Tech Briefs: IDC: YouTube Faces Business Challenges

Jul 10, 2006  •  Post A Comment

YouTube could be done in by “MeTooTube,” according to the finding of an IDC report released in late June.

The report questions the long-term viability of the video-sharing site. Despite its huge popularity and recent high-profile alignment with NBC, YouTube faces many pitfalls on the path to avoiding the fate of Napster, IDC analyst Joshua Martin wrote.

YouTube needs a business model, but developing advertising is tough. For starters, advertisers are wary of associating themselves with copyright question marks, and much of the popular content on YouTube has been distributed there illegally.

Advertisers also are concerned about aligning with user-generated content, since Coca-Cola, for instance, would want to ensure its ads weren’t placed in front of clips of a Pepsi taste test challenge, Mr. Martin wrote.

Other business models include subscription or download to own, but YouTube users likely will balk at those.

Another risk is that if YouTube does indeed became cleaner and more corporate, its users may simply leave, turning to the next YouTube-like site that embraces the raw community aspect that’s worked well for YouTube’s users.

To better position itself to tackle these challenges, YouTube can do a better job monitoring content; tag video more clearly to make it easy for advertisers to associate with like-minded fare; and take a stricter stand against copyrighted material on the site, Mr. Martin said.

Cablevision Adds VOD Advertiser

Cablevision recently inked a new brand-name advertiser for its video-on-demand platform.

In late June, the operator introduced a VOD marketing campaign highlighting branded content for Toyota automobiles on an interactive auto channel on Cablevision. The campaign appears on VOD using the so-called “Optimum Autos” inventory that lets users obtain information about the cars, see a video tour or check out a virtual channel detailing Toyota’s hybrid technology.

The operator will include banners on Cablevision’s News 12 channel that link viewers to the VOD spots.

Saatchi & Saatchi and Zenith Media worked with the Greater New York Toyota Dealer’s Association on the campaign.

Health Net Launches on Insight

New video-on-demand network HealthiNation launched in mid-June across Insight Cable.

HealthiNation is an information-centric network that features short videos on health topics such as diabetes, cancer and health insurance.

The network is ad-supported and was founded by Raj Amin, who previously served as a VP at Tandberg Television and has also worked at Scientific-Atlanta.