Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Google’s Next Big Thing – Killing off the TV media business. More from interview with Rob Torres at PhoCusWright

Google hangs over every online industry conference. Their ability to deliver and take away traffic is unmatched. I have even argued that being Google friendly has overtaken being consumer friendly as the product development test for website design team

At this year's PhoCusWright conference TripAdvisor's Steve Kaufer said in jest "darn it everyone starts at Google, I want them to start at TripAdvisor". Google’s traffic dominance is here for so long as the search box is the number one starting point.

It was with this background Google's MD of Travel Rob Torres and YouTube's CMO Suzie Reider took the Center Stage of PhoCusWright to pitch the "Next Big Idea".

In a recent Tnooz post I included my notes from a post presentation 1:1 with Torres. In this post I will share my thoughts on the presentation itself.

The core of the next big thing from Google is actually close to the old big thing. Google was appealing to the audience and online marketeers to take advantage of the video assets of Google, the power of video as an advertising medium and (as Torres put it) to "stop thinking about [Google for] internet demand capture and start thinking about [Google as] a driver of brand awareness”. Put another way - use Google and use online video as brand building marketing channels rather than just looking for the direct marketing response metrics that has made search so powerful. While new for Google, the online marketer and media channel mix planner this is a clear move against old media- namely the TV advertising market. It is like a declaration of war by Google against TV stations with an air of "anything you can do I can do better".

Torres and Reider went on to describe a number of the new advertising and content products that were available in this shift. Not only is this a big challenge that Google is issuing to the TV industry (especially free to air), it is a big shift in the Google advertising mindset. In our interview later Torres stressed his belief that the dramatically lower CPM rates for online video advertising as against TV made TV ad spend an “ego buy” rather than a rational marketing decision. That said, he admitted that number of views is still the best measurement metric for online video advertising.

I think this is the right move for Google but will be full of challenges. They have the world’s most powerful online video asset and with PPC costs escalating they need to change the marketer’s mindset to one of brand over direct response. They have the reach and they have the video. But success will depend on providing a more advance measure for audience engagement than ratings or views. For marketers to make the switch from viewing search and online video as direct channel to a brand building channel they are going to need a prove brand growth. The tradditional media apporach of ratings and demographics will not be enough for the sales and data hungry online marketing executive. Google will need to develop a new and more detailed mechanism for proving the value of a view.

As a coda to this post - here is an extract of the stats quoted during the presentation:
  • Visits to travel sites up 12%
  • On average people 9 research session before bookings. Visiting 20.3 sites
  • 56% of frequent travellers visit video sites
  • 77% of internet users consume video (not sure how this works with above)
  • 13% of [online?] travellers have uploaded a video
  • 20 hours of video uploaded every minute to YT
  • 450mm – size of YT monthly audience
  • YT has 5000+ premium content partners (Nat Geo). They only serve adds on premium content providers
  • 40mm impressions per day on YT
  • 1 in 4 Internet users visit YT each month
Did not say where or how generated statistics.

1:1 interview with Rob Torres is here

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