Kudzu Integrates Video From TurnHere

Cox Communications’ regional local search site Kudzu today became the latest to resell video production capabilities to its SMB advertisers.

The company had already offered the ability to show video along with business profiles or listings, but SMBs had to “show up” with their own video. This move essentially lowers the barrier and makes it decidedly more user friendly for Kudzu’s potential and existing advertisers to buy into video.

For TurnHere, this is the fourth major local search or IYP deal it has signed in the past 12 months (others were with Citysearch, YellowPages.com and Superpages). Its personal on-site production style (example here) has proved to be a hit with IYPs and their advertisers. It also received a $7.5 million round of funding in February.

As it continues to form these deals, the true scalability of its outsourced network of videographers will be put to the test (Spot Runner recently replicated this model in part). So far, it seems to be holding up. TurnHere has also recently streamlined its post production and customer service processes to avoid a bottleneck, and to be in sync with the rapidly growing libraries of video being shot.

In addition to deals TurnHere has been involved with, we’re seeing lots of interest in video from SMBs and, by extension, the IYPs and local search sites that serve them. Every major U.S. IYP is serving local merchant advertising. The demand is also beginning to permeate other media channels such as newspapers, radio and television station groups, and anyone else with local online assets.

As we’ve mentioned, a range of production techniques and their sliding scale of price points will be necessary for local search players to fit the range or budgetary needs in the SMB market. Among local video vendors, TurnHere is at the upper end of that price scale and has likewise appealed mostly to successful restaurants and professional services such as lawyers, dentists and doctors.

But a handful of other players (Mixpo, eLocalListing, Spot Runner) with different combinations of production techniques, distribution strategies and price points will also play important roles at different specialization points within this growing market.

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