Top 10 Investor Questions For Online Video Publishers

I continue to hear the same excuses over and over from start-up online video publishers about their failure to generate sufficient CPMs (Avg. $.25 cents to $1) to survive as a profitable business. Should the blame be directed at advertisers and their agencies or should the blame be directed at the publishers themselves? I believe there is still a huge online publisher problem that has been perpetuated by big media's continued dependence on brand advertisers and phony Nielsen TV audience measurement platforms.

During economic growth cycles advertising terms are dictated by big media publishers who sell impressions and scarcity. This recession is different for big media and may require publishers to become much more sophisticated about accountability, engagement and action. What would GM look like today if they had been smarter about spending billions of TV ad dollar on a performance basis?

This disruption in advertising dollars has created an emerging opportunity for sophisticated publishers regardless of size and scale who can target, segment, engage and create actions for their advertisers and agencies. Here are my top 10 questions I ask of any video publisher . . .

1) Do you produce any unique content for your network to create premium ad inventory?
2) What metrics are you using to sell and measure video engagement for your advertisers?
3) How sophisticated are you at selling your advertising direct versus through an ad network?
4) What techniques are you doing to engage your audience with rich media?
5) Are you segmenting and selling your audience to brand and direct response advertisers?
6) How are you using social media (Twitter, Facebook) to keep your audience engaged?
7) What analytics tools are you using to segment your inventory and sell ads efficiently?
8) How are you selling your remnant advertising?
9) Are you optimizing and routing your inbound viewer traffic?
10) What portion of your viewers / traffic comes from outside the U.S.?