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Video: Will Metadata Drive the Future of Online Content Monetization?
Video Genome Project's Xavier Kochhar and Jump's Suzanne Rainey debate the future viability of different online content monetization strategies in this clip from their panel at Streaming Media East 2018.

Learn more about ad insertion and content monetization at Streaming Media's next event.

Watch the complete video of this panel, B201: Must-Have TV: Direct-to-Consumer and the Future of Video Distribution, in the Streaming Media Conference Video Portal.

Read the complete transcript of this clip:

Xavier Kochhar: It wasn't helpful what just happened on the Hill with Facebook. The best in the business have been Facebook and Google, and Facebook probably a little more--you could see the distinction because you had content. At least with Google, when they targeted you directly, it kind of got all mixed and jumbled up because you were using their products. On the Facebook platform, it was content, and then boom, there's an ad that kind of has nothing to do with the content, but wow, it's somewhat relevant to me, you know?

That game has been going on for several years. I think the public has just realized how deep that game is, and there's a lot of money to be made there. The metadata exists. That metadata, ironically, is actually easier to get. Ironically, that metadata on us is easier to get because we leave metadata everywhere, and not just the kind that we leave and we don't consent. I'm talking about the kind that we consent. Amazon's very good at it. Amazon, Facebook, Google, and part of the reason why those companies happen to be good is because they have the metadata at scale. Even if we had metadata on everyone in this room, what could we sell it to? We could only sell it to a relatively small universe of advertisers, if we wanted to go hyper-personalized targeting. The reason why these giant-scaled closed platforms are in the best position to do that is because they have a lot of metadata.

The regulations, like the European regulations that now we're adopting a version of them here, or we probably will, I think that it remains to be seen. The tech is there. The tech is there, the targeting is there, the metadata is there. In some ways, I actually think it's more effective. I haven't fully yet landed on what I think. Do I believe content should be devoid of advertising? Is it better for you, as a user, to just pay for your content, either subscription or transactionally, and then just be targeted in some other way, or is it better for the advertising to be mixed in with the content? I think it maybe depends on who we are. But everything's there, all the pieces are there.

Suzanne Rainey: I agree. It completely depends on the user, and the user's choice. Do they want to watch content without ads, or do they want to watch it with ads? And there's a huge demand for content with advertising, which is surprising, because personally, I don't. But on Hulu the majority of people choose to use ads.

Xavier Kochhar: I think everybody wants to watch content with no ads, it's just if no one wants to pay—

Suzanne Rainey: I think that people are becoming cognizant of "It's a choice and I can pay.”

Xavier Kochhar: But there's a third choice, which is "You don't have to pay for the content because you'll pay with your data.” There’s “You get this content for free, but watch the ads in the middle, or integrated, or pay for the content." Now, there's those two, and the third, which is, "Don't pay for the content. Don't worry about it, we got your data, we'll figure it out some other way." There’s the rub.

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