We often hear the phrase “maximize video content” when it comes
to online publishers and video. While this term provides an overall
vision for making the most of online video assets, we don’t hear
much about how publishers can actually do it.
It’s one thing to provide compelling video content — it
goes without saying that this is vital — but how do you
keep people coming back? And, how do you get them
to stay on a site longer to watch more videos? The challenge
is that people have less time to watch videos these
days, yet publishers are offering more videos than ever.
We are in the throws of an “Internet Gold Rush” almost
on par with the heady dot-com boom in the late
1990’s. Simply put, video is the “king of content.” In
July 2009 alone, an astounding 158 million U.S. Internet
users — or 80 percent of the nation's online population
— watched online videos, according to data from
comScore Video Metrix. We know people are watching
video, but the challenge is how to best maximize and
monetize this trend, while providing good experience
In today’s Internet model — where users have more
control over content than at any other time in the Web’s
short history — giving the people what they want will
clearly satisfy today’s Internet users while promoting
user engagement and boosting the bottom line for Web
publishers. The easiest method for ensuring that content
is fully maximized is to provide a more customized
video watching experience based on personal preferences.
This means that — based on viewing patterns,
tastes and preferences — video should be served much
like a custom-made piece of furniture or musical instrument:
always providing a unique product.
The most common pitfall by publishers is to provide
a commoditized video experience that causes users
to migrate elsewhere, or revert back to focusing on written
content. As with any Internet business model, a
competitor is one Google search or click away. In the
highly-competitive online video landscape, publishers
have too much to lose by not taking the necessary steps
to provide a customized user experience.
Fortunately, there are ways of using mathematical algorithms
to scientifically analyze video viewing patterns
and to truly understand human interaction with video.
This extends beyond the type of content (i.e., watching
home improvement videos) to actually gaining insight
into video length preference, time spent on the site, day
of week, geo-location, total videos viewed per user, and
multiple other metrics to determine user engagement.
The intent of this scientific approach is to gain a true
snapshot of each user’s needs, preferences and desires in
real time, then providing additional personalized videos.
This new method will cause the concept of “content
discovery” to eclipse the idea of “content search.”
This means that users will be on a voyage of discovery
each time they read articles, and will be enticed to watch
corresponding or recommended videos. And, for publishers,
it will mean having the confidence of knowing
that you are giving the people what they want on a scientifically
proven level, which will naturally generate
better monetization opportunities.
The challenge is that only the most forward-thinking
online video publishers are embracing this true
discovery concept. In the next 12-24 months, we anticipate
that this type of approach will bring content discovery
into every Web users’ world — from the earlyadopter
Web 2.0 fans to the casual surfer. All content
will be served on a personalized platter. It will actually
have meaning to the user, and will provide strong revenue
streams for online publishers.
While there is no crystal ball for predicting what the
next Internet revolution will be, today’s user-generated,
social media-oriented Web will surely continue to proliferate.
In due time, users will essentially own the Web
and will demand that each online experience have personal
meaning. Now more than ever, content needs to
be significant to the user, and there is a new science that
allows online publishers to provide videos that meet
About the Author: Adam Singolda is the Founder and CEO of Taboola,
provider of video recommendation engines for major content
publishers of CNN, NBA, Kiplinger, Howcast, eHow,
Demand Media, 5min, VideoJug and aniBoom.