SpotMixer: Room for an Open, Crowdsourced Video Ad Business Model?

by Ostatic Staff - Jan. 07, 2009

Our sister blog NewTeeVee has an interesting item up today on SpotMixer, which has just secured $9 million of venture financing from some heavy VC hitters. SpotMixer is focused on allowing grassroots production and distribution of video-based online advertisements and viral marketing clips. It's an arm of One True Media, which focuses on combining photos and videos with effects for professional looking results. I knew about SpotMixer early on in its development, and my very first thought about it was that it would work best either as an open source/crowdsourced effort, or with a crowdsourced slice to it. Here's why.

Look at the data for online video consumption and it's clear that its success extends as far as the eye can see. In fact, some researchers are predicting that most of the content we consume on the Internet will be video- and image-based soon. However, the advertising market for online video is not healthy, and a primary reason for that is simply that potential advertisers often don't have video advertisements to serve up.

That's part of what SpotMixer is focused on--supplying tools for producing grassroots video advertisement and marketing assets. However, wouldn't principles drawn from the open source and crowdsourcing arenas work best here? There are a lot of skilled video editors out there, and the majority of them aren't professionals anymore. Just as services such as oDesk allow people with tech skills to hook up with global employers for online jobs--often short-term, mission-critical ones--there could be room for crowdsourcing the creation of highly, creative video advertisements that don't cost much to have produced.

I concede that I am probably missing some of the online marketplaces for videographers who are perfectly willing to do advertisements, but that's part of the point: Why am I missing them, and why can't a mashup of their skills and online templates and the like lead me to a quick, inexpensive, cool ad? There is no clear, well-known place for people who want creative, inexpensive online video advertisements to go--not one with a strong brand. It strikes me that an open, crowdsource-focused effort in this area could easily generate the kind of buzz and funding that SpotMixer is getting.

I want a slick, funny, persuasive video ad. I don't want to spend much, and I want somebody with more skills than I have to produce it. I don't just want the templates that SpotMixer hands me, and I don't want to jump through expensive ad agency hoops. That's the target customer for this idea. It seems to me that a combination of good open source software tools and templates online plus a crowdsourced video creation model--perhaps where I pay only if I am pleased--could be a winner here.