Vijay Anand | The Startup Guy.

User Aided Content: Professionalizing User Generated Content

Posted on: June 10, 2007

Youtube, now known as Google Video. Microsoft Soapbox. and all the online video repositories and streaming services that are out there.. most of them do seem to lack when it comes to a business plan. Companies such as Google and Microsoft, because of their other offerings do have the chance of putting together a combination of products and coming up with a business model that works and even makes sense. But could Youtube on its own have survived? Good question.

Youtube getting bought by Google has definitely inspired a lot of people to get into the same space. And also even well established media houses are getting into the game. There are also dedicated sites such as Rocketboom and ZeFrank who focus on a fun-way of announcing news and entertainment. What is the possible way to effectively make use of this scenario.

There was a bit of light cast towards this direction yesterday at Podworks.in, yesterday as Nautanki.tv was explaining their business and companies similar offerings.

The failures that commonly noted across “most” of the traditional video casts – most of the user generated content that is available in the respositories of Youtube and the likes:

1. Poor execution in the task of getting the point across
2. Poor video or audio quality
3. Lack of ambience or uniformity of the “elements” in the screen
4. Lack of continuity, planning or theme to the videos

Most of these issues are also related with the fact that this content does come from the long tail.

There are a couple of interesting ideas that probably could help in helping in making this content a bit more professional. There are the likes of Nautanki.tv and IndiaInteracts building professional studios and helping in the creation of atleast ten percent of the video repositories that they do hold in their base. While they do contribute in terms of news, entertainment, sports and interviews, they also pick users from within the 90% of their userbase and help those with good content to professionalize their videos. From helping the user with the necessary makeup and giving suggestions on their wardrobe, to professional videographers, and even giving them access to the studio for editing and post processing of the video. The company then picks up the video, posts it on the site and the creator of the video is given a share of the revenue which is made by running a video advertisement in the beginning of the videocast.

There does seem to be a market for these videos, because they are more professional and also because there are a lot of display terminals (read LCDs) starting to appear all over the place from the elevators in corporate offices, to airports and to movie theatres. While traditional media houses do charge exclusive and premium prices for videos – making it unaffordable for such use, it is said that these “semi-professional”, user-aided content could surely fit those slots, making a steady stream of revenue both for the creator as well as the manager of the content.

It does seem to make sense, and perhaps the way to move ahead.


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