The deal between Broadway Video and Yahoo highlights the jockeying among companies that want to have a library of online videos to call their own. A dizzying number of online video producers are pitching their programs to advertisers this month, ahead of the traditional television upfront sessions in May. While these Web programs' quantity and quality are increasing quickly, there are doubts about whether the advertising dollars are.
"On one hand, digital video advertising is growing fast and its prominence is increasing," said Clark Fredricksen of the research firm eMarketer. "On the other, compared to television, online video is an incredibly competitive market, where you have more companies fighting over far less." Mr. Fredricksen's company estimates that $4.1 billion will be spent on online video ads this year, in contrast to $66.4 billion on television ads.
"There are a handful of major conglomerates that split revenues from the huge TV-ad pie," Mr. Fredricksen said, "while the digital video world features hundreds of companies fighting, comparatively, for scraps from the TV table."
Attaching, barnacle-like, to television might be a way to stand out from the crowd. Yahoo, which is trying for a turnaround under its chief executive, Marissa Mayer, has content-sharing relationships with many major media companies, but its video hub, Yahoo Screen, has lagged rivals like Google, which owns YouTube.
Reprinted from New York Times, April 2013