It is getting easier for people to shoot and edit video themselves. This is changing how people interact with media. There is more of it created than ever and it can be marketed directly to us. Creating suggestions for our needs once we’ve milked one genre of content dry. In the battle for our attention video is powerful. Watch how quickly we’ll submit 10, 20, 30 seconds of our time. What we might get is worth it. We know that the video is finite and can be stopped instantly if we don’t like it. Someone is going to tell us something and it won’t take very long. We like that.
#1 Internet traffic is mostly video
We have the statistics to prove video is popular already and is only getting more so. Annual global IP traffic is now measured in zettabytes. 1 zettabyte is equal to one thousand exabytes, one exabyte is one billion gigabytes. Cisco predicts that 82% of all consumer internet traffic will be video by 2020. In 2015 that figure was 70%.
One billion different people visit YouTube each month, a site dedicated to video. Only Facebook has a higher monthly unique users. Mark Zuckerberg has himself said within 5 years most of Facebook will be video.
#2 New types of video are out there
Despite the death of Vine, new ways to record, edit and share video keep cropping up. Apps like Snapchat and Instagram are generational hits. Live-streaming is even more accessible through Facebook’s adoption and is making headlines. Virtual and augmented reality offer new avenues for video makers to explore.
#3 The rise of the smartphone
There are 2.1 billion smartphone users in the world, by 2019 this is expected to be 5 billion. That’s billions of networked cameras coming online. Millions of people everyday become able to share videos with family, friends and the world at large. In 2015 mobile data accounted for around 5% of total traffic, Cisco expect this to reach 16% by 2020. As more networked cameras come online more video content is inevitable.
#4 Easy watching
Videos have a way of sucking us in. The effort it takes to watch a video is minimal. Everything is told to you, you don’t usually have to go fetch the meaning yourself. Autoplay has taken many afternoons. Binge-watching on-demand video has become a past time according to consultancy firm Deloitte. They found 70% of American consumers binge watch TV shows, with an average session lasting five episodes. Streaming services have won a place in many hearts too, 61% of those surveyed ranked them in their top three up from 17% in 2012.
#5 Digital is taking over analog
There’s a shift towards digital telecommunications worldwide. Analog services as increasingly being replaced where they already exist and skipped in favor of digital where they don’t. Television is the last stronghold of analog communication and cable. But internet companies are making inroads on prime-time. Digital media players like Chromecast are becoming more popular, allowing people to escape the TV guide (not to mention cable rent) and start programming themselves.
Ultimately content is king. Analog can’t compete with the choice available online. YouTube Red has mostly just fed the appetite of YouTube subcultures, a promotion for their top creators, but Mind Field could have been broadcast on television. Netflix Originals have revived TV shows like Arrested Development and made productions of their own that have won acclaim and viewers. Information in general as well as entertainment is being made to move. As mentioned earlier Mark Zuckerberg has said he expects Facebook to be mostly video within a few years, news and sports are both popular- if legally contentious- on social media and the internet.
#6 The youth
Deloitte also found people aged between 14 and 25 spend more time watching video online than on TV. This trend is unlikely to change in future generations and pretty much seals the deal on video. In reality the television as a screen will still be in homes. It is just that television, in addition to telephones, will simply become history. The OIP in VOIP stands for over-internet-protocol. As the youth of today turn into the middle aged of tomorrow, video over protocol will be the norm and the TV just another computer.
#7 Small businesses can use it now
The internet provides new ways for small businesses to find customers. It opens up the possibility of video marketing, i.e. adverts, whereas previously they would have not been viable. Television advertising space (time) is finite, the internet is not bound by the same constrictions. What-you-see-is-what-you-get (WYSIWYG [wizz-ee-wig]) editors reduced the barrier to entry on web design, they’ll do the same for videos. The consumer is now a producer. Snapchat is creating a huge generation of editors and cinematographers.
What the effect of more video watching will be on the world is hard to say. Anomie. Infantilised, instant gratifiers. Informed e-citizens. Healthy and unhealthy habits one and all, you have to have self-control if you’re going to stay attentive. Watching videos is never going away, unlike this article. End.