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User generated content – a primer

2 min read

Marketing Strategy

The following is an excerpt from the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s excellent Platform Status Report “User Generated Content, Social Media and Advertising – An Overview” published in April 2008.

Over the next couple weeks, we will serialize this report in collaboration with the IAB to familiarize SmartBrief readers with commonly adopted social media terminology, practices, technologies and platforms.

What is User Generated Content?

User Generated Content (UGC) also known as consumer-generated media (CGM), refers to any material created and uploaded to the Internet by non-media professionals, whether it’s content left on, a professional-quality video uploaded to YouTube, or a student’s profile on Facebook. UGC has been around in one form or another since the earliest days of the Internet itself. But in the past five years, thanks to the growing availability of high-speed Internet access and search technology, it has become one of the dominant forms of global media. It is currently one of the fastest growing forms of content on the Internet. UGC is fundamentally altering how audiences interact with the Internet, and how advertisers reach those audiences. In 2006, UGC sites attracted 69 million users in the United States alone, and in 2007 generated $1 billion in advertising revenue. By 2011, UGC sites are projected to attract 101 million users in the U.S. and earn $4.3 billion in ad revenue [according to EMarketer, “User Generated Content: Will Web 2.0 Pay its Way?” June 2007]. Still, obstacles remain that prevent advertisers from taking advantage of this dynamic new medium.

Stay tuned for primers on blogs, Wikis, social networks, widgets and more.