Viewers Prefer Professional Videos, So Sites Aim to Help Creators Improve

Oct 7, 2007  •  Post A Comment

Make sure you have permission to use any music. Don’t go over 90 seconds in most cases. And by all means, make your video interesting.
Those are among the key lessons that online video-sharing sites are disseminating to the regular content creators and independent videographers posting videos to their sites. Online video destinations such as Metacafe, Revver and Veoh have been investing resources over the last year to help their users improve the quality of their submissions.
That’s because better videos can increase traffic to a site and, thus, ad dollars. Since Metacafe launched a tutorial section on its site during the summer, it has seen its number of monthly unique visitors grow from about 6.3 million to nearly 7 million, according to numbers from comScore Media Metrix.
Initiatives like those at Metacafe are growing in importance as video-sharing sites angle to differentiate. YouTube has already won the prize as the most popular video site; now the second-tier sites are jostling to become the preferred destination for creators. To lure the new generation of video auteurs, sites are providing tools, forums and shows tailored to their needs.
More professionally produced videos can attract advertisers, who are more comfortable sponsoring reliable content. A July study from the Pew Internet & American Life Project reported 62 percent of Internet video viewers prefer professionally produced content, while only 19 percent like video from amateurs. Meanwhile, ad revenue pouring into online video should grow 89 percent this year to $775 million and jump next year to $1.4 billion, according to market research firm eMarketer.
Metacafe offers the most formalized tools for its creator community. In July the site launched the Metacafe Studio, a section of the site that includes more than 60 how-to videos. The videos touch on a range of topics from how to shoot, light and edit to how to ensure visual continuity in storytelling.
The Metacafe Studio also includes links to free audio resources, sites with royalty-free music and guides from journalism schools and professional video magazines on the medium’s best techniques. Creators also can find information on key issues such as fair use, copyrighting music and how to package a video.
“We want to be known as a destination for fresh original videos made by the community, and providing the resources helps us to become known as that,” said Allyson Campa, VP of marketing for Metacafe.
Providing these tools can convert rookie creators who have played around with mash-ups into more regular producers who focus on original content. In addition to the site’s traffic growth this summer, Metacafe has grown its user base year over year to 7 million in August, up from 1.8 million a year ago.
Attributing the increases to one factor is tough, but the site has aimed to cater to creators over the last year, Ms. Campa said. That includes the launch late last year of the Producer Rewards program that pays creators when videos achieve a certain number of views. Since that program launched, more than 1,600 videos earn money on Metacafe. “These projects are designed to keep engagement with the creator community, and this can lead to a better viewing experience and in turn a larger audience to monetize,” she said.
Sharing the Knowledge
Over at Revver, the site offers forums that allow creators to ask questions of each other and the Revver staff. The site also employs four account managers who interface with the regular creators and answer their questions, which can range from how to embed videos to what kind of camera to use, said Angela Gyetvan, Revver’s VP of content and marketing.
“This is our bread and butter. Our sweet spot is people who do serialized content and thematic storytelling,” she said.
Serialized content from Web video creators such as iJustine and HappySlip also are more attractive to advertisers because they are safer and more dependable. “The more content we have like that, the more business we can attract,” Ms. Gyetvan said.
Revver is exploring the addition of a more detailed tutorial section to the site. Currently, the site includes how-to videos from Acceptable.tv.
Veoh Networks plans to expand its video show “Viral,” which covers the independent production world. “Viral” has been a staple of the site for nearly a year and has consistently ranked in the top 20 videos each week, said Jennifer Betka, Veoh senior VP of marketing and programming. Later this month, Veoh will turn “Viral” into its own channel with three spinoff shows highlighting trends in Web videos and interesting work from the emerging online video creative community.
“Our mission is supporting independent creators,” Ms. Betka said.
Veoh is pitching advertisers to sponsor the channel. “It’s a way for us to showcase [independent producers] and help them do what they do and be able to develop the audience in our space.”
Break.com has toyed with the idea of adding a tutorial section to its site, said Keith Richman, Break’s CEO. However, the site decided not to because its tech-savvy young male population already knows how to locate that information from existing online resources, such as Videomaker.com, he said.
Top Five Tips for Would-Be Web Video Producers
According to comScore, nearly 75 percent of U.S. Internet users watched on average about three hours of online video in July. That represents about 9 billion videos.
As Web video proliferates, Metacafe’s community director, Assaf Pines, weighed in with his top five tips on how to make your video stand out among the crowd.
Package your video. Don’t just hit the “submit video” button. Make sure the video is optimized for search engines and that it’s tagged correctly so users on a video-sharing site can find it easily. Include an attractive and accurate thumbnail to entice visitors to click on it. Make sure the description matches the video. “People get frustrated if the description is misleading,” he said.
Make the video short. The ideal length for most Web videos is no more than 90 seconds, Mr. Pines said. “Web video is its own medium. It’s not just TV cut up into little clips. Web viewers have much shorter attention spans.”
Practice with your camera. Shaky footage and crazy zooms are getting old. Read the manual and learn how to use the camera’s features. “If you’re at all serious about creating videos, take the time to do it,” he said.
Invest in a microphone. Poor sound quality can turn a viewer off faster than shaky camerawork. Most Web video requires an external mic. Even if you shoot in a quiet room, the camera’s internal mic will pick up the grinding of the gears in the camera rather than the action in the scene.
Make sure you can use the music. If your video contains copyrighted music, chances are video-sharing sites will spit it back to you. Look for royalty-free music. You also can find stock sound effects on several free audio sites.


  1. Great post!

  2. Thank you for a great post

  3. Great post!

  4. Good post, thanks

  5. Great post!

  6. Hawdy Great Blog I Found You on, Yahho I hope I will Stop Over Again One More Thing… 2 Stop Over my site

  7. This is good info! Where else can if ind out more?? Who runs this joint too? Keep up the good work 🙂

  8. This is good info! Where else can if ind out more?? Who runs this joint too? Keep up the good work 🙂

  9. A pretty good article and excellent blog. Is there any way I can subscribe to new articles, you know like obtaining them on email or something like that.

  10. Check out this cool site/video on how to download YouTube videos

  11. Thanks for this post – I normally use freecorder to download YouTube videos but i’ll give this a shot!

  12. Thanks for this post – I normally use freecorder to download YouTube videos but i’ll give this a shot!

  13. Wow, amazing blog layout! How long have you been blogging for? you make blogging look easy.

  14. Neat blog layout! Very easy on the eyes.. i like the colors you picked out

  15. Dreamin. I love blogging. You all express your feelings the right way, because they are your feeling, focus on your blog it is great.

  16. Nice blog here! Also your website loads up fast! What host are you using? I wish my website loaded up as fast as yours lol

  17. Great wordpress blog here.. It’s hard to find quality writing like yours these days. I really appreciate people like you! take care and see you soon

  18. Love the blog here. Nice colors. I am definitely staying tuned to this one. Hope to see more.

  19. Keep focusing on your blog. I love how we can all express our feelings. This is an extremely nice blog here 🙂

  20. Hey how are you doing? I just wanted to stop by and say that it’s been a pleasure reading your blog. I have bookmarked your website so that I can come back & read more in the future as well. plz do keep up the quality writing

  21. Dreamin. I love blogging. You all express your feelings the right way, because they are your feeling, focus on your blog it is great.

  22. Kudos to you! This is a really good blog here and I love your style of writing. How did you get so good at blogging?

  23. Interesting layout on your blog. I really enjoyed reading it and also I will be back to read more in the future.

  24. Amazing freakin blog here. I almost cried while reading it!

  25. Can I just say what a elimination toward come across a star who truly is familiar with what theyre discussion about on the web. You absolutely make out how toward bring an problem to light and make it important. Extra public need to read this plus realize this side of the story. I cant consider youre not additional popular since you certainly have the gift.

  26. Dreamin. I love blogging. You all express your feelings the right way, because they are your feeling, focus on your blog it is great.

  27. High quality info here! Keep up the great work. I love the feelings being expressed.

  28. I really like the colors here on your blog. did you design this yourself or did you outsource it to a professional?

Your Comment

Email (will not be published)