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March 20, 2019

When Will Major Brands Flock to User-Generated Video Content?

by: Jaffer Ali
(Originally Published: November 14, 2006)

When a new industry emerges, a new language must be developed. Often the language has an impact on the future of the industry. So before the topic's thesis is explored, let me first make sure we are all talking about the same thing.

First, what is often spoken of as "user generated" video content is usually labeled incorrectly. Much of the content uploaded to You Tube and the other "me too" sites is not created by the user, but frequently includes content that violates copyright. It might be their favorite Star Trek episode or music clip set to family video clips.

To stop the confusion, why not just say that this type of content is "user uploaded"? Then we can utilize the language of "user generated" video content to be synonymous with video created by users. Personally, I prefer "user created video content" because it has the advantage of clarity.

Now that the terminology is behind us, let's get to the subject at hand. When will major brands flock to user generated content? With almost 100 percent metaphysical certainty, I believe that major brands will NEVER embrace the broad, generic industry of user generated video. NEVER!

These are pretty bold words from a guy land-locked in the middle of the country in a town that means "mud turtle," but major brands will never embrace pre-roll advertising in front of all user generated content and risk being linked to college kids applying a match to their breaking wind.

What major brands with the help of their agency will do is pick and choose which clips to sponsor. Just as major brands pick and choose which shows to sponsor on network television, they will select the types of content to sponsor. They will never place run-of-network (RON) pre-roll advertising on a user-generated video sharing site.

Sale 99centThe case is quite different with branded video sites. Right now, advertising is often sold across ESPN's website, across CNN's site, and across other "safe" content sites. But will RON pre-roll advertising happen with the sharing sites that mix "crap with chocolate?" We doubt this.

If you have a video sharing site with user uploaded content, brands will continue to run away from illegally uploaded content because they will run away from objectionable user created content. This is not even a close call. It is not an issue of the market maturing. The day Ivory Soap starts advertising in front of naked girls mud wrestling will never come.

But all is not lost for user generated content. Media buying will become MOLECULAR. Media buying will face challenges. Buying pre-roll will get more and more complicated because of this molecular selection process.

In anticipation of this certain trend, our video portal at literally built our own ad serving to match that granularity. Advertisers can pick and choose which individual clips they wish to sponsor on EVTV1...or which clips they want to eliminate, even though we do not allow users to upload video clips on our video portal.

Accommodating media buyers, who will be forced to drill down to individual clips, has substantial consequences for emerging video networks. If a brand finds their commercial migrating in front or post rolling objectionable material then this is the first step of that network losing its client. The brand will be the ultimate judge of what is objectionable. They will allow their agency to first choose the clips, but the moment the CEO of Toyota gets forwarded a clip of someone eating monkey brains with their commercial running in front of the clip, they will want to exert more control.

User generated content will be sponsored "episodically" and not generically. In the New Testament, Matthew 22:14 says, "For many are called but few are chosen." The major brands will continue to say "For many clips are uploaded but few will be chosen."

Original Article: When Will Major Brands Flock to User-Generated Video Content?