2008: The Year Web Video Discovers How to Fund Itself / by Nate Westheimer

Last year I made no predictions for 2007. I just didn't feel certain enough about anything to really broadcast it. My only bet last year - in fact - was on the future of the web as a platform, and on web platforms in general (starting work on BricaBox in the Spring) -- and that bet has been right so far. This year I have one prediction:

2008 will be the year that web video figures out how to fund itself.

Folks, the evidence is pretty clear that the current state of affairs in web video is unsustainable, save a few "edge" examples.

I've written about the edge examples of success here (with lessons from Blip.tv), and about ad sales scaling issues here, and about New York's role in web video world here, but no one has chronicled the real problem web video faces better than Henry Blodget and the team over at the Silicon Alley Insider.

Check out this series of posts about the subject:

Online Video Auteurs: Keep Your Day Jobs, Part 2 Analyzing YouTube's Revenue Potential Economics of Online Video: One Tough Business Economics of Online Video 2: Unit Economics Economics of Online Video 3: $5 Net CPM = Keep Day Job Economics of Online Video 4: Revver P&L Why Hulu is Screwed, 1 Why Hulu is Screwed 2: Bad Economics

So will Hulu launching to the world this year and Joost finally with its sea-legs (any viewers?), after 1 full year of YouTube at Google, and more and more webisodic content coming online, I declare 2008 as the year in which web video figures out how to pay for itself.