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Adam Kleinberg

3 takeaways from the iMedia Video Summit

by Adam Kleinberg

3 takeaways from the iMedia Video Summit

Last week I was in San Antonio, Texas, home of the Alamo, at the first-ever iMedia Video Summit. It was a great event with some of the smartest people in the industry and the excitement about online video opportunities was palpable.

Here are the top 3 things that were the major themes of the event...

1. Content is king

I've seen so many examples of great content here it's ridiculous. Every major media property is investing big in developing quality, original content. This is not your kid brother with a Flip cam. This is major talent, major directors, major productions. 

The Confession with Kiefer Sutherland was the most popular made-for-web series ever. Lisa Kudrow's Web Therapy on LStudio.com is in its 4th season. And YouTube alone has just invested over $100 million in developing original content. The big hope is that major budgets will follow suit with brands willing to shell out the bucks to be adjacent to quality content.

Which brings us to...

2. The New Fronts

There is much hype here about the upcoming "New Fronts" that will take place between April 19 - May 2 (next year it'll all be one week, but apparently "they" just came up with the idea over cocktails and couldn't get their act together on time). Like the Upfronts with TV, producers of video content will be trying to sell off the ad space surrounding all that delicious new content they've been developing. YouTube, MSN, Yahoo, DBG, AOL and others will all be having events. 

Will it be successful? That's the question of the hour. It's been pointed out that these New Fronts unfortunately don't coincide with digital planning cycles, but there's a huge demand for quality content and there's consensus that this will definitely get big exposure for the content that's been produced.

Obviously, the Tubers are hoping to shift some TV budget to digital. Which must be a joke to the TV folks because the entire digital video inventory must equate to about 2% of the scale they can reach with TV.

Which brings us to...

3. Apples and Oranges

A big and consistent debate that certainly has not been solved at this Summit is how we should measure all this stuff. Should there be an eGRP? Is digital measurement simply better measurement? Do the folks in control of the other 98% of budgets give a damn what digital measurement is? The performance of TV and online video are not measured in the same way. 

The digital folks want an apples to apples comparison because they think that will create an inevitable shift of dollars from TV to digital, but as my new pal, Jack Myers, pointed out, we should be careful what we wish for. Cable TV tried to create an apples to apples comparison to network TV figuring they were more targeted and more efficient, but wound up finding their inventory on the permanent discount rack. Marketers are happy to pay a vast premium to be adjacent to network content. And digital might find itself quite a bit farther down the food chain than cable did.

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