Mochila looking for buyer

Mochila sought to connect news sites with publishers, but its approach to syndication created too much friction to be adopted widely and take off.  Despite the A-list roster of advisors and investors, the company is looking for buyers.

When the company launched in 2001 (!) its approach to hyper-syndication may have been novel, but it’s easy to see that in 2011, with everything from RSS to Twitter taking some of the guesswork out of old-school business development distribution deals, then maybe Mochila’s raison d’etre has come and gone.

outlined some of the company’s challenges in a 2007 article.  A footnote is that as one-half of Flatiron Ventures, Jerry Colonna, invested in Mochila, while his confrere Fred Wilson backed another syndication play, Feedburner.  Feedburner sold to Google for $100 million.

Seth’s content pyramid

I view online video in terms of super premium, premium, prosumer, and user-generated content; so I enjoyed seeing Seth Godin’s take on the erosion of paid media.  Godin categorizes content into four buckets: free content, mass content, limited content and bespoke content.  While his overview isn’t rocket science, it’s a nice perspective, concluding that “media projects of the future will be cheaper to build, faster to market, less staffed with expensive marketers and more focused on creating free media that earns enough attention to pay for itself with limited patronage.”

Ultimately, he seems to echo my thoughts that content in general is either promotional or commercial and that the vast majority of it will be free, with the intent of promoting a thing, person or place.

Video advertising is finally catching up to consumer viewing habits.

Online video ad server FreeWheel’s sample on Turner, ESPN, FOX, Univision, Discovery Communications, VEVO and others suggests that “video ad views are rising at a faster rate than video views in the third quarter, marking the first time that ad views outpaced video views in growth rates, a promising sign for the online video ad economy,” writes Daisy Whitney. Views increased from 6 billion to 11.8 billion, while ads grew from 3.1 billion to 7.2 billion; the former grew 97% while the latter rose by 128%, basically.

Indeed, that is great news, but I wonder if the conclusions would be the same had the sample size been expanded to include all websites – namely, YouTube.  With so much of total videos still not being monetized, I wonder if the conclusion would hold true across the board.  Probably not.  But nonetheless, this is a step in the right direction, evidenced by…

Q3 Internet ad revenues up 22%

U.S. internet advertising in Q3 weighed in at $7.88 billion, a 22% increase over Q3 2010, according to the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) and PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP US.  Noteworthy was the sequential 2.7% growth from the record-setting Q2.

“Beyond the impressive year-over-year growth of 22% seen during the third quarter of this year, the ongoing increases in internet advertising revenues points to a new paradigm within the advertising world – one in which digital is taking a bigger seat at the table,” said David Silverman, a partner at PwC LLP, quoted on“Moreover, even with a softened economy, digital advertising is making tremendous gains.”

Which takes us to…

Online video advertising evolving into dog chasing tail scenario

Both the Freewheel and IAB/PwC reports stressed how increased video consumption across various devices is driving more advertising revenue online.

Indeed, with people now spending so much time online, on mobile and tablets but total advertising lagging, there’s a $20 billion market opportunity according to former Morgan Stanley and current Kleiner Perkins venture capitalist Mary Meeker, as quoted in Techcrunch.

While this is an opportunity for all media companies and content creators, it’s especially important for new media producers who don’t have traditional revenue streams and businesses to protect.  However, I would point out that online video has yet to develop — let alone mature — as a platform, and by rushing content and advertising onto mobile and tablets, we’re basically finding ourselves in a scenario where the dog is chasing its own tail as we try to build sustainable businesses on emerging platforms.