Show Me The Money! (Part 3)

by Megan M. on March 13, 2007 (Blog) |

[X] 10:00AM Making Money From Independent Video Content? (12AB)

Amanda says she doesn’t worry about what her advertisers want, but she can imagine self-censorship. They knew what her brand was coming into it, so they were more open to what she wanted. Violet says that speaks to something that’s important to her – Why are we doing Indie media instead of mainstream media? We can say things that mainstream media can’t or won’t say, because they’re beholden to their advertisers. This is a big question.

Mike says this is significant in terms of where you’re going to PUT your video—if you want money you’re making different videos than if you’re pushing out a message. Some people have successfully done both, some people have successfully done one or the other… Alive in Baghdad is a wonderful show, Brian Connelly puts them online once a week; “This week’s car bombing brought to you by Toyota” is the running joke in the Blip office. Mike hasn’t had a lot of advertisers ask for a change in content, though they have felt less comfy with the content of some shows than other shows. We’re at a stage in the market where they’re making a brand association decision. The Air Force is very protective of its brand—worried about being too near incendiary content.

Irina asks, Whose job is it to warn the advertiser? About sexual content, etc., is it our job to warn our advertiser that this content will be included, to say, maybe you don’t want to do this? Especially in cases where the advertiser is so conservative, like Irina’s. Nate does this; there’s a facility for being able to turn off ads for certain kinds of content, this comforts the advertisers, but ultimately it’s also up to the content host. Plus, it’s up to the people making the shows. Focus on making a good show first, worry about that stuff later (or let someone else worry about it). We all have to worry about it a little bit, our content is personal and these models aren’t worked out yet.

We’re running out of time now; we’re building long term relationships with these advertisers. The buys are scattered, some money is being spent, but if we’re going to maintain this burgeoning field we need to maintain long-lasting relationships with these folks. Don’t scare off a million dollar account for many creators because of one video—the money could dry up and go back to NBC, hell! Violet: Blip is making commitments to the advertisers but also to their content creators, which although not standard practice is wonderful.

Fifteen minutes left in the panel; whole areas haven’t been touched on yet! CPM: Cost per thousand. CPC: Cost per click. One may make you more money in one case, opposite in the other case, Mike thinks most people look for CPMs, but Nate says that will always be changing. Different networks are good for different things.

People pay for television shows on iTunes; there are a couple of successful video shows out there (Red vs. Blue, ha ha ha, where you can subscribe and pay for eps in advance, they have a huge fan following and are living off of this production + merchandise… there’s another one that sounds French, I didn’t quite get it?). In both cases they really worked on their content and built the community first.

Here’s a dude that made a DVD on home-brewing beer, but got really sick of making calls to stores asking them to carry it. He started an audio podcast, then videocasting, with a product he wanted to get to consumers. Powerful medium, niche content, connect with the people you want to connect with. Home-brew stores are now calling HIM, he’s selling thousands of DVDs, and he’s building relationships with his audience, and trust, on a one-to-one basis with email, etc. that’s driving sales of the DVD. His content is SO targeted and he’s a big fish in a small bowl., radio, video. With specific content you can find your audience and build loyalty with them on a one-to-one basis, this fellow is saying.

Mike is talking about selling sponsorships for broad audiences OR for very focused audiences—there are perfect audiences everywhere. Violet says, you’re not creating the market, you’re validating that the market is there, which is excellent.

Mike is saying, Some advertisers JUST want their logo there, and that’s all they care about. At, there’s nothing there—but that’s all they want, is that presence.

Amanda things, along with Bre, if you’re looking to make money with your videos that’s not where you should START - start with what you’re passionate and excited about. Build your site and viewership and fanbase before thinking about monetization, because monetization is BASED on your viewership, on your show. Bre says, it’s all evolving and there’s so much we haven’t talked about that could come up, so it’s big territory.

Violet says, Make your media, don’t change your voice for your advertisers. Work with great companies like Blip and the companies on this panel that care about creative content. Nate concurs. Focus on the content, the audience; talk to them; be really consistent! Folks with success have been really consistent, do what you SAY you’re going to do. People will come back expecting something, and you’ll lose them if they don’t find it. Drive more traffic, advertising will come, other ways of making money will come.

Violet says also, Don’t forget because this is such an emerging thing, we’re all doing this without a map. We’re a community, and we need to learn from each other! We’re all figuring this out and bringing the rest of the world along with us.

Mike’s parting thought: Everyone at this table and the successful content creators have been at it a really long time, and it takes time. You hear stories about people making money, but it takes years. You have to build a brand and an audience and everything else comes after.

Mike Hudack is awesome. is awesome. The consensus is astounding.

When Mike had a blog, all his money was made through and click ads (I think he said) and he did perfectly well. It’s perfectly reasonable to do it this way.

Take a look at…
~ Violet Blue
~ – A dude who asked a question. Does all kinds of stuff.
~ Cooking with Rockstars (cute chick!)

Further notes…
Sleepy but fabulous!

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