Super-syndication (or hyper-syndication, depending on your preference) was a big buzzword in the online video world a few years back. The web allowed content creators to reach out to audiences everywhere and anywhere they were, rather than making audiences come to the creators. But is this shotgun blast approach still the best distribution strategy for content creators looking to build an audience? Just because you can post a video anywhere, does that mean you should?
Though the number of online video sites that attract a mass audience is dwindling, there are still plenty of options for content creators to share their work with the world. Of the free sites, YouTube is by far the biggest, but there’s a gaggle of other video hosts including Dailymotion, Vimeo, Revver and Viddler. There are more specialized sites like blip.tv, which focuses on web series, and Funny or Die, which is all about comedy. And then there are premium content sites like Hulu that carry select web series.
If you ask Mike Hudack, CEO of blip.tv, content creators should get their content up on as many of those options as possible. “It’s very little additional work to distribute to the entire Internet, and I don’t see any reason not to do that,” he said “There’s nothing wrong with getting a few incremental views on this platform or that platform.”
On the face of it, that seems like a reasonable strategy. If it’s free to upload everywhere, why not? It can only add to your playcount, and it doesn’t cost you anything. But not everyone in the industry sees it that way. The emerging question is whether it’s the size of your audience that matters, or what you do with it. Video views were the easiest way to establish some success yardstick in the online video world. But the ways video sites count plays varies, and just because someone starts watching a video doesn’t mean they finish watching it.