The videonet is here.
Data point: People upload 50,000 videos to YouTube every day. In turn, the site delivers 50 million video views each day. That’s huge.
One of the most useful panels at Supernova covered “the rise of the videonet.” One of the panelists, Mary Hodder of Napsterization, quoted some figures on video aggregation sites — more than 225 separate sites by her count — and she’s blogged some of those stats. Here’s an excerpt of how much video traffic the major aggregators command:
1. YouTube 42.94%
2. MySpace Videos 24.22%
3. Yahoo! Video Search 9.58%
4. MSN Video Search 9.21%
5. Google Video Search 6.48%
In addition to her Napsterization site, Mary is also CEO of a startup, Dabble.com, which will enable people to find, browse, and remix video online–regardless of whether it’s been posted at YouTube, Google Video, or wherever. Dabble is scheduled to launch in a few weeks.
One thing is becoming really clear to me: There’s a huge amount of energy and excitement around the creation and distribution of short-form video. It’s all over the place right now, and that means it’s incredibly hard to predict where it will go, what formats will work, who are going to be the big players. A lot of what works is just fun: Ask a Ninja, Mentos and Diet Coke, Where the Hell Is Matt. Cool stuff. But how do you find it? Word of mouth, mostly: Blog links, viral tactics (“share this video”), get-togethers like Vloggercon. Quality is all over the map. Standards are almost non-existent (why doesn’t anybody tell you how long a video is, in minutes and seconds, somewhere in the HTML describing it?). Tools for downloading video are often incompatible and incomplete.
All that is OK, and it’s too soon to start carping about inconsistency because the looseness allows a huge amount of innovation to happen in a short amount of time. But it is hard to find what you want. Given how dispersed the videonet is right now, I think there’s a huge opportunity for video search engines like Dabble. It’s engines like this that will make it possible to find videos, and in so doing will bring millions of people into the videonet as creators and as viewers. This is exactly how it happened when Yahoo opened the door to the Internet back in the mid-1990s.
And for those of us who are creating “content,” the trick is to figure out how to do it fast enough and fun enough.