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TubeMogul Marketplace = Wow (The Game Continues To Change)

The Tube Mogul Marketplace launched this morning. This one is a major major game changer – and something producers need to examine, and be part of. TubeMogul is so much more than “the free Traffic Geyser” now.

The concept is simple (we’ll hit the implications in a minute). They call it “a dating site” for online video producers and advertisers. It is a place to see aggregate numbers for players in online video where the numbers that matter are the numbers in total – something we all should be looking it.

To give you an idea of it’s power, first visit Chris Pirillo’s profile. Chris is an online video madman and has the numbers to prove it. But notice this: 97% of his audience comes from YouTube – nothing bad (and impressive numbers) but let’s talk the “bigger world” here.

(As of the time I wrote this) just under Chris in numbers (in the Tube Mogul Top 40) is the always fascinating iJustine. YouTube is just 35% of her audience. Where most would just compare YouTube to YouTube numbers and call Chris the clear “winner” (not that these two are in any kind of battle (of course they are going for the same demographic)) but this isn’t the case at all. iJustine is everywhere, and has the numbers to prove it.

She’s always been that way but now she can do what she does best – produce content. She can now just point people to her marketplace page to show advertisers her reach.

So there are 2 sides to this Marketplace: the “buyer” and the “producer” (my terms – not TubeMogul’s). I want to talk both of them here.

The obvious game here is advertising. Those “buyers” looking for properties to hawk their wares on need a place to get (verifiable) numbers on who is doing what. They can do no better than the Marketplace. If you notice on the home page, they can even search by audience and category (although those contact points are entered by the producer so review accordingly).

But where this get’s really interesting for me is in the producer side of the house.

What if iJustine decided just to stick with YouTube on account of their market share? She wouldn’t be on this top 40 listing. Content producers need to be just that, content producers, not people aligning themselves with a certain technology of platform.

But this is bigger than iJustine.

There are a number of content producers (and “networks”) that are playing a very dangerous game of keeping everything to themselves. This includes everything from individuals who live by the “you’ll never catch me anywhere but via Podcast” to full networks with millions in venture financing that want to keep everything inside of their walls for “tracking purposes.” That has always been a bit of a silly and short-sided strategy but with elements like the Marketplace, it is now becoming downright dangerous.

I understand the arguments for keeping things in house and as big of a numbers freak as the next guy but I have to wonder at what point distribution and tracking on other networks becomes more valuable than the ability to keep everything close.

If you don’t think all of these networks are working on ad insertion models (will TubeMogul lead them in this?), you’re not paying attention.

If you think it’s smarter to wait for them to perfect everything while the iJustine’s of the world grab the attention at all these other sites, … I have to question that strategy.