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those of you with web shows

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grinner hesterthose of you with web shows
by on Feb 20, 2008 at 3:49:35 am

I reciently launched a web show and it's doing fantastic as far as views but being such a newism to advertisers, I find it challenging to sell sponsorships the same as a network or station would. While the views are more, the production value is better and we are not bound to 30 second spots, 100 percent of perspective show sponsors have wanted to pay less than what they pay for broadcast advertising. Other than what I just did in pointing out the obvious... better production value (because I am not doing free production to sell airtime) not being tied to half minute hard sales and offering more views than what local and regional spots can offer, how have you brought em to antying up more for advertising?
I have never been great at haggling but thats all I have done in starting this. I know it's new to them... wondering if any of ya have any soothing tips for perspective web show sponsors.

heres the show, if interested:

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KC AllenRe: those of you with web shows
by on Feb 20, 2008 at 4:04:45 pm

I also have a web show, and I'm experiencing the same thing. Advertisers aren't willing to pony up real money for web space because they're savvy - old savvy. Many advertisers are used to the pay-per-click infrastructure of traditional web advertising, and they think that it should always stay that way. If no-one clicks, I don't have to pay for it.

Advertisers also know that "viewership" can be audited better than TV. Sure, TV has Nielsen ratings, but the boxes are widespread and can be inaccurate regarding actual viewer numbers. The Internet, on the other hand, has a relatively accurate ability to track actual viewers, and new users as well. If their perceived TV audience is larger, then the Internet is still just a value-added opportunity.

One fledgling network I recently talked to boasted, "we broadcast to 10 million people in 14 states over cable and satellite", which are subscribed services. I broadcast to an unlimited amount of people worldwide, on demand, but can't get the same respect. Advertisers may also know that it costs you and I much MUCH less to host a web show as opposed to spending dollars on buying time on broadcast TV, which can start at $1,000 a week and up depending on the market. YouTube and MySpace have taken the ZAZZ out of web video and dumbed it down for the masses - that can't help serious producers either.

That being said, I can only offer this. The Internet is still an infant. It's continually evolving. Five years ago, video online was unheard of because of bandwidth and cost. Now look at it.

Similarly, advertisers are just starting to wake up to the potential. One ad on the Super Bowl cost $2.7 Million for 30-seconds, yet they can run over and over for free by comparison over the Internet, and they can show the spots that the Super Bowl said NO to, and get even more buzz.

As I read ten minutes ago in Ron L's column about Avid & Apple bowing out of NAB, I must repeat the phrase, "The pioneers get the arrows." We are on the starting wave of online content for specific audiences. Even the networks are using the medium for archiving only. Watch "The Office" on after the episode aired, but don't expect NBC, or Animal Planet, or TLC, or HBO to come up with original content for the web when the real money is in broadcast.

There will be a time when someone from one of the networks will have a light go off in their head and they'll say," ya know, we ought to do something original for the Internet." That light will eventually be the light at the end of the tunnel, which will lead others to finally realize that the future is coming and that they'd better get ready. As a side note, now that writers are going to be paid for Internet residuals, the chances of content being created for the web has just grown exponentially.

Until then, stick to your guns, don't relegate yourself to "value added", because if it has value it should be paid for. If they're not willing to pay for it, don't let them on. I had a guy try to pull a fast one on me - he said, "let me try it out for 6-months. I'll look at the traffic I get, and if it looks good, I'll stay with you." I said, "let me have your product for free. If I like it, I'll pay for it in six months. If not, I won't."

They're not a client of mine, but that's work I didn't have to put in to a client that ultimately would have screwed me anyway.

KC Allen
Allen Film & Video

"Who's the more foolish? The fool, or the fool who follows?"

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Mike CohenRe: those of you with web shows
by on Feb 20, 2008 at 4:30:33 pm

Let me see if I understand. The advertisers pay you for product placement in the videos?
Or is each episode sponsored by an advertiser?
Seems like an interesting idea.
Do you promote the website using traditional internet marketing techniques?

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grinner hesterRe: those of you with web shows
by on Feb 20, 2008 at 6:50:49 pm

I will say yes to traditional marketing. I do not buy banners in that traditional sense but the automotive world is very viral and word of mouth is my greatest asset. I represent at events nationwide and brand with decals, t-shirts and a presence on automotive forums.
Whats cool about what I do is I do not sell products. I simply show them and offer some linkage. This takes the hard sale out of it and brings the authenticity they require to the table.
I began by doing videos for car parts. Now, I am open to anything from product placement to my wearing their logos while doing stand ups to features on their company or products.
I have already broken the capital rule in haggling. I had to to get started though. I don't hagle with post-production clients because I truely would rather them sit it out so I can work on this. As you can imagine, that resulted in endless bookings. It's the same mentality as a 9th grade boy frothing over the head cheerleader and asking her out to a point it irritates her vs the cold quiet guy who snubs her then gets to, well you get it.
I have not been able to stick my chest out like this with this endevor yet. I know if I did, I'd have no sponsors and no content. I have done trade deals, cheap gigs and endless freebies on this for over 3 years. I see the potential. I guess this is where frustration comes from.

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Mike CohenRe: those of you with web shows
by on Feb 20, 2008 at 7:07:31 pm

I see, so it is subtle. Maybe the viewer sees the XYZ company logo on a hat, maybe they don't.
Are you not offering commercial style ads, such as "This segment is sponsored in part by Ray's Catalytic Converter Emporium - Insert Catchy Slogan Here" like on NFL games or whatever?

I suppose you could take your Google analytics stats and show prospective advertisers your numbers.

You might make some demo movies showing the different methods of featuring advertisers. What about you in front of a greenscreen, giving a 15 second newsmagazine style intro to the episode, and say "we'd like to thank Bob's House of Bling for their support of this episode" and show some b-roll from their store or whatever in the background and their logo.

Perhaps send potential supporters a DVD featuring some of your episodes, and the advertising options.

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grinner hesterRe: those of you with web shows
by on Feb 20, 2008 at 8:49:48 pm

I never do the "brought to you by" vibe as that becomes a sales pitch and sends enthusiasts/viewers running. I really like to keep it not only a reality feel but almost a home movie vibe. The more unpolished the better in the respect.
While I know this is part of my struggle now, I know this will be my biggest selling point later on.
brings us to a catch 22 situation, huh?
gravitate to old tactics to ensure revenue to lose the biggest selling point later or stick to my guns and wait for the market to catch up to me.

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Mark SuszkoRe: those of you with web shows
by on Feb 21, 2008 at 5:27:08 pm

The comment by the traditional broadcaster boasting an audience of millions is basically a lie and misses the point. He's sending out a show to a ***potential*** audience of that many, ***assuming*** each of them tuned in to that one show at a particular point in time. Neilsen aside, your CPM (cost per thousand) is high there because you're "shotgunning" the cable Tv subscribership in a sea of other channels. I'd be surprised if that guy had one percent of the actual audience watching. Back when I was a manager of our college radio station, I could boast we were in a number three market with a potential audience of three million people. Yeah right; if every one of them tuned to the far left of their FM dial to pick up our puny 10-watt signal, even ten watts in downtown Chicago is "potentially" reaching millions of people.

The great thing about an internet show is, it's not PUSH media like old style TV broadcast, it's PULL: your audience is self-selecting, people who care enough about the modded cars or whatever to seek out and click on, to CHOOSE to watch the show. People who can select a subscription to the show and automatically download and SAVE it for REPEAT VIEWING via iTunes or etc. To any advertiser, this is a huge difference in the quality of the audience he gets for his ad dollar. These are pre-qualified sales prospects and more directly addressable via services like Google AdWords and analytics, and he's not sharing them with anybody else...

Think about the fact you could add interactivity, things like viewer surveys or voting to the podcast very easily, with quick turn-around on results. Your advertisers could use that to research the potential buyers directly for new and existing products and services, to test market a new gadget, get real evaluations of rival products. Tap into the user's brand culture directly, not just by inferrence like ad agencies do. Instead of guessing what appeals to the customers, you sit back and let them TELL YOU.

And most important, reach local opinion-makers in the car fan community. Recent experiments mentioned on the net showed it only takes maybe five outgoing and charismatic opinion leaders in a random group of 200 strangers to steer all 200 any way you want. If your show hosts and guests can get the attention and respect of your target audience, (via good production values, relevant and timely info, and entertainment value) your show gains a leverage all out of proportion to it's size. Way better deal than the broadcast guy who is "reaching" 80-year-old shut-ins, soccer moms, people without cars, people who hate car culture, etc. along with a handful of scattered "perfect" target market types.

I think if you negotiate from that position of strength, you might do better, Grinner. Anybody with a relevant podcast focused tightly to one constituency would.

And you're right to be playing it non-obvious with product placement and mentions. You can always put links at the end of the 'cast to a web page with details of all the sponsored/ underwritten materials and services. That's where your synergy with Google adwords and analytics pays off. That's where you put the new survey questions every week and publish feedback comments from the audience.

Having the content people wear subtle logos on camera is okay, the fans wear logo wear too. It also acts as a subtle disclaimer saying "this guy is a xyz factory guy, so that colors everything he says". Its in how you handle the banter with these reps on the screen that makes a huge difference between lame infomercial and "inside baseball" industry gossip and secrets people want. People can smell a canned sales spiel, its the part that kills many a locally produced amateur informercial. If you can walk that delicate line, where you're more like a talk show and less like an infomercial, you really will grab 'em.

Good luck with it!

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grinner hesterRe: those of you with web shows
by on Feb 22, 2008 at 1:38:08 am

thaks dude. I appriciate ya

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