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Gartner Sees $1.5B for Web Studio Video by 2012

Gartner put out a report this week on so-called “protail” video content, estimating that worldwide advertising revenue for “the segment between professionally produced content and user-generated content” would exceed $1.5 billion in 2012, up from $75 million in 2008.

Some thoughts:


– The definition of “protail” content doesn’t really satisfy me. According to the release it includes Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog, which I very much consider to be “professionally produced.” Further detail on the definition includes “higher-quality production and content produced in a more consistent or episodic manner…how-to, scripted sitcoms, scripted dramas, new forms of reality programming, niche news and lifestyle content (travel, food/cooking).” That means just about anything that isn’t personal sharing, viral vids, or ripped versions of TV shows, right? Gartner clarifies that “digital studios can create four-minute protail episodes for between $2,000 and $5,000” — but then that doesn’t apply to Dr. Horrible, whose costs totaled six figures.

– $75 million is NOT a lot of money. Beyond the general economic malaise, no wonder so many folks are laying off people and cutting back plans. But…yay! $1.5 billion sounds very nice, thank you.

– Gartner’s Allen Weiner REALLY feels there’s a hole in the market for “‘clean, well-lit places” for this protail content. His proposed alternative to big sites like YouTube and Yahoo Video would help connect advertisers to content, and make it easier for consumers to find good content. This idea seems a bit shaky — it’s not like video portals out there such as Crackle, Veoh and Metacafe aren’t doing their best to figure out whatever needs they can address. And meanwhile Revver, probably the closest thing to what he’s talking about, seems to be down again this morning.

– One interesting, but somewhat unsatisfying, tidbit: Gartner was able to extract an exact number of views for Dr. Horrible, something we haven’t had much luck with. According to the report, “A one-week run on advertiser-supported netted more than 1.1 million streams.” Was that the first week, though?

7 Responses to “Gartner Sees $1.5B for Web Studio Video by 2012”

  1. Allen Weiner


    Please consider the fact that this thread is based on what was gleaned from the press release on our report, not the more comprehensive report itself. As such, it may seem superficial but the report goes into much more detail related to your points.

  2. “Protail” really seems like a made up category that doesn’t really mean anything. It’s even worse than the vague and inaccurate “User Generated Content.”

    Is there really a “segment between professionally produced content and user-generated content”? Is Allen Weiner suggesting that “higher-quality production” can’t be professional if it’s made for the internet?

    What about our show at I consider it professional content because I’m a professional that’s making it. Our audience sees it as professional too. They comment on that all the time. It’s not in-between anything except perhaps an analyst’s preconceived perceptions.

  3. As the executive producer of a non-linear network known as The Legal Television Network, I am observing a shift toward network-quality video. At present, consumer generated video is all the rage in a medium whose adoption curve skews toward younger viewers. But it hardly requires a crystal ball to predict that, as these viewers age and graduate to a more complicated set of responsibilities, they will look to this medium for a broader cross-section of programming. Still, I’m not sure that it will grow at the incredible rate forecast in Gartner’s study. (but we’ll be happy with our share of the $1.5 Billion).

  4. The “pro-tail” or “semi-pro” segmentation is something I’ve been trying to get a handle on for some time. Does Gartner have market sizing on this? Obviously they are seeming enormous growth in this area to go from $75 M in ad rev to $1.5B in 4 years.
    These content providers will look for maximum distribution and I agree with the observation that they will get lost in larger sites such as “YouTube”. A site targeting such content will be key. The issue with Veoh, Revver have been is that their content acquisition has been a “me-too” strategy – allow everyone to get in, a la YouTube. To build a compelling play in this space we need to differentiate on the content ingest side – ensure that tail content doesn’t get in ….

    On another note, what CPM is being used in these calculations?