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Home  > Article

Opportunity Abounds in Online Video

By Andrew Reis
Talent Zoo

The online video industry is exploding with opportunity right now. For advertisers, content producers, consumers and, yes, even jobseekers. But you should be aware of a few trends that are emerging and being discussed within the broadband video industry. Your point of view can have a dramatic impact on where you look for jobs in the online video space.

There is a wide variety of content providers and distributors on the Web, ranging from your traditional broadcasters to large aggregators and distributors of content and independent producers of all shapes and sizes. There are literally dozens- if not hundreds - of video sites creating new 'webisodes' and other series exclusively for the Web, turning video bloggers and regular Joes into online celebrities. And you can't ignore YouTube and the incredible amount of user-generated video that is empowering anyone to be seen and heard online. MySpace and Facebook and other social networking sites are taking relatively obscure bands and launching them into stardom. But you'll need to consider why not all advertisers want to be associated with that kind of content.

Video mash-ups allow a user to rearrange pieces of video to suit their tastes. Mainstream music video sites are allowing users to create their own versions of music videos; major brands are letting people produce their own versions of commercials; and to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the release, George Lucas even let people recreate scenes from Star Wars. And of course, you can share them all virally with your friends to show off your creative talent.

Another discussion in the online video industry revolves around advertising and specific ad formats. Are advertisers and consumers better served by pre-roll advertising, which emulates the television experience, or are other forms of advertising more effective and attractive to users?

So what's this got to do with hunting for a job? Well, your feelings about different types of online video and how you like to be marketed to can mean the difference between loving your job and wishing you were back in a windowless cube-farm crunching numbers.

When considering a career move into the online video space, ask yourself a few questions about your video consumption habits to make sure you follow the right path.

If you are constantly on the lookout for the next big star, you could explore opportunities with some of the newer, exclusively online production companies. Did you know there are celebrity gossip and pop culture news shows created entirely in virtual worlds? Amanda Congdon, the original host of Rocketboom, a video blog that began with just 700 viewers, now has her own weekly podcast on ABC, is the web correspondent for Good Morning America and is developing her own show for HBO.

Do you watch a lot of user-generated content? Do you spend hours watching videos of dogs skateboarding? Dropping candy in soda bottles to see what happens? If so, social networking and media may be for you.

And what about advertising? Remember all the hype surrounding the user-generated Super Bowl commercials? The big game may have passed, but there are a number of technologies that allow companies to create brand engagement opportunities, video sharing, branded communities and more. Did you create your own video for Pringles or Doritos or Chevy? If so, there could be a job waiting for you.

The caveat, of course, is to make sure you believe in what you are doing. If you can't stand those commercials that come before a news clip or music video, you probably should avoid working for a company that sells them. You should explore some of the newer interactive advertising opportunities instead. You don't want to go to work for one of those pop-up companies, do you?

The good news for job hunters and lovers of online video is that the industry is growing by leaps and bounds almost daily. New companies are entering the market with new technologies and new ideas that are revolutionizing the way we consume and monetize video on the Web, on our phones and on that big old box we call a television. More good news for job hunters: because of all of this growth, there are more jobs available than talent to fill them. Good people are harder and harder to come by, and talent becomes more expensive to hire and keep.

You've got plenty of choices of where you might want to work and will probably be able to get a better salary than you might have originally thought. Since job hunters are more empowered and are able to be more selective about their jobs than ever before, take the opportunity to decide where you think the online video market is headed. Then send out your resume. is the online destination for both job seekers and employers in the communications industry. It's also a must for up-to-the minute content on industry trends, news, career guidance, or just to schmooze. Find a better life with Talent Zoo (

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