A race to be the premium hub of content and capture online advertising dollar heats up. Advertisers may have to 'ride the trend' until the dust settles.
My boss likes to say, "The trend is your friend." And then he often makes it even simpler -- as I'm slow, even dim-witted at times -- and adds, "Go with the flow...man."
So when it comes to reading the tea leaves of the past few weeks, it's good to have a guiding principle to follow. And as my boss is a smarter man than me, I'll just borrow his.
In the last three weeks, we've seen headlines in the online video space that highlight the race to be the premium hub of content and capture the online advertising dollars is far from over. And, to be clear, this isn't just about how to get premium content onto your PC, but moreover how it gets there and who serves it up.
First on the Hulu front, there was the foot-stomping and legal-wrangling between Hulu and TV.com, which CBS Interactive owns since acquiring CNET. CBS relaunched TV.com as a television portal and was, for a time, streaming Hulu content as part of TV.com's offering.
Hulu, whose owners include NBC Universal and News Corp., claimed this violated provisions of their contract and it was within their "contractual rights" to yank the content. CBS Interactive countered: "[it] is well within its rights to stream Hulu video content on TV.com under its agreement with Hulu. We are evaluating our next steps at this time." And now it's with the lawyers.
At the same time, Hulu also had Boxee, an open-source media center for Apple TV, remove its content. This time Hulu CEO Jason Kilar, in a blog post, said the move was prompted by the online video portal's content owners. Though Boxee's user base is small, this move actually ruffled more feathers than the TV.com brouhaha because many came to view Boxee as, in essence, a browser. It's a browser that works on TV, but a browser nonetheless.
Critics interpret Hulu's move as a move away from providing premium content when, where, and how a person wanted. Moreover, the ads that were being shown alongside Hulu content were still appearing, only now instead of appearing on the PC monitor they were appearing on the TV via Hulu and Boxee.
A third piece of this crazy puzzle of content provider, access, and consumer entered the fray when Comcast announced it will begin offering cable television content online. There's a bunch of caveats, like if you go over its 250 GB monthly cap it will cost you money, and it will offer cable content, which is good if you're an F/X or TNT junkie. But you'll still be looking to Hulu for your "30 Rock" fix. Also, you would need to be a Comcast customer to participate.
What does this all mean? It means the fight for your attention is heating up. As each of these players, Hulu, TV.com, Comcast, and even Boxee vie for your time and attention, they can then sell that time and experience to advertisers. Expect to see a lot more jostling and legal wrangling as the fight to have a seat at the premium online video table has begun in earnest. Game on!
And, oh yeah, TV.com just launched an iPhone app.
Join us for Search Engine Strategies New York March 23-27 at the Hilton New York. The only major search marketing conference and expo on the East Coast, SES New York will be packed with more than 70 sessions, including a ClickZ track, plus networking events, parties, training days, and more than 150 exhibitors.
On the heels of a fantastic event in New York City, ClickZ Live is taking the fun and learning to Toronto, June 23-25. With over 15 years' experience delivering industry-leading events, ClickZ Live offers an action-packed, educationally-focused agenda covering all aspects of digital marketing. Register today!
Want to learn more? Join us at ClickZ Live San Francisco, Aug 10-12!
Educating marketers for over 15 years, ClickZ Live brings together industry thought leaders from the largest brands and agencies to deliver the most advanced, educational digital marketing agenda. Register today and save $500!
Todd Krieger is a creative thinker, a connector, and a believer in the power of a good idea. He likes playing among the diverse, and sometimes converging, worlds of publishing, entertainment, technology, and advertising and figuring out how best to leverage each for the benefit of the other.
His bona fides include stints at Microsoft, Yahoo, and Denuo (a boutique consultancy within Publicis). In that time he's produced hundreds of hours of award-winning interactive TV content, including NCAA Final Four Interactive and CSI Interactive. He also relaunched the broadway.yahoo.com vertical in tandem with American Express and helped bring to market the Internet's number one gossip site, omg.yahoo.com. While at Denuo, he worked with "The New York Times," Fox.com, and Condé Nast on how to transition their core print and broadcast assets into the digital world.
Todd has spoken around the world on issues of copyright, technology, and interactivity and has been published in "The New York Times," "Wired," "Premiere," "SPIN," and elsewhere. His book, "The Portable Pundit : A Crash Course in Cocktail Party Conversation" can still be found on Amazon. He lives in Venice, California.
Gartner Magic Quadrant for Digital Commerce
This Magic Quadrant examines leading digital commerce platforms that enable organizations to build digital commerce sites. These commerce platforms facilitate purchasing transactions over the Web, and support the creation and continuing development of an online relationship with a consumer.
Paid Search in the Mobile Era
Google reports that paid search ads are currently driving 40+ million calls per month. Cost per click is increasing, paid search budgets are growing, and mobile continues to dominate. It's time to revamp old search strategies, reimagine stale best practices, and add new layers data to your analytics.
June 10, 2015
12:00pm ET/9:00am PT