Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Eisner's New Playground

Well, Michael Eisner never ceases to amaze. After buying Topps baseball cards and securing a seat on YouTube competitor Veoh, he's launching a new web platform, Vuguru.com. You're probably sighing and asking why we need another YouTube, Revver, MetaCafe, Blip, and a whole other slew of video hosting platforms out there. Vuguru however is more than just a video hosting platform. It's a web content production company and will use the existing distribution that Veoh and YouTube have. And...they have signed up advertisers! ELLEGirl, FIJI Water, POM Wonderful, and Teleflora.com are among the first sponsors of Prom Queen, the first show that Vuguru is producing. Prom Queen comes from the pioneers of video podcasting, the team that brought you Sam Has 7 Friends.

So those are the facts. What does this mean? It's not quite clear yet how the sponsors are going to woven into the show OR if they will just sponsor each 90 second segment. (Similar to ABC.com's streaming prime time shows). Will there be post/pre/in roll? Banner Ads? I'm still a strong believer in product placement as evidenced from shows like The Apprentice and Sex in the City.

Still this is a big step in terms of trying to monetize content on the web. Advertisers will know what they are getting into as opposed to random user generated content that can be served up next to your ad on YouTube. Hopefully the web will also keep production costs down as Prom Queen is not likely to get as many streams as an episode of CSI, but the demographic may be better defined. But who knows...Eisner's performed many miracles in the past...this may be his latest.

Coupled with Google TV this could be an interesting play. If users want to comment, suggest, interact, etc, they would have to register and then Google's TV advertising arm would be able to serve up the relevant ads. I see as a more viable alternative than logging in everytime you want to watch the local news.

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