Thursday, May 24, 2012

Who Wants To Own A Video Library?

At a Paid Content panel, the question was asked, "Is a vast video library worth the time and money?"  From the different panelists came different answers.  For some, the answer is no as a ton of video is old and dated, for others, the historical capture of clips offers a rare peak back in people's careers and growth.  And for others, the choice to even build and organize a digital video library of older content is too expensive and  brings little return. It seems one person's crap is another person's fortune.  Perhaps it all depends on how it can be merchandised and used.

And it seemed that discussion led to the rise of web based platforms verse older video platforms like cable.  “'To launch a cable channel, you need a satellite, a sales staff … you’re in the hole $50 million to $100 million before you even know you have an audience,'” he said Brian Bedol, CEO of Bedrocket Ventures). “'With YouTube, you can be distributed everywhere overnight, and you don’t need to make those binary decisions.'”  True, yet brings more pitfalls.  The lower the costs to enter the market, the easier it is to compete and the harder to break through the clutter.  And certainly the increase in video content across multiple platforms only makes it more difficult to be discovered and watched.

But back to the question of the video library.  For me, the value of a video library depends on its use.  For print publishers seeking to make an impact in the web and tablet space, video is needed to create greater interest in these brands as multimedia platforms.  Libraries of video content that relate to an article augments the value of the printed material and brings synergy between the print and digital platforms.  Video libraries of older content are also a great promotional tool, able to bring viewers up to date on older seasons of shows and move them to watch current episodes on other platforms.  Older videos bring context to newer ones.  And in some cases, older videos become treasure troves of insight as new appreciations emerge.  Of course there is time and money spent initially to categorize and organize the past; but once completed, they are then available and accessible to utilize as the timing, situation, or opportunity fits.

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