Thought Equity and WatchMojo See Opportunity in Online Video, Display Ads

Posted on 6/30/2008 by Julia Dudnik Stern | Printable Version | Comments (0)

Historically, video has been the domain of Hollywood and TV studios. The Internet has democratized video production, giving rise to user-generated and Web-only content. According to Thought Equity Motion and its client, these new content types have increased the options available to marketers and ad agencies. At the same time, they have caused a decrease in production budgets, fragmented target audiences and impeded attempts to monetize online video content. Thought Equity and say they have cracked the monetization code by combining resources to produce high-quality low-cost content designed to satisfy Web and out-of-home advertisers.

In late 2006, Bear Sterns outlined the online video paradigm. According to the company's media research team, aggregation and context-and not necessarily content-were set to become king in entertainment. Bear Sterns believed that the value was shifting from the content creator to aggregators and packagers.

Launched the same year, Montreal-based Mojo Supreme Network and its wholly owned subsidiary have carved out a niche in this now-booming market by creating, publishing and syndicating original video programming on broadband and out-of-home platforms. Thus far, the company has produced nearly 4,000 videos across popular categories, which include automotive, education, fashion, film, politics, sports and others.

Videos are one-to-three minutes long and are primarily in English, with some French and Spanish-language content already available, while German, Mandarin and other languages are planned in future. The clips are syndicated to dozens of file-sharing social networks and video portals, such as AOL, Blinkx, Brightcover, Daily Motion, Facebook, Google Video,, MySpaceTV, Yahoo! Video, Voxant and YouTube.

WatchMojo CEO Ashkan Karbasfrooshan explains the underlying business concept as creating premium, professionally produced video content on topics consumers seek out and advertisers pay to support. However, finding the fastest and most cost-effective way of bringing this product to market remained a challenge, until WatchMojo partnered with Thought Equity Motion.

Kevin Schaff, CEO and founder of Thought Equity, said WatchMojo was among the first to approach the motion-licensing company with the idea of topical, editorialized content not intended to promote a product or service. The thinking: there is a wealth of available content that, if combined with original content, grouped into popular channels and put into a story form, would be licensable.

The collaboration between two companies resulted in a series of sports-oriented videos that were written and produced by WatchMojo and used college-sports footage licensed and delivered by Thought Equity. Schaff said that Thought Equity enabled WatchMojo to produce content of higher quality than is typical for Web video. He also highlighted the importance of associated rights-clearance services. "Getting clearances for sports content can be tricky, and the intimidation of trying to wade through the licensing issues is enough for many producers to quit before they even get started. Thought Equity's abilities in this area unique-and it proved invaluable to WatchMojo in turning around their content," he explained.

Karbasfrooshan also stressed the breadth of Thought Equity's offering. "College sports footage... does not fit in the realm of traditional stock footage. Thought Equity goes well beyond stock," he said.

The two companies believe that the shift from traditional outlets to the Web, mobile and other out-of-home ad platforms will continue. Web-only video occupies the space between the sea of user-generated content and the tip of the segment's pyramid, occupied by converted film and TV offerings. Thought Equity and WatchMojo believe that the former falls short on quality of stories and production, while the latter is not diverse enough to satisfy topical interests of every customer segment.

The shift toward motion content does not necessarily mean a decrease in the stock photographer's bread-and-butter stills. The full spectrum of online advertising continues booming. WatchMojo says that the proliferation of broadband is as good for display and banner ads as it is for video content. In an increasingly visual culture, display advertising is set to take off. While online uses of imagery are typically in the lowest cost bracket, the segment is on its way to high volumes of image transactions. Microstock has definitively proven that low cost plus high volume is a very good thing.

Copyright © 2008 Julia Dudnik Stern. The above article may not be copied, reproduced, excerpted or distributed in any manner without written permission from the author. All requests should be submitted to Selling Stock at 10319 Westlake Drive, Suite 162, Bethesda, MD 20817, phone 301-461-7627, e-mail: wvz@fpcubgbf.pbz


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