Yahoo missed many opportunities over the years, leading to its acquisition today by Verizon, but surely one of the biggest was never creating a distinct identity in video. Back in April, 2014, I highlighted the murkiness of Yahoo’s video strategy, which has only continued to get more confusing since. With major video players like YouTube, Netflix, Facebook, Hulu and others pursuing distinct strategies that deliver specific benefits to users, Yahoo’s “everything but the kitchen sink” approach to video meant it never became truly competitive in any one area.
Major platforms like YouTube, Facebook and Snapchat offer video content providers opportunities to reach big audiences, but they also create a variety of new risks around loss of business control and monetization. At last month’s Video Ad Summit, Mike Shields from the WSJ moderated a session “Achieving Video Success in the Platform Economy,” which addressed this central tension.
The panel included Stacy Fuller (Head of Content, North America, Havas Media), Paul Kelly (Chief Partnerships Officer, AwesomenessTV), Michael Kuntz (SVP, Digital Revenue, USA TODAY Network) and Jeff Urban (President and Co-founder, Whistle Sports).
Digging into the topic, the group discussed the range of approaches YouTube, Facebook and Snapchat are using with partners and how content providers determine where to allocate their finite resources. One big discussion point was that Facebook does not accept pre-roll ads, so the challenge of making money with Facebook is even steeper. That led to another key topic of what role branded content should play when distributing on the platforms.
With platforms constantly changing their approaches, learning how to work with them is incredibly confusing for video content providers. The session gives a lot of insights into how providers and agencies are navigating this new terrain.