2008: the big online video shakeout

3 12 2007

Against a predicted backdrop of wider market turmoil as we enter 2008, Reuters ran a great piece last week on the likely impact of broader market declines on a sector which remains a major buzz with industry and consumers alike [even though, privately, I suspect alot of ramping from investors when it comes to the former, and a slow, but gradual paradigm shift among the latter].

Sure it makes for good copy fodder at a time when the pain is spreading through to consumer, as well as institutional investors [just a foretaste of things to come, IMO]. But the Reuters piece has a point: both large media corporations and, crucially, the advertisers, which in most cases support them, will have difficulty in justifying unproven activity amid a climate of investment conservatism.

You need only look to what some would call a landgrab, others pure speculation, which has been the key characteristic of the new media landscape during 2007.

Fast forward to 2008:

  • Mass media is broadly spent when it comes to genuinely new ideas or connecting with the ways in which consumers will likely connect with them, thus… 
  • Those propositions which can demonstrate consumer uptake, if only on a micro level, will likely attract the acquistion interest of the majors. This will come at a time when second or third round financing is non-existent; nowhere else to turn.
  • The valuations placed against those in the vendors’ market will be attractive to the potential purchasers [a parallel with real estate and company valuations, in general, anyone?]
  • Advertisers will wake up to this landscape beyond the hyperbole of press releases — not least a result of both clents and their agency handlers haemoraging revenue against the splattergun accountability which is linear, vs. an emerging landscape of robust [did anyone say actual?] metrics which non-linear promises. I can relate from first hand experience, that the majority of blue-chip agencies do not have a clue about what they’re doing or propose to do in this space.

The winners:

Sorry, you won’t like the answer: big media corporations

The losers:

Emergent ideas which just might’ve turned into something genuinely different, had they been in the right place, at the right time.

Tighten you’re belts everyone, 2008 ain’t gonna be pretty… [and i didn’t even mention the ‘R’ word once…]