Any John From Cincinnati fans out there? I mention JC because the phrase “big and huge” keeps popping into my head today (the day after the season, and probably series, finale).
There’s a contingent with in the online newspaper community who think we should only do video if it’s “big and huge.”
The juxtaposition of pulling that phrase out of the air for a post on newspaper video is just about as odd as any dialogue in JC, so forgive me my JC moment. Except, we all know that the ones and zeros in Cass’s camera contain the answer.
Ryan Sholin put it better in his post about the FasterMores vs. the BiggerBetters. Ryan pretty much nailed it.
For the BiggerBetters, consider the graph with this post. It represents YouTube.com audience growth as tracked by Compete.com. Consider that Viacom forced YouTube to remove all its “BiggerBetter” content in February. Up until that time you heard a lot from the BiggerBetters, within our industry and without, that YT only survives on stolen content. Yet, Viacom’s takedown order has done nothing to slow YT’s audience growth. And you know what, when I go to YT, I find lots of fresh, poorly produced, but highly trafficked UGC. For example, this piece picked somewhat at random, which has gotten more than 36,000 views in about 20 hours.
There’s no shortage of video most BiggerBetters would find repulsive getting a lot of attention on YT.
“We decided that user-generated content is passÃ©, and not a part of what we want to do in the future. We tried it, we didn’t think it worked and we’re getting rid of it,” said Richard Ayoub, ManiaTV’s vice president of programming and development.
So, some off-brand site generated 15,000 pages of UGC video, but “it didn’t work.” Ummm … isn’t that kind of insane?
Based on Angela’s brief comment, I take it that she thinks this is evidence that the BiggerBetters are winning. But note what an industry analyst says later in the same article:
Sites focused on user-generated content also are finding it hard to compete with popular video-sharing site YouTube, said Josh Bernoff, principal analyst for Forrester Research. “The (reason for the) stampede of people moving away from user-gen is that it is difficult to make money off it and impossible to make money off of it if you’re not YouTube,” he said.
Sites that are moving away from a UGC-centric content model (note, this says nothing about UGC as part of a broader content model) aren’t doing so for lack of audience interest, but because they haven’t figured out how to offset the high cost of storing and hosting the video with advertising revenue. This isn’t an audience-growth decision; it’s a cost-analysis decision.
That’s a legitimate reason for moving away from UGC (though I think it shows a profound lack of imagination), but let’s not be hoodwinked into thinking that it tells us anything about what audiences want from video.