Publishers And The Inevitable Pivot To Video

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It feels like every other week another publisher is making a pivot to video or a joke on social media talking about why the pivot to video doesn’t work.

After thinking about this for a while, I’ve come to recognize why the pivot to video often fails. Producing video is expensive, failures are common and costly and, even in the best-case scenarios, monetizing video is difficult.

First, what is the pivot to video? In my mind, it is the reaction from publishers who looked at their social media feeds and video ad rates and started thinking, “If we convert most of our content to video, we will be able to reach more people at a much higher CPM.”

There are number of issues here that seem to play out time and time again.

Video Isn’t Cheap

First, producing video is expensive. The average TV show is shot for thousands of dollars per minute. Digital-first publishers can drive this cost down significantly, and if they are really efficient they can end up in the $50- to $200-per-minute range for original, high-quality video.
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