Fan Fare

Entertainment behind the scenes

Web video viewership up, but where’s the cash?

August 14, 2009

Viewership of online videos has continued to rise, as the Nielsen Company showed in a study released this week. As everyone knows, the online video market is far short of delivering solid profits for media and entertainment companies, but one analyst expects the market to reach a critical mass in

U.S. Web users spent an average of 212 minutes watching online video in the month of July, an increase of 42 percent compared to the year before, the Nielsen study said. The latest spike in online video viewing for July also marked a 12 percent increase over the month before.

Time spent watching, a division of Google Inc was up 39 percent. At, a website owned in part by NBC Universal, Fox Entertainment Group and ABC network, time spent watching online video was up 34 percent.

The numbers are encouraging for websites that show and produce online video, but the industry has been largely unable to generate profits because of low advertising rates and consumer reluctance to pay for content.

Dan Rayburn, an online video expert and principal analyst at Frost & Sullivan, said the spike is the latest of “several sudden surges” that have occurred in the sector.

But he added that sustained growth will depend on more consumer adoption of technology to make watching online video easier, such as the Roku player and game device Xbox 360.
“We need to wait really until sometime in 2011 until some of these numbers start to add up,” Rayburn said.


Not everthing has to cost money. The so-called producers of these videos need to either stop producing them, or find companies to advertise on their sites. I will never pay for online video feeds. I’m surprised some company hasn’t started trying to charge us for the air that we breathe!

Posted by Frank | Report as abusive

There are some great art video sites out there that seem to be driven more by love than money. is one of those sites. They proclaim that they are an open source joomla based community portal with over 1000 artists from over 80 countries.

Some others are and

How do we get these artists paid? They deserve it.

Posted by Arrin | Report as abusive

I will and do pay for original content online, but the ammount of original content is still too small to make a good business model. I think the tip jar and fundraising drives, along with merchanizing where you can are the only vectors available for online content producers to make cash for their work.

Some online cartoonists like Chris Muir operate on doantion and merchandizing. I also consider my “subscription” to PJTV a donation since almost all of it’s content is available free. I am just too damned fair minded to freeload like Frank on other peoples work without dropping something in the box or buying something. Besides, if too many people freeload, the content goes bye-bye.

Posted by Brian Epps | Report as abusive

Good article on general terms.
I had a bitter experience on this operation.I have paid from my credit card for one year music with daily free downloads from a well known American music website.
One day,unknowingly,i have asked audio books,for that they have taken some amounts from my credit card.
Then,i have realized it with serious ways,asked for refunds,but no concrete response from them.
I have lost heavily on this online payment system.
Neither i am listening or getting any messages from them.
How to show my anger,only the way -cancellation of that credit card.
Now a days,i am getting lot of songs at the time of surfing the networks.
Back to point,of course online video business may flourish in America,England,Germany,Australia and in some western countries.
Due to economic slow down,not much scope of jobs in immediate struggling economic nations,many music lovers will try to spend money online video by lesser extents.
Because of more net users,online video business may bring some temporary revenues.


How would anyone know whether people would be willing to pay for content? No site has every offered decent content at a decent price. I pay for Netflix, why not online content? Would I be willing to pay $5 for access to an entire season of a show? Sure. Would I pay $2 per one hour episode of a TV show? No way.

Someone needs to either try a reasonable subscription model similar to Netflix or try a reasonable price, like $1 per hour or two. This would be a similar price to what I pay at Netflix. My Netflix subscription generally gets me 40-50 hours of DVD video per month for $21.

Posted by Ethan | Report as abusive

I pay for internet service, I pay for cable TV, I pay for cell phone service, I pay online subscriptions, I pay to rent or buy movies, I pay, I pay, I pay. I don’t think I will pay for online videos. Videos serve a great purpose for making our time on the internt more enjoyable and easier but asking me to pay for them is asking too much.


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