Jim Louderback On Cow Paths & Old Media Moving Online

Jim Louderback On Cow Paths & Old Media Moving Online

Last month I shared part of my conversation with Jim Louderback. We covered a great number of video-related topics that day, including the comparison of the online video marketplace to cow paths (trust me, it makes total sense once you hear it) and how we still haven't quite found the direct route to what new media is going to become.

Here's a pretty good quick-glance at Jim's "cow paths" theory, collected from quotes in the video below:

And so if you want to mess with cows, there's a fun thing to do.  Move their feed.  So let's say you move the feed from here over to here.  What happens is the cows they're not smart enough to know that a straight line is the shortest distance between two points.  They walk to where the old feed was and then they move over to the new feed... So when it comes to online video in many ways we're still in that cow path model where we're trying to do the stuff that we did on television and we're trying to bring that to Internet video but it's a new medium in lots of ways... And it's – until we figure out that diagonal path and we figure out what this medium is going to be, I think a lot of those trips to where the feed used to be will end up being failures.

You can view the full video transcript of the conversation by clicking below the video.

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View The Full Video Transcript:

Mark:  Hi I’m Mark Robertson with ReelSEO.com.  I’m here with Jim Louderback CEO of Revision 3 of in Beverly Hills. 

Jim: We are in Beverly Hills aren’t we?  Wow.

Mark: Yeah.

Jim: There’s a Duxiana store over there it must be Beverly Hills.

Mark: So let’s start off with an analogy.  Comparing online video with something random and bizarre like cows.

Jim: Like cows okay.

Mark:  Moo.

Jim: Did you ever notice – did you ever live around cows?

Mark:  No.

Jim: So cows in a field, right, you got a cow, a lot of cows you’ve got a field.  You’ve got their feed.  You know they’ve got a feed thing, a bin or whatever.

Mark:  A trough.

Jim: A trough, they have a little cow path to the trough right?  And so if you want to mess with cows, there’s a fun thing to do.  Move their feed.  So let’s say you move the feed from here over to here.  What happens is the cows they’re not smart enough to know that a straight line is the shortest distance between two points.  They walk to where the old feed was and then they move over to the new feed.

So that’s a cow path.  And the reason why I bring it up is any new media that comes along basically just replicates the old media that comes before it.  So they walk down the same cow path.  They haven’t figured out how to cut the diagonal.  It takes time to cut the diagonal.

Look at what happened when the first video camera, the first movie camera came out.  They put it in front of radio plays and it wasn’t until I think the Great Train Robbery, The (inaudible), some of those that they actually were like oh guess what, we should move the camera.  It’s like, wait a minute, they moved my feed.  I don’t have to go here and then over here, I can actually go this way.

So when it comes to online video in many ways we’re still in that cow path model where we’re trying to do the stuff that we did on television and we’re trying to bring that to internet video but it’s a new medium in lots of ways.

I also think that a lot of what we’re starting to see being funded now is still on that cow path.

And I worry that a lot of money is starting to slosh around in this internet video space and we’re creating things because advertisers want to buy them because the TV money is coming over and we’re thinking that that TV money wants to buy things that look just like TV where in fact it’s a new medium.

And the viewers on this new medium want something and will watch things and are viewing things that are different.  And it’s – until we figure out that diagonal path and we figure out what this medium is going to be, I think a lot of those trips to where the feed used to be will end up being failures.

Mark:  What’s the most effective medium I guess, or ad format that you’re seeing for advertisers?  Or what are they saying, ‘Oh that was great, we’ve seen the most engagement out of?’

Jim: Well for us, cause we do in-show sponsorships where we have these engaged hosts that are authentic and real and have a direct connection with the audience.  It’s kind of like you have with your audience.  They love you.  And when those hosts actually talk about a product or a service in a real authentic way, that’s amazingly effective.  I mean we see 100% unedited recall from a sponsor.  We see 57% of the audience bought a product or service from one of those sponsors.  So really big numbers.

So that works really, really well.  But you’ve got to find the right hosts, you’ve got to find the right community, you’ve got to find the right brands.  With our hosts, if we sell a brand and then one of the hosts doesn’t want to participate we don’t make them.  They’ve gotta believe.

Mark:  You want it to be authentic.

Jim: You’ve gotta believe man, you don’t believe it’s not going to work.

Mark:  I believe in Revision3.  I do (laughs).

Jim: I do too.

Mark:  Well thanks a lot, Jim.

Jim: Thanks a lot, no problem.  It’s good to see you here in Beverly Hills.

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About the Author -
Mark Robertson is the Founder and Publisher of ReelSEO, an online information resource dedicated to the fusion of video, technology, social media, search, and internet marketing. He is a YouTube Certified, video marketing consultant and video marketing expert, popular speaker, and considered to be a passionate leader within the online video and search marketing industries. View All Posts By -

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