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I had the pleasure of attending an excellent mini-conference yesterday on Digital Media Thought Leadership. The organizers were the prolific “emerging technology connection” SDForum and the venerable VC firm Sierra Ventures. (The key commercial sponsor was the law firm Nixon Peabody LLP.)

The conference covered some of the most challenging and topical issues around the transition from traditional to digital media, particularly concerning video and mobile platforms. Some “clips” from the conference:

  • “Windowing” continues to be a big issue with digital media (particularly for the media companies). “Windowing” is the timing of the sequential release of new content on different platforms (e.g., video on demand vs. Internet vs. DVD).

  • The video ad producer Spotzer talked about how it’s making a big push into video SEM.

  • Some of the major players, such as AT&T Interactive, expressed an interest in having more control over the “end to end” experience of the user, which could ultimately include transacting from both stationary and mobile platforms.

  • There’s a huge emphasis on mobile advertising and monetization models, a lack of standardization and still a lot of fluidity in business models.

  • One panelist mentioned that in terms of sheer number of searches, YouTube is now the second most popular search engine. (Although this is sort of an apples-to-oranges comparison, it underscores the importance of video.)

Although much of the conference didn’t relate directly to SMBs, the shape of the video and mobile markets will clearly have a huge impact on the ad formats and models available to SMBs going forward.

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