YouTube to Allow Long Video Content

A YouTube memo published on the Silicon Alley Insider announces:

You now will be able to upload and monetize videos in your account that are longer than 10 minutes. This feature is exclusively for partners. Independent Film makers that partner with us will now be able to upload their feature films on our site. Please note that for long form content, the maximum file size is 1GB.

The 1GB limitation, while not enough for 2 hours long movies or HD, should still be good for 1 – 1,5 hours of standard content.

Question is, how will this be monetized?

Currently, monetizing medium and long video content is very problematic – there are no industry standards, no unity whatsoever between what a publisher can do and what advertisers want. Additionally, owners of online video content seem to have problems in figuring out a good monetization strategy and are still just testing out waters. Some resorted to simply copy TV and resort to having lengthy pre-rolls, mid-rolls and/or post-rolls, not understanding that online video is a completely different scene than the traditional TV one.

Surely, some ad networks have pioneered solutions to monetizing video content (Videoegg, for example, and their pretty awesome overlay in-stream ads), but these are oriented more towards short video content. We still don’t know how to monetize a 1 hour long piece of video content and where is the balance between revenue generation and good user experience.

In my opinion, YouTube opening doors to medium and long video content will intensify efforts to find viable, sustainable monetizing solutions versus the ‘hit-and-run’ ones. Google’s in-video program, which is still closed, will probably be one of the major players. It’d be very interesting to see what follows and what the responses from major video content owners will be.