I met an old contact this afternoon with a highly successful sports portal that regularly streams video; however, because their large audience is spread around the world they find ad sales difficulte to achieve, even for the substantial niche audience they address. It's an issue that I hear time and again, and I wish I had the time, patience and money to address it.
Hundreds of companies are trying to set up the video equivalent to Google, but even Google have failed to date with their InStream product. But they're concentrating on technology. What the market needs is good, old fashioned salesmen with telephones for the time being. Once the model proves itself, the technology can take over.
Surely there's someone who can crack this valuable market whilst there's still an opportunity.
Indeed, if you're building a niche audience and want to share resources to build an ad network, let me know and, if enough people can be pooled, let's see what we can do about it (pass it on!)