Jan 1st, 1970
Of all the hurdles we've had to overcome in putting together the MyPod directory, probably the biggest puzzle has been trying to figure out the right balance between ads and content.
One the one hand, we need to pay the bills. Server space and bandwidth is expensive, marketing costs pile up, and we have employees who tend to like to eat now and then. We don't charge our content developers anything to put their videos on our network, and we don't charge audiences a subscription fee. So we really only have one way of generating revenue - showing ads before and during each video.
On the other hand, we don't want to overdo it, and we don't want to get in the way of viewing experience. The network is filling out nicely, with some really good content, and we want our audiences to be able to enjoy it with as few interruptions as possible. Plus, we know that online viewers have a very short attention span, and don't always have the patience to sit through a 15 or 30 second ad before they wonder off to another site.
So what's the right balance? It's hard to say, and personally, I'm always surprised by how resistant people are to online ads, even through they get to watch the content for free. After all, most of us pay ridiculous cable bills each month (I think I'm paying over $150 per month), and still have to sit through ads in between our favorite TV shows. But when it comes to watching on the Web, our attention spans seem to diminish pretty quickly.
It's doubtful we'll ever get exactly the right formula - we'll always be making changes to come up with the best balance. But one thing's for sure - our most important job is to create an enjoyable online network, and that's exactly what we're going to keep doing.