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The cottage industry of content

A by research company Ipsos found that consumers are generally more tolerant of video ads that run in professionally produced content than they are of ads in “homemade” videos, according to a story in The New York Times today. An Ipsos director opined that homegrown video will attract more advertising down the line. But I think there’s something to this statistic, and that the general public is not withdrawing wholesale from expecting a kind of transaction to take place in their consumption of high-quality content.

But what about advertisers? How discerning are they about the quality of the content they sponsor? Very, I think, even now. I recently had a conversation with a web company that is looking to start packaging online articles on its social network as a way to attract more advertising. But the company did not see the value of adding an editorial layer to direct, commission, or produce additional content, believing it could simply package and showcase content already being contributed by its community members.

There are stars in the blog world, no doubt, and the history of the Web is littered with stories of small-time bloggers or video artists who hit a cultural nerve, and then the jackpot (such as the mommy bloggers highlighted in another Times last week). The problem for journalists, video producers, and publishers too, is that much of the value they add to the product is intangible, and so-called amateurs can make the most of the ambiguity.

3 Comments so far

  1. Wes Pedersen on August 18th, 2008

    How does intangible equate with ambiguous?

  2. Julia Hood on August 19th, 2008

    Intangible value, ambiguous metrics…

  3. John Berard on August 25th, 2008


    The theory of evolution holds on the web, too. Content — whether homemade or bought-and-paid-for — is no longer what separates us from the apes. It is now context.

    If grainy video is meaningful to a user, it will have effect. If it is not meaningful, well, you get the point.

    I enjoy our little chats.


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