The Advertisers Are Now The Network: Tim Street on ADM Podcast

Mar 3rd, 2009 | By | Category: Digital Video Downloads, Making Money with Podcasts, New Media Organizations, Podcast Quickies, Video

The latest episode of the Association for Downloadable Media (ADM)’s “Get The Download” podcast series is worth taking time to listen. The program covers much of the nuts and bolts of finding advertisers or sponsorships to monetize your Internet video creations.

Interviewer Cathy Brooks of Other Than That (late of video creation site Seesmic) talks with video expert Tim Street. Tim is the creator of French Maid TV (which he describes as “videos that explain how to do something in a PG-13, Benny Hill kind of way”). FMTV was an early viral video podcast standout. Street brings to the table extensive experience in the old-media TV realm, as well as trailblazing work in Internet video, and he writes and lectures widely on the subject.

In the midst of an economic downturn that sees nearly every industry struggling, Street remarks that he is busier than usual. Deals that used to take six to twelve months to hammer out are closing much faster. “People see a huge opportunity to reach more customers for less money than with [traditional] TV [advertising].”

“Internet is better at motivating people to do something, over a long period of time, over the long tail,” Street explains. The ad-supported content is out there for the long haul, there are many more opportunities for viewers or listeners to take in your message. “But to get butts in [movie] streets this Friday night, TV is still advertisers’ best resource.” Internet video creators need to promote the value of their content from that perspective.

Producers of Intneret video also need to rethink their expectations of advertisers, and become conversant in the language of that industry, Street says. “Creative producers of video want someone to tap them on the head, pay them to go be brilliant.”

“Creative people seem to still think ‘sales‘ is a dirty word,” Street continues, “but ‘pitch‘ (as in ‘pitch an idea‘) seems okay to them. Pitch is the same thing as sales: you’re pitching your show to prospective advertisers!”

Video producers need to look at negotiating advertising deals “from the business side of the equation. You need to engage advertisers’ emotions, to want to buy your content.”

The advertisers are now the network. The advertisers are now the studio,” Street claims. “You need to pitch your show to advertisers, to sponsors, to brand managers. You need to educate them about how your videos can be useful to their brands.”

Online content producers need to understand the language of advertising, the unique terminology of the industry, Street insists. Producers also need to look to the “nuts and bolts” of entering into talks with sponsors, with “pitch tools” to get the word out about your video, including:

  • A media kit
  • Sales video – “pitch” video, if you will
  • Numbers – track your numbers, how many hits, where your views are
  • Demographics – do a viewer survey, so you know your audience demographic.

Cathy Brooks’ interview with Street also covers copyright issues, working with ad agencies, and other pertinent subjects, whether you work in audio, video, or even (gasp) prose. The link to the interview is here, and the complete “Get the Download” podcast series feed is here.

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