Baidu’s online video platform
Online video streaming is a really huge market if we look at November’s statistics. 170 million people viewed 180 videos (the average number) during that month so a really big number.
Baidu (which is the company owning the biggest search engine in China) has announced a fusion with Providence Equity Partners (which is one important investor of the US video sharing website Hulu) to create an online video portal focused on the Chinese market. This portal will offer professional content as TV shows and different events being broadcasted on different themes. The solution is expected to be released in the first quarter of 2010.
The idea came up as the Baidu team studied what type of content is being searched using their platform and they observed an increased demand of HD video content. There are two important advantages they have in building a solution like this. First they control more than 60% of the search engine market in China and second , this country is the biggest online market (almost 1/3 of the whole Internet users population).
Baidu is financing another project called PPLive which is a Chinese website based on the same concept. (it is streaming licensed videos for free).
At the moment even if YouTube is bigger than Hulu the trend seems to be in Hulu’s advantage because viewers preffer to watch commercial video content and this is where they have valid licenses to stream this type of video. This may be another reason for creating the Chinese version of Hulu in this format.
Online video portals have a big impact now on the Internet and here is another article in depth talking about this concept. Have a look HERE.
And now I will explain you why streaming video can be a good solution to boost your business and how you can use video files to advertise yourself. Here are a few important reasons:
1. It is free for the viewers accessing the video streams (Hulu for example is free but there are some other premium services charging for renting the videos – This type of service is called pay per view).
2. It offers a clear message of what you need to communicate to the audience. Videos can point viewers to follow indicated directions better than a written message which takes more time (they need to read it first, understand it then take a decision).
3. You can approach the audience in a very natural way. For example a video file can have a bigger impact if the message is presented by a human rather than being forced to read a very long text message.
4. The video message needs to be short enough not to get people bored. People don’t really have the time to read all the details. You need to provide just enough information making easier for the user to understand what the website is offering and what is the first step to be made in order to get started. Also it’s a web usability thing, if they leave and want to acess your website again they need to feel confortable browsing and understanding the messages.
5. It is shareable. By having an embed code the video can be shared on different places such as social media websites to spread the word about your business.
You can generate revenue streaming videos online and actually there are several portals doing this. The pay per view concept is presented with a few relevant examples HERE.