Thursday, January 31, 2008

Funding Content

An announcement was made today saying that content makers were going to be given a share of Google's advertising revenue from the advertising that appears within the videos they made. This definitely sounds like the beginning of something new.

At the moment the whole revenue structure of all kind of video broadcasting \ hosting relies on the media owner purchasing content and then displaying it to their audience. The content maker takes risk in creating the content, but the media owner takes more risk in deciding to use it on their own media platforms.

This model makes sense when the available media space is limited. A TV channel can only cope with a couple of hours worth of prime time content. They have a limited number of hours in which to show their content. This means they have to choose the best possible editorial in order to keep their audience (and therefore money).

Another factor in broadcaster's favour is that they are the ones who employ a sufficiently large salesforce in order to be able to effectively sell their audience to advertisers. Individual content producers will never be able to profitably employ a decent size salesforce.

The new media model however allows the creation of some disruptive businesses. Youtube has the potential to make themselves one of these. Google has invested heavily in their salesforce and can therefore sell their own audience extremely effectively. Youtube is now offering content providers the benefits of their salespeople.

Although the old model had an indirect link between audience size and reward to the content creator, the new model has a direct link. This should allow the content creators to put more time and thought into how relevant they can make the programmes to their actual audience, rather than to the broadcaster's impression of their own audience.

I'm sure more companies will pop up that will give content creators better deals than youtube. They are also going to have to fight against the old dinosaurs who are falling over themselves to shout about the technical abilities of their new platforms.

Media fragmentation is going to get even sillier as people watch different media at different times. The only effective mechanism of supplying them with the ads they want (in order to make the media free) will be through an automated sales team. Selling hundreds of channels will be difficult for our poor overworked sales reps. We're going to need a computer to do it.

Our only hope is that someone will invent a decent system for this before Google gets there.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Blogs Alive, Kicking and Growing

All the reviews I've seen of 2007 seem to feature facebook rather strongly. This is probably quite accurate as they did have a pretty fantastic year. This time last year people thought facebook would be worth about $1Billion now many seem happy with a valuation around $12Billion. If the valuation was proportional to newspaper articles it would be even higher.

Before the newspapers begin knocking down the poster boy they tried to build up, how about the poor little kid who got completely ignored during the 'social revolution' of 2007?

Poor little blogs were pretty much written off at the start of last year. Many news sources were showing that hte number of new blogs being created was slowing, the number of people posting on the already created blogs was also reducing.

This much was probably true. What people weren't looking at, however, was the number of people READING these blogs.

In terms of absolute gains, Wordpress have had a fantastic year. Their traffic figures, according to Comscore, have rocketed up by about 700%. The y axis is thousands of monthly unique users:

The growth has been consistent throughout the year, bringing Wordpress into the top 30 in terms of UK traffic. All this traffic is looking at the hundreds of thousands of blogs within wordpress.

It's not just Wordpress though, Blogger has also had a fantastic year with steady and consistent traffic growth. Guido Fawkes' intrusion into the national consciousness last year was one of the many blogger blogs to actually make it into the mainstream in the UK.

The thing about all these blogs is that they are fragmented. Their branding is minimal and focused towards people who want to write rather than design. Therefore it is quite easy for them to sneak under the radar. Blogger can easily slip through as most industry metrics tool will aggregate the blogger listings into Google's.

The stats themselves paint a picture of blogs as being in extremely good health, quietly increasing their traffic and readership. I'm sure at some point someone will figure out how to make a large amount of money out of them and then start shouting about it. Wordpress and Blogger could definitely make some money out of the page impressions they see in front of them, but they may then lose many users. It's always going to be tough.

Would be interesting to see how many blogs with actual traffic feature adwords or equivalent on them. It may also be possible that many of the blogs are actually affiliate sites taking advantage of the free hosting.

Whatever the answer to the above questions the blogging sites are succeeding in growing their traffic so one has to assume that a decent level of interest exists.

This growth is against static growth for the major established opinion providers such as the Guardian. I think I need to do some graphs that will show the number of sites people look at has grown.

Monday, January 07, 2008


Great advert. Really shows what a bit of imagination (plus regulation) can do. Would be good to see some stats on beer market share to see how these guys have done since the new lots of beer.

Don't think BMB will win an award but hopefully they've done something to the sales.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Perfection in an ad

Really can't fault this ad:

This is exactly what we're talking about when we talk about measuring engagement and all the rest of it.

The wonderful thing about working for a good brand is that they have some kind of feedback effect. The better the brand is perceived, the more good things you can do with it.

If this was tried for any of innocent's competitors, it wouldn't feel the same. Somehow the overall good feeling for the innocent product keeps on flowing for this particular ad.

IF you think about it for a couple of minutes you can think of objections to the actual product - is the fruit organic? Is it actually that healthy for you to have this concentrated does of fruit?

It doesn't matter though because the feeling of healthiness they've injected into purchasing the product overcomes any rational objection. Even the price!

Good work by whoever did it. Will have to find out who's covering them.