The explosive growth of online video in the past two years has everyone with a camcorder or a TV network wondering about the potential for meaningful compensation. So far, no one’s getting rich but the video clip hosts.
Wondering if TV will work on the Web, The Wall Street Journal today posted an email conversation between Steven Starr, co-founder of Revver, and Sab Kanaujia, NBC Universal’s vice president for digital product strategy. Here a sample:
Kanaujia: Can independent creators make a living with Web video? I don’t think they can in the short term. Current business models online are not attractive enough to make a living or leave your other day job.
Starr: Old school independent creators, used to Hollywood economics, should stay home. But successful independent online creators are seeing CPM and [cost-per-click] returns that can exceed $10,000 per month. … The promise of an online creator economy is right around the corner, one that supports an entirely new form of creativity quite distinct and separate from traditional TV creation.
Kanaujia: In the short-term, I think the Web will continue to provide a great vehicle for independent creators to get discovered (zero barriers to entry). And when they do get discovered, many may want to join traditional media — or not. (For example), Rocketboom — Amanda Congdon established herself online. She leveraged her online popularity to get an offer from ABC. … Now, she’s using that opportunity to marry the digital and traditional worlds by anchoring in addition to doing video blogs on ABC.com.
Starr: Using the Web as a discovery platform for old media trolling for talent is 1999 all over again; why take these new media creators and force them into old media formats?
Good stuff. Check out the full exchange on the future of Web video on the WSJ site.
BTW, reports are surfacing that the Journal’s Web content may be going all-free with the takeover by Rupert Murdoch. The New York Times is opening up its columns again after a clumsy try at multitiered content for subscribers and non-subscribers. Good news since the Times just raised its price and cut an inch and a half off the paper size. Yuck.