Lauren Kaye

Video content is one of the fastest growing formats of online advertising, and the marketplace is becoming more competitive. Where it was once enough for marketers to create branded videos and publish them on YouTube, they must now take their streaming media strategies to the next level of engagement. As consumers’ expectations heighten, marketers must also raise the bar for video content and YouTube is helping brands capitalize on their efforts.

Brafton originally covered YouTube’s May announcement about subscription-based channels, which will charge viewers 99 cents to watch clips from their favorite video creators. Although this opportunity was first extended to a select group of brands including Sesame Street and The Professional Golf Association, it has now been extended to any account with more than 10,000 subscribers.

U.S. consumers are sharing twice as many videos in 2013 than than they were four years ago.

It’s still up for debate whether charging viewers to watch YouTube videos will help brand marketers foster viewer loyalty or alienate internet users unwilling to pay for digital content. Yet, the shift toward a freemium model, in which consumers are drawn in with complimentary content and then prompted to pay for higher-quality collateral, speaks toward the general direction video marketing is headed. Brands must become more sophisticated in their approach, carefully considering analytics reports to determine the ideal length and subject matter of clips.

The payoff is growing for marketers who manage to strike the right balance with video content. Brafton recently covered a Pew Internet & American Life Project report, which found U.S. consumers are sharing twice as many videos in 2013 than than they were four years ago, which means highly effective brands don’t have to do as much in the way of promoting their collateral in order to drive results.