Saturday, October 28, 2006

Ask A Ninja About Video Advertising

Kent Nichols of Ask A Ninja recently shared his thoughts on advertising for web video on the Yahoo! Videoblogging list:
I mean as we can all see through the YouTube sale, someone is getting rich off of the stuff we're creating, and that certainly isn't us.

Even when you sorta passively agree to a TOS you're allowing someone else to make a buck off of your work. There is a tradeoff -- if I had to pay for the bandwidth bill for I wouldn't be here today, or I would have already had to make a deal someone bigger.

When I hear about the crappy deals that people have been signing it makes me sick. A major studio just approached us to create a custom piece for them, fully licensed and released, for $500. And I know that people will take that -- but come on, the legal bill for accepting an offer like that is going to be ten times that.

Also there's a huge issue of where user generated video becomes work for hire. Meaning at some point you as the producer become responsible for production insurance and, horror of all horrors, Errors and Omissions insurance. Both of which aren't cheap.

Just don't sell cheap -- these are Fortune 500 companies that spend billions of dollars a year to promote and advertise themselves. If it doesn't feel right -- SAY NO. or ask for help from someone like UTA.

If you're going to become a business, those mundane businessy details will come back to bite you someday, so build them into your budgets.

No one wants to make a video for $500, and then be sued by someone who feel libeled by your creation for $10,000,000 (something that is a possibility).

Sobering thoughts.


  1. Anonymous2:08 AM

    Bravo, so so true.

  2. Good points, Kent. And have I three thoughts:

    1) With the talent you Ninja guys have there should be no excuse to work for peanuts.

    2) Over the years I've seen E&O insurance go from almost non-existent to a predominant necessity thanks to lawsuit-happy attorneys.

    3) Ultimately I think our fees are in the hands of our audience. However, I've noticed they seem to have a fear of clickthrough ads. My other sites have a 10% clickthrough rate. The Blogger audience seems to be about 2%. Maybe we need to let them know we won't be able to produce entertainment without their clickthrough support.

  3. Anonymous2:44 PM

    Very helpful, thanks for pointing out I read in Frank Barnako that he was trying for a deal. Any updates?