Unless you have been in a comma for the last 2 months you will probably have noticed that The King’s Speech has been everywhere! The British film about King George VI, staring Colin Firth and Geoffrey Rush, has stormed the box office and won pretty much every film accolade under the sun, including 5 BAFTA’s, 4 Oscars and a Golden Globe.
But who really cares? The film has been a smash hit at the cinema, but everyone knows that true film success nowadays comes online. If you can create a great YouTube video, make it go viral and get millions of viewers without even leaving your room, doing any PR or having a budget, isn’t that much more accomplished than getting people to go to the cinema?
You may not agree, but nevertheless you cannot deny that in recent years YouTube has become a kind of new Hollywood for the common man. And that is why instead of using this blog post to promote The King’s Speech I would like to direct you to The King of Shaves.
Some comic geniuses at The King of Shaves company have created a brilliantly funny parody of The King’s Speech which won’t exactly warm your heart but will split your sides.
Check out The King of Shaves video now at YouTube (it’s a lot cheaper than the cinema!)
Last week I was invited to a ‘Brand Marketing in a Digital World’ session at Google.
Currently in the UK, total ad spend is £20bn, with 23% of the total spent online. However, there’s a bit of a disconnect when it comes to Brand Marketing – offline, the split is around 50% on brand marketing; and 50% on direct response. Whereas online, just 5% is spent on brand marketing and the remaining 95% is on direct response.
Perhaps unsurprisingly the primary purpose of the session was to grab some more of that brand marketing budget… well there’s no such thing as a free lunch, right?
However, the session managed to avoid being entirely pitch, and some pretty interesting stuff was shared – so in the interests of share and share alike, I thought I’d share some of it with you.
Undoubtedly digital has profoundly changed both how companies reach their target audience, and indeed the ways in which they communicate with them. Traditionally marketing has been very much about the ”push’ – i.e. transmitting messages from the brand to the consumer. However, increasingly brands are electing to utilise ‘push’ techniques in a slightly different way – rather than simply ‘pushing’ their advertising messages, they are using ‘push’ techniques to encourage consumers to engage with their brands. This stimulates ‘pull’ – i.e. where consumers actively choose to view a brand’s content. ‘Pull’ is essentially about consumer engagement – and of course, here content is king.
The challenge for brands today is to create content which ‘pulls’ consumers in – they actively want to engage with the brand, and perhaps even participate.
Today I read an article in New Media Age wherein Danielle Long suggested that maybe Google has finally found a way to boost revenues from YouTube.
Having struck major content deals with the likes of MGM, Lions Gate Entertainment and CBS, YouTube will offer thousands of TV shows and full-length films for US users. These shows and films will be shown with ad breaks – effectively allowing TV ads to be shown to viewers watching online.
In addition to receiving revenue from advertisers, Google CEO Eric Schmidt has also indicated that in the future YouTube may utilise a subscription model saying: “We do expect, over time, to see micro payments and other forms of subscription to come.”
Monetisation is without a doubt the holy grail of those who own and run social networking sites – but the trouble is, it tends to sit somewhat uneasily with the users of these sites.
YouTube was founded by Chad Hurley, Steve Chen and Jawed Karim in 2005. The site quickly grew and by July 2006 the site was receiving 100 million views per day. YouTube was acquired by Google in November 2006 for the princely sum of US$1.65 billion in Google stock.
Clearly Google saw revenue opportunities in YouTube, but as yet these have failed to come to fruition. Google does not provide figures for YouTube’s running costs, and YouTube’s revenues in 2007 were noted as ‘not material’ in a regulatory filing. Not surprising when you consider that YoutTube’s bandwidth costs alone were estimated at US$1 million per day in 2008.
The end game is – social networking costs the owners of the sites a great deal of money. However, the owners of these sites feel strongly that with such a large user base, the opportunities to monetise these sites via advertising should be great.
But in reality, it doesn’t seem to work like that. The advertising funded business model struggles as users complain about the ads interrupting their experience, and advertisers have complained that social networking users are not responsive.
As such, perhaps the subscription model which YouTube are considering could be the way forward – particularly if they offer advert-free subscriptions. As Danielle Long points out – the move by Google to introduce subscriptions to YouTube could be the tipping point for subscription models across other sites – which rather puts paid to the ideal of online content, and perhaps indeed social networking being free.
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