Web Video Producers: We're Pretty Sure There's A Business Here, Somewhere

Can anybody make any money in Web video? This is a recurring question for us, one we’ve been asking in different forms for much of the last year. Today’s answer, via Web analytics firm TubeMogul: Yes, maybe.

We asked TubeMogul how many of its users — video producers who want to see how their work is performing on mulitple platforms — are actively trying to make a buck — or a few pennies. So TubeMogul asked them, via a survey of 12,000 of its users.

The results: 51% are trying to make money from the video views they generate, and they’re not doing a terrible job at it either. Tubemogul’s users report that advertisers are paying an average CPM of $12 — that is, $12 for every1,000 views.

What about the other half of users, who aren’t trying to sell any ads or sponsorships at all? TubeMogul is wondering the same thing:

Worth pondering are the 48.4% surveyed that do not monetise their videos at all, despite
ubiquitous revenue-sharing programs that are easy and costless to join. Many of these
people commented that their videosareads (i.e. movie previews or corporate-seeded viral
videos), or they are putting out their content for fun (i.e. family videos).

The TubeMogul study is certainly not scientific, so there are plenty of caveats here: The numbers are self-reported. The reported CPMs don’t cleanly translate into revenue for the producers, since in most cases they’re sharing the dollars (or pennies) with video hosting sites like YouTube. Also, as TubeMogul points out, there seem to have been some reading comprehension issues: “some of those surveyed were confused about terms like “monetization” and “CPM,” jargon that is more esoteric than we assumed.”

Still, this industry is still very nascent. We’ll take incomplete and/or flawed data in lieu of no data at all.


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