Local Video: Who Will Shoot It?

http://images.google.com/images?q=tbn:6SVi9ZtYCRIamM:http://science.ksc.nasa.gov/shuttle/countdown/video/chan12large.jpgMichael Taylor on the Kelsey Group blog discusses the possibility that yellow pages sites could take a leadership position in offering local video. I agree that there’s an important opportunity as video becomes more strategic from both a publisher and advertiser standpoint. And the major US YP publishers are either already doing it or have it on their roadmaps.

There were several startups in the past few years that tried to host video ads for local businesses, but they were ahead of their time. The time is definitely now, however.

Video is now very cheap to produce but the question is: who will shoot it for publishers? The newspapers (i.e., NY Times), for example, are training reporters to become pseudo-professional videographers. But you’re not going to ask the YP sales force to shoot commercials, notwithstanding the fact that YouTube and related sites have conditioned people to tolerate “production values” that fall below agency/Hollywood standards.

So while you don’t have to produce video as good as SpotRunner’s ads for example, you do need something that meets minimum quality standards visually and otherwise.

As a stop gap, publishers can use still phtographs to create slide shows that have the dynamic quality of video (AdMission does this for marketers and publishers today.)

The YP sales force could certainly sell video and the sites could certainly host it (RH Donnelley’s Dex Online has been selling video for some time — the redesign is nice, with PPCall ads from Ingenio BTW). But, again, who will shoot it?

TurnHere has arguably provided the model: a freelance workforce of local videographers. CEO Brad Inman has been approached to rent his videographers by everyone in local at this point. Last time I spoke with him no decisions had been made as to whether he was going to hire them out to others.

Comcast also shoots local video that it broadcasts on cable TV.

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8 Responses to “Local Video: Who Will Shoot It?”

  1. howardowens.com: media blog » Blog Archive » Sure, ad reps can shoot commercials Says:

    [...] Greg Sterling: Video is now very cheap to produce but the question is: who will shoot it for publishers? The newspapers (i.e., NY Times), for example, are training reporters to become pseudo-professional videographers. But you’re not going to ask the YP sales force to shoot commercials, notwithstanding the fact that YouTube and related sites have conditioned people to tolerate “production values” that fall below agency/Hollywood standards. (bold added) [...]

  2. J Says:

    Howard’s response suggests he doesn’t understand the YP earnings model or sales channel. For the publisher–and increasingly the private equity that controls them–the margin is in print; the objective is to close revenue and to do it quickly. To “incentivise” either the rep or the bottom line, video must carry a price point at which it needs to be sold, i.e. the advertiser needs to be convinced. This takes time and process and requires a committment not necessarly in keeping with either the publisher’s, PE’s or sales rep’s best interest. Priced as a slam dunk to the advertiser, video may be commoditized in a way both spot and 4 color process have become. In competitive markets, video may even become the price of admission. To print publishers, video is likely just another unwelcome enhancement.

  3. Brad Inman Says:

    Great post Greg. Indeed, TurnHere’s network of 2000 videographers is shooting in 50 countries for a wide range of partners in the travel, local, media, real estate and directory business. Our low-cost, high quality production model produces professionally produced, rights-cleared video available to almost any vertrical.
    Our partners include the Washington Post, CondeNet and Discovery among many others in the media world.

  4. Howard Owens Says:

    J’s response suggest that he doesn’t know I work for a newspaper company.

  5. TurnHere Shifts Focus « Screenwerk Says:

    [...] but soon everyone will have and be selling video advertising at the local level. Here’s my earlier post on local video advertising and [...]

  6. Eric Kallins Says:

    I think about when our sales force (then SBC) first offered websites or our customers on our on-line Yellow Pages. I remember one advertiser (a Dentist) who was thrilled with it, so much so that I had to return to his office 4-5 times as he fine-tuned his new website. All on a $30/month product. Obviously not much commission for me, but a lot of my time.

    Since I stay with my clients through any product, and he kept calling me to get more done, it did not pay me well for my time. Now, we have a great system where, once website development is sold (as a line item) the client is called by web designers, and they take over the product from design to finish.

    The reason I bring that up is video products. If the sales rep is required to shoot the video (does this include scripting, set background/design, directing it, etc.) will sales reps offer & sell this product? Or would a better model be having a low-budget production company come out and shoot the video for the advertiser? Be they staff, free-lancers, or a company hired on contract by the publisher – I think this would be a better model for publishers (especially the Big Publishers) to motivate sales and streamline this product into their IYP sites. Skilled and experienced low-budget producers would know how to get in & out with a product that would still be something our advertisers would be thrilled with.

  7. Kelsey Research Confirms User Interest in Video « Screenwerk Says:

    [...] of adoption, the question becomes how to get it. (Here’s my related post from early this year Local Video: Who Will Shoot It?) And quality matters (notwithstanding the early popularity of poor quality videos on [...]

  8. Fredick madox Says:

    I will like to hire you for a Video shoot on a wedding coming up on the 14th of October 2007 mail me back if you will be avaliable for the date

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