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Guest Column: Monetizing Video: Addressing the Digital-Native Publisher's Conundrum: Karan Gupta, CEO, AndBeyond.Media

Guest Column: Monetizing Video: Addressing the Digital-Native Publisher's Conundrum: Karan Gupta, CEO, AndBeyond.Media

Author | Karan Gupta | Tuesday, Oct 25,2016 8:34 AM

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Guest Column: Monetizing Video: Addressing the Digital-Native Publisher's Conundrum: Karan Gupta, CEO, AndBeyond.Media

One of the biggest challenges that we presently face is understanding how the nature of content consumption and receptiveness towards content has changed writes Karan Gupta, CEO, AndBeyond.Media

There comes a point of inflection in every domain of business or industry where we take a moment (or a few) to reflect on progress, innovation, change and impediments. Times like these make us realize what works and what doesn’t. One of the biggest challenges that we presently face while trying to explain how publishers will be affected by the constantly evolving face of digital media is understanding how the nature of content consumption and receptiveness towards content has changed.

The way we created or showcased content in the past is far removed from the nature of content that is being engaged with today. And it’s not just the millennials leading the pack. We’re all better tuned to the kind of things we want to read, see and watch. No longer is it an avenue where publishers and content creators can unleash a barrage of information on their unsuspecting audiences and expect them to voraciously consume the same. The digital ecosystem is levelling the field for traditional media players, digital native experts and newcomers alike. How else could one explain a 12-year-old aspiring pop star getting propelled into global stardom via YouTube? That’s the beauty of it all!

Over the past few years, a lot has been said about video as a medium for crafting meaningful messages and using it as a tool to not just scale business but to engage with audiences more effectively. The fastest growing format of the non-mobile display-related market is also turning out to be a wise investment for marketers - given the measurable performance it offers. Marketers today perceive video as a great branding tool capable of conveying their stories and connecting with their audiences on a more emotional level. While the video ecosystem promises to be a major growth area for advertisers and media companies alike, there are quite a few challenges cited by publishers world over that leave a lot to be desired; when it comes to increasing engagement, monetizing their inventory and building revenue streams. Let’s take a look at these, shall we?

Video production is an expensive affair!

No kidding. In all possibility, producing videos on a regular basis is sure to burn a massive hole in your pocket. Unless you’re the likes of Netflix, of course. Creating videos is expensive and time-consuming. And it isn’t restricted to time alone. Resources and infrastructure are often a challenge for most publishers, thereby preventing publishers from creating video inventory to meet demand.

Showcasing relevant, worthy content to audiences

Relevancy counts! At the end of the day, it’s always about being in sync with what your audiences are interested in. Irrelevant, mass-produced content is a sure fire way to drive a wedge between publishers and their audiences. While native ads can play a major role in aiding publishers to overcome this impediment, just because it’s native does not imply that the content or ad may be immune to ad blockers. Compelling content that is worthy of its audiences is the only way to circumvent this hurdle.  

Partnering with video creation organizations can also be a challenge

Partnering with companies that provide syndicated video content is another option that publishers explore in their quest to serve fresh video content. While this is a good way to amass video inventory, not every video syndicate is going to care about a publisher’s editorial integrity.

Disruptive ad formats (as an alternative)

The last thing you want to do is subject your readership to a barrage of ads that are against your editorial ethos and can be perceived as a nuisance. As a last ditch effort, many publishers give up on the content and opt for in-banner video ad. While this can rake in the dollars, some of these ad units can be obtrusive and detrimental to the reader experience.

With disruptive ads becoming more of a commodity and as ad blocking goes mainstream, publishers can find themselves in the lurch, without a solid video revenue strategy in place.

There’s plenty that we as marketers can do to combat the impediments faced when it comes to monetizing our video strategy. Here are a few that I have reflected on, and would suggest you consider too while stepping up your game:

Find a balance between developing quality video content and integrating it with the editorial in a way that preserves the quality of the publication’s content and does not disrupt audiences.  

To address the issue of creating compelling messaging for its audiences without breaking the bank and to cater to the high demand for video, explore working with tech and solutions providers who have the automation and capabilities to create fresh, relevant video content that is in-sync with your editorial needs.

Today’s cutting-edge solutions providers offer services that are highly scalable and future-ready no matter what and how much you scale your editorial content.

Eliminate the operational burden of tuning and tweaking player settings. In an increasingly cross-device, multi-channel world where our customers are connected across various platforms, the need for automation is more important than ever.  

Lastly, associate with partners who will not just help you incentivize on your current earnings but will help you build more revenue streams with the content that you put out there, with relevant and right video ad messages.

It may be the ‘Year of the Video’ but we still have a lot many milestones to achieve before we get down to the business of monetizing this medium. Those amongst us focused on a more audience-centric approach towards engagement and, eventually monetization, will surely find delight in the power of video as a medium.

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