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Media Intelligence : 2008 Intelligence
WebTV – Content is king Ian Gardiner, ManagingDirector of online broadcasting specialists, Viocorp, says that the demand for WebTV will continue to grow. How far out are we from seeing Internet TV as a reality in Australia? I don’t think right now it is that ready. The experience of things like Joost and YouTube is certainly not as good as it can be but most of that is down to broadband infrastructure. It is kind of the Achilles Heel where everything is dependant on it, everything is held back by it. Telstra and the government would like you to believe it is better than what the reality actually is. I can’t quite remember where Australia sits in the world broadband charts, but it’s not exactly doing well. It’s not just about the speed, but also availability, the price and the quality of service. You have these ridiculous download limits, we are paying about two or three times as much as we should be and you are restricted in terms of what the quality of delivery is. Most ADSL lines are shared between 20 or so people, which most people don’t know, so at busy times of day, of course it is going to be slow. What will make this attractive to advertisers? Viewers, is the short answer, and one of the good things about internet television is the way that it is producing niches. People who are passionate about something will watch it, and people who are passionate and are a captive audience are obviously very attractive to advertisers within that vertical. An example is a customer of ours, the South Sydney Rabbitohs. At souths.com.au there is a tonne of videos that we have helped them publish online. There is certainly a strong interest from sponsors to tap into that passionate niche audience. How are agencies responding to this kind of innovation? It is incredibly difficult to fi nd metrics around how much it costs to advertise on online video and part of that is because the market is so immature and there aren’t many people out there who are prepared to experiment and innovate with it. In some ways Australia is very conservative when it comes to trying new things. The agencies themselves will come up with creative ideas around a message, but I don’t think they are being that creative with the delivery mechanism for that message. I think that in 2008, we will start to see the innovative agencies being a lot more sophisticated with how they are selling video inventory and targeting people. I was going to say that fortune favours the brave, but I’m not sure it does, because it can be a dangerous place to play if you are fi rst as an agency. We certainly have the tools for agencies to use. We wish that more of them would! Viocorp has seen signifi cant investment recently. Things must be heading in a positive direction? Everyone wants video. That is the summary position here, but it is being driven by consumers, not agencies or advertisers. Ask an 18 year old what they watch on TV, and they will look at you blankly. They spent their time on Facebook and MySpace and YouTube, and if you drill down into what they are doing with their online time, a lot of it is video. Video is a driver. We found with the Souths’ site, when they put video content on it, the average visitor time spent went through the roof. It’s not really a surprise though, because that is relevant content which those guys are really interested in. That is what is driving it though. It’s not agencies, it is a demand driven thing. The supply is not being built. The demand is driving the supply. MEDIA Trends + Strategy 59