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video-trends

At the end of December 2008, I did a blog post/podcast called the Top 10 marketing trends that mattered in 2008 (and what’s to come in 2009).  I have to say, I’m pretty happy with how I did.

My predictions were: we’d see growth with the iPhone, Twitter, Online Video, Facebook, and Green Technology, as well as the continued Mac vs. PC war and recession issues — while not so bold — were pretty spot-on. And I swear, I wasn’t endorsing any kind of growth in MySpace, I was just shocked to see that chart.

So what’s in store for 2010? I have to say that I’m sticking with all the topics I just listed. The one thing I would add is that this will be a huge year for the e-reader, although I don’t think there will be any kind of widespread adoption until 2011.

However, I know not to bet against Steve Jobs. Remember that the first iPhone sold a million units in 76 days, and the iPhone 3G sold a million units in the first weekend. The fanboys are frothing… we’ll see if he can deliver.

But for now, as online video continues to explode on the web, I see more of it in 2010. Here are

4 IMPORTANT VIDEO TRENDS WORTH WATCHING

Download the podcast from iTunes, or play it below:

 

First, lets get to the numbers, because they are quite ridiculous. We’ll look at the month of October 2009, according to Comscore.

October 2009 Online Video Stats

– Almost 28 billion videos were watched on the web
– 85% of the US Internet audience watched a video
– The average online video viewer watched 10.8 hours of video

On YouTube alone:

– 20 hours of video are uploaded every minute
– More than 10 billion videos were watched
– YouTube viewers watched 83 videos per month

Over on Hulu

– The average viewer watched 20 videos, for a total of 2 hours

Clearly the trend is more more more. I just said the average viewer watched 10.8 hours in October? It 9.8 hours in September.  Where did that extra hour come from? Isn’t this the busiest time of year for really making a fall push at work and juggling lots of projects? Don’t you people have jobs?

Trend 1 – Videos will get more interactive

While surfing around YouTube, you might have noticed more and more rollovers and annotations on the videos. It’s a little annoying, but I think it’s going to continue. I saw a demo recently of Klickable.tv, and it was very interesting. They’ve developed a way for people to take an online video, and add rollover-style annotation with links. Think of it as an invisible layer on top of an existing video.

Roger Wu, President and Co-Founder presented it by basically saying (paraphrased)

…Listen, when you’re in front of the TV, your experience is just to sit back and enjoy things as a passive experience; when you’re in front of a computer, you’re programmed to click around and jump quickly from page to page. So when you see video on a computer, you want to do the same…

I think there are several other companies doing this, but I tried out Klickable and posted my quick test results below.  For fun I took Sony’s TV commercial featuring Peyton Manning, Justin Timberlake, and Julia Allison that was autotuned by the Gregory Brothers. I showed how someone could add comments and links to websites. The commerce applications here are huge.

Example of video with Klickable.TV overlay
Mouse over Justin Timberlake, Peyton Manning, The Gregory Brothers, and Julia Allison to get a link for each.

Trend 2 – The video experience on websites will be more interactive

I recently checked out something called YouTube Direct. It works similar to CNN’s iReport, in that YouTube Direct allows you to embed the upload functionality of YouTube directly into a publisher’s website, enabling your organization to request, review, and re-broadcast user-submitted videos with ease.

News organizations can ask for citizen reporting; nonprofits can call-out for support videos around social campaigns; businesses can ask users to submit promotional videos about your brand:
– The customizable interface allows you to tailor the look and feel of the tool precisely to your audience
– Visitors can answer your call for content by uploading their videos to YouTube via your site without leaving the page
– A moderation panel enables your editors to review and approve/reject all submitted videos, deciding which ones meet your organization’s editorial criteria
– All videos approved by your editors include a link back to your site when viewed on YouTube

I think this goes along with the trend of tech companies helping their clients ease the programming burden.

Three examples:

a) If a company wants to run a Facebook contest, they can use a site such as Wildfireapp.com to completely walk through the process, and with a click of a button, the entire contest is live on a company’s Facebook fan page.

b) If a company wants to manage multiple Twitter accounts, Facebook updates, Twitter Lists, and stats tracking, they can use a client such as Hootsuite.

c) And now if a company wants to have a video contest on their site, rather than having their engineers figure out a way to hack it for YouTube, YouTube Direct has already done it for them.

Again, in a lot of companies engineering budgets are tight, only the highest priority projects are being approved, so this is a way for savvy marketers to take back control of some cool features on their own.

Seems like a win-win all around.

Trend 3 – The quality of user-generated video will get better

So on December 9, I was fortunate enough to receive an award from minOnline, which named me one of 21 Social Media Superstars. (Special thanks to Wired for letting me do this podcast, for Conde Nast Digital Marketing Director Michelle Minoff for nominating me, and especially to all the podcast listeners, blog readers, and Twitter followers that have helped raise my profile). As part of the awards show, they asked the winners to create a 30 second video telling about themselves and the highlights of their day. I have to say, most of them were pretty good.

Now, unlike some other winners, I didn’t ask for the support of a corporate video department to help me out, but as an amateur, I’d like to think I bring a little more experience than the average Joe, since I have a computer background, once worked at an interactive multimedia startup, and in general , just devour anything techie. It’s in my blood.

So I think I put together a funny, interesting, decently shot little clip (ok, it was a little cheesy… but in my defense, I had more of a storyline but had to cut most of it to stay near the 30 second max). But the fact is, the equipment that I used – a Sony DSC-T500 point-and-shoot camera and the latest version of iMovie – is way more advanced than any consumer-level products from 5 years ago. But even THAT is still basic.

With just a little more time, money, and effort, I could have used some basic lighting and sound equipment and added better effects in Final Cut Pro.

I believe that the use of video editing products on a consumer level is still in the infancy stages. As a comparison, lets look at Photoshop. Not long ago, it was consider a super high end program only used by designers. I’d look at resumes and if the person said they knew Photoshop, you knew they were pretty good.

But now in an age where 2.5 billion photos are uploaded to Facebook every month, more and more people are figuring out how to use the Gaussian Blur, and every 20-something has used it before.

My point is this: Lets go back to the numbers one more time. 20 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute! There’s a massive new generation taking videos on their phone, shooting HD clips on $200 Flip cameras, and recording hundreds of hours of footage on seemingly unlimited storage chips.

green_screen

I’m sure the high school and college crowd are 100 times more versed in video editing than I could ever have been. The effects and transitions that are built into the software are getting better and easier to use, and something like the concept of “greenscreening” is becoming common, whereas in my day it was some magical trick that only the local weatherman in a TV studio could pull off.

Much like the line between professional journalist and blogger has been blurred, I think over the next 5 years, lots of little James Camerons are going to emerge.

View other videos of 21 Most Intriguing People in Media and 21 Social Media Superstars.

Trend 4 -There will be more video content for things you are searching for, and that content will be monetized

I recently read an amazing article by Daniel Roth in Wired Magazine called “The Answer Factory: Demand Media and the Fast, Disposable, and Profitable as Hell Media Model.”

I can’t do the entire article justice, so I’m linking to it. If you’re interested in video trends, or search algorithms, just read it.

In a nutshell, they’ve developed an algorithm that scans three sources:

– 2 billion of the most popular search terms per day

– The ad market for those terms, and

– The competition for those terms.

Then a team of freelancers are paid to create the most profitable content.

So to give a quick example, if enough people are searching for “How to pack for a trip to Spain” to make it profitable, they’ll commission someone to make a step-by-step how-to video on how to do this.

And they approach it from both sides.

If you’re a website LOOKING for more video content, they can help provide it. So say you write a travel blog and you have ads on your site, and you get paid every time someone clicks on an ad, then it would be great if people ended up on your site to watch a travel-oriented video.

The article used the case where YouTube didn’t have enough Spanish-language videos for the sales team to run ads against, so they went to Demand Media to have more created, and within weeks they had hundreds. That’s where the other side comes in.

If you’re a freelance writer, editor, or filmmaker, you can pick and choose projects you want to work on and get paid to do it. So if your name is Carlos and you’re a budding Spanish-language director that just graduated film school and are looking to build your reel and make some money, you can go through the list of available projects and get paid to crank out videos.

wired-magazine-demand-media

What other trends in video will we see?

It’s hard to say. All I know is, one of my personal goals for 2010 is to get some training in Final Cut Pro and see where it leads me. After all, billions of people can’t be wrong.


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