Find Balance Between Distribution and Destination

Even large networks like NBC, which launched Hulu, an online video service, know the importance of distribution versus creating a walled garden of content online. Placing content across video portals and communities has indeed proven to be a successful model for both content creators and brands alike. The question now is: How do we connect all the dots and build community across these networks?

Destination Site

One approach to this dilemma is to build a destination site that provides added value beyond just showcasing content. Hold a promotion that will drive participation and give viewers a chance to win something or to get a chance in the spotlight. Or create a useful new tool (or tools!) that let viewers engage around or within the content.
Most viewers are so comfortable in their chosen video portal community, the last thing you want to do is drive them away from your content in that space (and them talking about it), only to send them to a more heavily branded destination with nothing new! Giving them something in addition to entertainment will foster deeper discussions that will help connect the dots across distributed networks and help bring communities together.

Consider White-Label Technology Versus Building Something From Scratch

With all of the economic issues that are ahead of us in 2022, being smarter about how we build digital experiences is critical. That means finding creative solutions in technology rather than always starting from scratch.
With the explosion of Web 2.0 tools and software over the past five years, the problem is really choosing which one to go with rather than finding what is out there. Today, partnering with companies like
  1. Vimeo,
  2. Viddler

to create a branded video player is wiser than developing your own. Not only do they have better streaming solutions than most steaming providers, they also have plug-and-play functionality that often get overlooked when building from scratch.
The same goes for building applications and widgets. And even when creating social networks! For the former, using an existing white-label application that already has an audience is one way to guarantee adoptability. While you may have more control in building applications from scratch, there is always uncertainty around whether the functionality will be easily adapted.
Similarly, if a brand ever has the urge to build a social network or video community from scratch for a program, working with companies like Ning.
They allow for more creative flexibility and branding than existing video portals and communities, and they are more cost effective and faster solutions for your client than tasking an internal technology team in your agency to build. However, it is also important to consider the immediate audience you lose by not partnering with companies like YouTube and MySpace. Sometimes the extra creative control you get with white-label platforms is not worth the trade-off. And in the end, putting money into the production of great video content and building the promotion, activation and distribution components around that content to engage the audience is key.