@ EconSM: Social Video Explosion

This story was written by Robert Andrews.
In progress: Panel moderator Robert Scoble opened by asking our guests for an overview of the emerging social video space. Loic Le Meur, CEO of webcam video commenting startup Seesmic, said "about 200 blogs" had adopted the site's new video commenting plugin, allowing anyone with a webcam to respond to a blog post by recording video, in the last three days. Le Meur: "We are focusing on enabling conversation in video. The conversation we have on blogs happens only in text; there is no conversation, it's not very interactive. I believe we will get the same quality of conversation you get in blog comments but in video."

-- The long and the short: Conventional wisdom says internet users want only short clips. But Jim Louderbeck, CEO of Diggnation producer Revision 3 said: "250,000 people watch (hour-long) Diggnation every week so people will watch longform content. Shortform isn't going away - the context in how people view is bifurcating." Meaning, some people will watch a long show on their computer, some on their iPod, some on their cellphone, some on a 50-inch LCD TV. But some will play portions of shows across every device, depending on their situation.

Louderbeck said there are now three primetimes beer-drinking relaxers at 8pm-11pm; bored officer workers at 12pm-2pm and now young male geeks at home12am-4am on a Saturday night:"I'll leave it to you to figure out what they're looking for. Proving the point about TV-like content, Veoh founder Dmitry Shapiro said 30,000 people every day download Veoh's electronic program guide app.

-- Web stealing TV's ad cash?: YouTube content partnerships head Jordan Hoffner: "That is the case but it's not a dollar-for-dollar transfer. A dollar lost from NBC isn't necessarily a dollar in YouTube's pocket. Even if you have this audience like we do, it still isn't that we're taking money directly from NBC's pocket. The format is great for users, we haven't necessarily proved that it's great for advertisers yet."

-- Am I hit or not?: A questioner in the crowd asked whether Louderbeck's portfolio of shows, which pull far fewer viewers than your average network TV output, can really succeed? Louderbeck: "The idea that you're going to have these huge hits with millions and millions of viewers is fundamentally wrong. IfI have 20 to 30 shows that get half a million to a million views a month, that is absolutely profitable and scalable because our cost of production is so low. It's a 10th of what traditional broadcasting is - $100 to $200 a minute." So cheap that, where traditional broadcast uses 12 people per episode, Revision 3 shows use two - and Louderbeck is aiming to drive that down to one.

ind producers are now produ long er form content, shows. bunch of guys sitting on the couch with beer talking abt technology - i like that stuff - i'm a nerd

they are embracing it - unlike the music indstr that stood there like mles and said none of this is going to change, broadcasters are innovating.


By Robert Andrews