The Ze Frank vs. Rocketboom video blog popularity contest sparked a lot of chatter this past week on how to best measure the value of web-based media shows (podcasts / vlogs / vodcasts / whatever). Is it possible that Ze Frank’s shows are worth more than Rocketboom’s, even though Rocketboom could have 10 times more viewers? Techcrunch, Robert Scoble, and Haydn Shaughnessy, among many others, all weighed in and offered their insight.
This discussion ties directly into what we believe is the most critical discussion for the media world right now.
As traditional print, radio, and television continue to spill onto the web, and as blogs, podcasts, and vodcasts begin their migration from the web back to traditional print, radio, and television (Rocketboom is now available on TiVo), producers and publishers have a real challenge in controlling and tracking content distribution — and its monetization — across all these intersecting channels.
Further, the democratization of media distribution that is currently taking hold — anyone can broadcast any content to anyone else in the world — creates an amazing opportunity as well as a very stressful environment for both copyright owners and publishers.
As Marshall at Techcrunch points out: “Ze Frank prominently asks his viewers to keep his videos out of sites like YouTube, presumably so he can track the numbers closely.” Meanwhile, Rocketboom is syndicating its shows as far and wide as possible.
Is there a way for copyright owners and publishers to leverage viral distribution of media on the web in a secure, controlled, and trackable manner? Is that media nirvana?