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When User Generated Content Just Doesn't Work

My colleague Catherine Holahan has a story up today that shows just how hard it is for companies to make UGC pay—for viewers and advertisers. It’s worth the read. After encouraging folks to upload videos on its site alongside professional videos, ManiaTV is relaunching soon—and cutting out all UGC.

Sure, sure, in part, it was because advertisers were wary about marketing on the site. But the other think that ManiaTV learned was that viewers also preferred the professional videos.

“The site grabbed traffic—more than 10 million viewers a month, according to ManiaTV’s internal statistics. But, strangely, more than 80% of viewers—and all of the advertisers—tuned in for the professional content. ‘People liked good quality entertainment and advertisers liked quality branded entertainment,’ says ManiaTV Chief Executive Peter Hoskins, who took over from Massey this year. ‘Advertisers wanted to distance themselves as far as they possibly could from the user-generated content.’”

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