Centro’s Summit in Chicago this week not only featured a positive outlook on national brands buying local online media, but also dealt with the impact of user-generated content and video on the local ad marketplace, and on the agencies themselves.
“Video is going to be huge,” but “just stick your ear to the ground to see what users are willing to do” with it, suggested Avenue A/Razorfish’s Matthew Wood. “No one says it has to be 15s and 30s,” he added, saying that directory-oriented infomercials up to four minutes might be more par for the course. “It is going to be very different two years from now than today.”
Wood’s remarks were seconded by Critical Mass’ Scott Shamberg. In fact, Shamberg said the emergence of online video is going to mark the return to relevance for TV networks, which are spreading themselves all over the Web with a host of different sites — especially CBS, which has stakes in Spot Runner, SportsLine, etc. But he isn’t looking at 15s or 30s either. “Video is meant to be a contextual play. Online video is going to be contextually relevant to the site itself. “
GM Plan Works’ Jeff Hughes predicted that the arrival of YouTube style, UGC video is going to prove totally disruptive to the agency business. Not that that’s a bad thing. “UGC is not just for consumers, but for markets as well,” he said. “With content on many platforms, we can’t get away with just being an ‘expert’ for online or print.”
“That’s why Google is getting into this space” by purchasing DoubleClick, he added. “The power of planning and acting (media) is going to end up with the companies themselves. So they’re going to need to be involved in content creation. That’s very different than the agency business,” which he pointed out, “has never been structured around the consumer.”