Jim Louderback the CEO of Revision3 who I respect a great deal, has made some frank comments in an article on Adage about the Viral Video Advertising space. In his opening statement he makes this assertion.
“Online video creators, advertisers and producers have an unhealthy fascination with viral videos, and that obsession is dragging down the entire industry. Why? Because viral videos are, at their core, no better than a fluffernutter white-bread sandwich, delivering little or no value to anyone.”
I am sure his frustration, follow the same frustration I have when I talk with media buyers. Most are hung up on a shortsighted strategy of going after viral videos because it has coolness factor. While at the same time 99.9% of the media buyer advertising market is ignoring serial content which as this sites readers, listeners and viewers know are followed by very loyal audiences! When I meet with media buyers their age tells part of the story, most are under 25 and have had 1-2 years of media sales experience. Sadly most of the media buyers refuse to acknowledge the value of predictable episodic content. Instead they pay $4.00-$6.00 cpm for YouTube Videos. They do not understand that the dedicated audiences, with money to spend on products and services, listen and watch the media shows like we represent that reach 10′s of millions of loyal fans each month. Jim’s shows at Revision3, and those I represent at RawVoice are ROI Goldmines that most media buyers ignore. Jim hits it home in this comment.
“Ten predictable episodic shows that deliver a consistent 100,000 views an episode is far easier to plan for and monetize than a channel that has a one-in-100 chance of catching fire — and a 99-in-100 chance of bombing.”
The last comment I am quoting is something I have been hammering home for the past 6 years, yet most of these media buyers refuse to consider new media in their buying plans. They ignore what new media content can deliver for them. We get lucky once in a while and convert buyers to our side of the fence. I had a media buyer recently say “wow new media (podcast) advertising is hitting a home run for us” she could hardly believe the ROI numbers. Why do you think our Advertisers have been with us for 6 years? You would think some of these media buyers would clue into what new media is delivering. Jim’s comment ring home here.
“Viral videos may be bad for creators and publishers, but they are actually worse for advertisers. Your typical viral video gets passed around, yes, and drives a lot of views. And yes, those can translate into impressions for an advertiser. But as we’ve seen at Revision3, advertising associated with viral videos has only a small fraction of the impact of an ad that runs inside, or alongside, an episodic video program. We’ve seen tremendous results from putting brands next to our long-running episodic programs — those with real communities, high comment-to-view ratios and predictable views.”
In my opinion Media Buyers need to wake the hell up and start spending their clients money in a way that deliver real returns versus throwing spit balls against the wall hoping that they stick. We have millions of listeners / viewers ready to support sponsors of their favorite shows. Is it not about time that companies wake up and start spending money responsibly. Go over to the article and read his full commentary, it is worthy more discussion in the near future. I am hoping it will wake some of the major brand media buyers up.
If you are a media buyer and want to see what new media can deliver for you, I would be happy to put together a media plan for one, or all of our 6000 shows that will make you a hero at the office!