The Long Tail Of Online Video: Helping People Conquer The Obvious

from the wash-rinse-repeat dept

Google’s billion-dollar ($1.65 billion, rather) buyout of YouTube emphasized the fervent interest in online video. But it doesn’t end with huge sites like YouTube: a raft of sites are apparently spouting up and becoming quite popular by giving people how-to videos on topics far and wide — like how to take a shower. And of course, most of it is user-generated: the lesson in showering comes courtesy of a 79-year-old Maryland man, who says “When you get to be 79, you’ve learned some things that other people don’t know,” like the value of transparent shower curtains over opaque ones. How-to articles have always been popular online, so it’s not particularly surprising to see them make the jump to video. But sites chasing this market and hoping to make a business out of it will have a hard time competing against the likes of YouTube — just like other vertically oriented video sites. Obviously YouTube isn’t limited to videos of a particular genre, and the fact that videos can be embedded in web pages and easily shared means that somebody doesn’t need to create their own video-sharing site to create a web site about how-to videos.

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Comments on “The Long Tail Of Online Video: Helping People Conquer The Obvious”

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Lucas (user link) says:

Is YouTube making money?

I don’t have the facts to back this up, but from my understanding, YouTube has yet to really make any money (don’t get me wrong, I’m sure Google’s got a few ideas up their collective sleeves about how to change that).

What about Google’s new custom search for example? You could put together a custom Google search engine that searches only video pages — kind of a metasearch of video sites. Google could display some ads in there, and make some money off of it? For an example of what I mean, check out the custom Google search page I put together for knowledge management and tech news and resources. And yes, Techdirt’s in there.

Anyone have any more factual info on YouTube’s financial performance/potential?

Matt Mendolera (user link) says:

Online video helping companies conquer the non-obv

In college I always thought the ridiculous “How-to” videos were the most fun, but in the business world, it isn’t a joke. Noone is going to turn to YouTube to really learn how to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. But if the clip is funny enough, millions will waste a minute or two on it. Employees all over, though, do get value out of actual business how-to’s, though, and are already using online video to create and share these.

SailorAlphaCentauri says:

That's my concern, too, Lucas

How is Google going to turn YouTube into a profit-making service? Are they going to add ads to videos (iFilm does this, but the random crap they show is so funny, I put up with it) or are they going to start charging for special features or prominence on the site?

I guess it’s time for the wait-and-see game to see how Google derives their R.O.I. from this purchase.

Lucas (user link) says:

Re: That's my concern, too, Lucas

So far, I think Google’s been pretty good at being unobtrusive with their ads — hopefully that trends will continue if they find a way to monetize Youtube.

To me, advertising (and perhaps in part, Google’s success) is always about basic politeness — people usually don’t mind a few relevant suggestions about things they might be interested in, but don’t yell at them — it just makes them want to not buy your product. As the poster above states, if your content’s pretty good, a few ads are pretty tolerable.

One other question I have with the YouTube purchase though: where does this leave Google Video?

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