Tuesday, July 31, 2012

You Tube Channel Focus Building A Bigger Content Distribution Platform

Google's investment in You Tube continues to grow as it turns You Tube into an aggregated distribution platform of hundreds of channels.  More content, more choice, more eyeballs to online, and more ad revenue.  And perhaps secondarily, an alternative to linear cable distribution.  "The site has launched nearly 100 new channels so far this year, attracting talent such as actor Amy Poehler to create or star in original episodes in an effort to draw new audiences—and blue-chip advertisers."

It reminds me of the early days of cable, as networks tried to appeal to viewers to augment their favorite channels and give CNN or USA a try.  Over time, broadcast viewership has eroded while cable has gained.  Today, it is You Tube and other online platforms that are taking its slice of the share away from cable and broadcast.  Over time, their percentage will also become significant.

As cable programmers and now online programmers continue to learn, what you put on the platform needs to be interesting and it needs to be found.  "The channels themselves, meanwhile, are working to find their place, with a lot of trial and error along the way.  'Just because you build it doesn't mean they'll come,' says former television executive Larry Aidem, talking about YouTube viewers."  But being small allows you to make quick changes to adapt quickly to new information.  Learning what the viewer likes is a strange fickle business, just ask NBC and the other networks as they premiere new shows year over year hoping to find the next hit.  For online, there is less risk at stake so there is more opportunity to experiment.

You Tube and online has the  advantage of less barriers to entry.  It's easy to upload content.  The  bigger challenge is promoting it and helping viewers to find it.  With so much clutter, it is only getting harder and harder to get noticed.  The key is being featured and recommended so that you break through and become viral.  So far, my favorite channel on You Tube is the Above Average Network and my favorite series, The Front Desk.

No comments:

Post a Comment