A Video Discourse From Three Views

Jul 31, 2006  •  Post A Comment

Within the last six months, online video has skyrocketed in both the attention it attracts and in its importance to media companies. Broadcast and cable networks continue to not only premiere shows online but also increasingly offer more Web-exclusive content and broadband channels.

Meanwhile, consumers have ferociously glommed onto user-generated sites such as YouTube, which jumped from 5 million unique visitors in January to 20 million in June. As a result, traditional networks such as NBC and E! have struck partnerships with user-generated sites.

At the same time, investment dollars are flooding into online video. In the first half of 2006, investors poured about $156 million into video start-ups, up from $108 million in the first half of 2005, according to Dow Jones VentureOne, a venture capital research firm.

Both the neophytes and the stalwarts are chasing the ad dollars. Online video is projected to generate $385 million in ad revenue this year, a figure that may rise to $640 million in 2007, according to new media research firm eMarketer.

To better understand the white-hot online video sector, TelevisionWeek Contributing Writer Daisy Whitney interviewed three media executives representing different aspects of the online video business-the investment side, the network side and the portal side.

Tolman Geffs serves as a managing director with investment bank The Jordan, Edmiston Group, representing online media, services and technology companies. One of his most recent deals includes the acquisition in June of Klipmart, which provides services to manage online ads, by DoubleClick, which provides digital advertising technology and services. He represented Klipmart.

John Lansing is the president of Scripps Networks, which includes Food Network, HGTV, DIY, Fine Living and GAC. Scripps has experimented in nearly every iteration of online video. It has launched three of several planned broadband channels, premiered a Web-exclusive series with Dave Lieberman’s “Eat This” last summer on Food Network’s site, and also syndicates content to MSN and Comcast.net.

Scripps Sites Rolling

In the second quarter of this year, the five network Web sites generated slightly under 8 million video views, compared with 5.5 million in the same period in 2005. The broadband channels HGTVkitchendesign.com and HGTVbathdesign.com generated about 1 million video views each. Scripps’ latest online video venture is “Still Rollin,”‘ a broadband series premiering in late August on GACtv.com as an extension of artists’ appearance on the network.

At AOL, Fred McIntyre serves as VP of AOL Video, which plans to revamp its video service in August with its entry into the download-to-own TV market that’s been dominated by iTunes. The new AOL service will include TV shows from a variety of content partners, including MTV Networks and A&E.