An interesting article in BusinessWeek points out that as more professionally produced content comes online, user-generated video is becoming less interesting to viewers, and accordingly, advertisers. Way back when Viacom sued YouTube to protect what was thought to be widespread infringement on their copyrighted material, YouTube’s self assessment indicated that the majority of their content was not pirated. Now that more professional producers are getting into the act, online video and social sites such as Bebo who recently opened up their pages to big media companies, are raising the bar to lure and engage viewers longer as the big media companies themselves are launching their own sites to feature their productions.
“People would rather watch content that has production value than watch their neighbors in the garage,” says Matt Sanchez, co-founder and chief executive of VideoEgg. ManiaTV recently canceled its user generated channels altogether, saying the 3,000 channels didn’t pull in enough viewers and that 80 percent of the users were going to professional content that featured celebrities. Maybe Amanda and ZeFrank retired at the right time.