No One's Watching That YouTube Video You Paid For


MultiVu, a service of PRNewswire, will help you create and distribute a multimedia news release to "more than 100 million consumers and investors who get their news and information on the Web."

If you have a company video or ad embedded into your release, MultiVu will share it on popular sites like YouTube and Veoh as part of its distribution service. Pretty cool, right? It's not all good though.

When MultiVu pushes out a release, it distributes your video using the press release headline as the title. Who wants to see a press release headline on YouTube? Not many -- and MultiVu's clients are paying a lot of money (more than competitors Business Wire and Marketwire charge) for the service.

Here's an example that goes back to the Super Bowl. Pepsi worked with MultiVu to create a multimedia release to share news about the Justin Timberlake ad which was distributed on sites like YouTube.

During and after the game, people could not find the ad on YouTube because the title of Pepsi's press release was used as the title of the video instead of a simple phrase like "Justin Timberlake Pepsi Super Bowl Ad" -- which includes the keywords people used to locate it.

No one could find the video MultiVu distributed, titled "31512 PEPSI'S MARQUEE OF BRANDS, IMAGES & STARS COVER ..." Only 238 people (at the time of writing) viewed that one, while millions saw consumer-generated submissions of the video.

Aside from being annoyed about how out-of-place press release copy is on YouTube, I have a hard time seeing the ROI on paying for a service that resulted in only 238 views of what should have been an even more hugely popular spot (from the MultiVu count perspective), considering the attention user-submitted versions received. Unless it's possible to customize video copy in a way that makes sense for the specific nature of the sites and web users they'll be shared with, it's a waste of money.

I spoke with representatives of MultiVu about this issue. They said they can easily customize the titles of YouTube spots, but you have to specifically ask or risk getting lost in search like most of the 533 company spots it has posted to YouTube, which have horrible headline titles like:



- Big Apple Gets Restroom Relief: First-Ever Free Fully-Staffe

by Amanda Mooney    Apr-10-08   Click to Comment   
Topic: Online, Opinion, Video   

Enjoy what you've read? Subscribe to Adrants Daily and receive the daily contents of this site each day along with free whitepapers.



I'm confused. Why doesn't the PR agency or internal corp. comm team post the video on YouTube and then put a link in the press release and market it through social media? Me thinks this is a billable that should be skipped.

That's what we would usually advise and we've had rock star results for Scuderi:

Posted by: Adam Zand on April 10, 2008 1:54 PM

There's an awesome and FREE service that distributes video to YouTube, AOL, Veoh, Revver, etc. They track views, chart them for you, etc. Great video marketing tool. It's called

You guys should write about it. It's that good.

Posted by: Jason Lancaster on April 10, 2008 2:02 PM

Adam, I agree. Currently it's part of a multimedia news release package. Instead of paying for the video distribution service, I'd love to just upload to these sites myself or have someone else who really knows the communities enough to tailors the upload and description for them do it. Steve Garfield was just telling me that you can use TubeMogul to make this process pretty efficient (

Posted by: Amanda Mooney on April 10, 2008 2:07 PM

Just used Tube Mogul this week for the first time and it's pretty easy once you spend some time setting up accounts at the video sites first.

Posted by: Dan on April 10, 2008 3:37 PM

Wow, looks like a solid group of support for TubeMogul. I need a client to do a video (hmm, VaultStreet listening?) and I'm jumping into the Tube. Thanks!

Posted by: Adam Zand on April 10, 2008 4:16 PM

Also wanted to give a shout out to I've used both TubeMogul and vidmetrix, and actually found the latter a little less buggy.

Posted by: Steve Coulsom on April 11, 2008 9:07 AM

I HATE MultiVu! It really serves no purpose because no one can find your video that you've paid PRNewswire so much money to post. It would be worth it if your video was conveniently searchable.

Posted by: Sarah on April 11, 2008 10:47 AM


You’ve made some valid points regarding the particular videos you cited in your post and we also recognized that this was a problem on some videos recently and have since implemented a more proactive customer counseling program where we work with customers to come up with video headlines that better represent their video. Of course, this is all subject to customer approval, but we are doing our part to make sure our customers understand the importance of this.

I do, however, want to point out that while there was certainly some validity to your objections, you are making large generalizations about a few videos and missing the much larger picture entirely. YouTube is only one of many video portals (over 40 at the moment) to which MultiVu feeds our customers’ video. When MultiVu sends a video over our online video distribution network, we are reaching more than 40 video portals – some niche, some more general – as well as numerous strategic placement channels such as hospital networks, pharmacy networks, gyms, grocery stores, and many more. In addition, MultiVu places our customers’ video on the Reuters digital billboard in Times Square which is viewable by more than 1.5 million people a day. The breadth of our distribution, and the subsequent total number of targeted views a customer’s video gets when distributing their video through MultiVu, is our true value proposition.

Back to your original assertions again – you called out a few videos that clearly did not have the most optimal headline tags, but it's important to also note that we have had incredible success with numerous videos on YouTube alone - a recent video distribution we did for Domino’s Pizza generated more than 86,000 downloads on YouTube!


Bev Yehuda, VP Products, MultiVu

Posted by: Bev Yehuda on April 11, 2008 1:41 PM

Hi Bev,
Thanks for jumping in. How much does the service you describe cost?

By the way, next time my son does something cool (viola concert, soccer goal, karate belt or solving every level in Lego Star Wars) he's going to be on the big board in Times Square. Serious.

Posted by: Adam Zand on April 11, 2008 1:51 PM

One milllllion dollars.

Posted by: Edward on April 11, 2008 1:58 PM

All, Would it be free (really free) on

Bev, What would I be missing if I had my clients go that route?


Posted by: Adam Zand on April 16, 2008 4:25 PM