.

There's a word that has come to be used in web marketing circles, it's called 'discovery'. Fundamentally, we live in an era where the choice of what and how viewers watch TV is their choice, not the choice of the broadcaster.

However, for an internet broadcaster it boils down - inevitably - to the financials. The reality is that if you can get viewers watching video for a long time, you can play in a lot of video ads, and despite the bandwidth costs involved, this will be more lucrative than three banner ads or MPUs on a web page.

So, for me the trick is to place video links all over the place, but to gradually reel the viewer into a TV context, where they can be better monetised.

1 comment:

Phoneranger said...

If you can get viewers watching linear internet TV we can return to the adloads that underpin traditional television production. And more importantly, the costs of promotion, distribution, traffic etc can greatly reduced. Cut the suit to fit the cloth.