original content

If video is the future of the internet, here’s what brands need to know

Few underestimate the power of online video. Its importance has been apparent since at least 2006, when Google acquired YouTube in a deal worth north of $1.5bn. 

But a lot has changed since then. So much, in fact, that it’s worth asking if video is effectively the future of the internet. The answer: perhaps.

Coming soon: paid YouTube channels?

When Google purchased YouTube for $1.65bn in late 2006, some wondered whether the acquisition would be the Web 2.0 equivalent of Yahoo’s ill-fated billion-dollar purchase of Broadcast.com during the first .com boom.

It was hard not to be somewhat skeptical: YouTube was an expensive operation to run and was facing the same type of legal assault from Hollywood that basically killed Napster 1.0 years earlier.

The rise of video in 2013

As companies further embrace the need for content, video is becoming a bigger part of editorial calendars and content teams.

Gone are the days of shooting a 10 minute interview and slapping it up on YouTube. Consumers’ tastes have become more sophisticated and short form video content has become our brain candy.

But what will 2013 bring the industry in terms of video?

Is Google’s YouTube original content push failing?

In late 2011, Google announced that it would invest $100m in developing original content for YouTube. The idea: team up with the most promising homegrown YouTube sensations, Hollywood studios, celebrities, brands and agencies to answer the question, “What comes after television?”

Since that time, YouTube has continued to forge partnerships, develop new content in desirable markets and evolve the YouTube user experience around ‘channels.’

Netflix surpasses 1bn hours watched in June

The past year hasn’t been the best for Netflix. After making several strategic blunders, including one of the most painful branding disasters in recent memory, the company lost subscribers and saw and investors dump its shares.

But mistakes behind it, Netflix is pushing forward and in June, the company achieved a significant milestone: its subscribers watched more than 1bn hours of video.