Mark Cuban wrote an excellent post a couple of days ago about the next iteration of Youtube. This quote was interesting:
So what does this mean? I think it's about this concept of long tail advertising. I think these comments in the entry are onto something.
I'm struggling to imagine a scenario where it ever makes sense to advertising to the fringe - especially in this era of long tailness.
What is the era of long tailness? We are in or approaching a place where search, social and community all work together to find birds of a feather and connect them. It's pretty clear that the farther down the tail you are, the easier it is to find your friends - the searches get that much more precise, and the communities are that much smaller and more specific.
So - if the farther down the tail you go, the more precisely the community can be defined, what's the point of advertising (which by definition is an imprecise, un-targeted tool for "spray" reach)?
So how does this connect back to Mark's blog? Well - I think the situation for Youtube is more dire than Mark thinks. On the assumption that his premise is true (i.e. most everyone who posts on Youtube has an ulterior motive - either revenue or notoriety), then how will they be gratified?? Having scanned some recent postings on Youtube (over the last hour), the majority are decidedly long tail, and very far away from interesting any large, "sprayable" demographic.
So why advertise to that audience via Youtube at all?? I think Mark's overestimating the willingness of advertisers to put $$ against these audiences. If I were in their shoes, I'd use alternate means to reach my audience, and what's more of the three I mentioned above (search, social and community), I'm going to find myself starting with search, but quickly moving to the other two, since at some point, they'll find me via social and community. I won't need to go looking for them.
And that's when I'll use a different form of advertising than the traditional Google model.
I wonder if we're beginning to approach the point at which what is a brilliant business model (Google's) starts the journey towards the way of the TV ad?