The internet is the new TV (don't you just love statements like that?). Chances are, you are probably so immersed in it that you haven't even noticed how radically video has changed the internet, not to mention your own viewing habits. Think about it: there is very little in the way of television programming that you can't access online within hours of its initial broadcast! Network websites and Hulu.com deliver many popular television programs officially, but there's no shortage of television programming captured by viewers and uploaded to YouTube, provided you're willing to watch it in shorter segments at lower quality.
A recent Integrated Media Measurement survey showed that, in the last year, 5% of former television viewers have already switched to watching programs online, both as they become available and at a later point after initial broadcast. This figure is not even taking into account all of the user-generated video content being watched online (the number of videos on YouTube has been estimated at over 80,000,000). Whatever that number actually is, it's a lot. Meanwhile, Wired has reported that viewing on all three "screens" (tv, internet, and mobile devices) has generally increased over the past year, with the average amount of television watched increasing to 8 hours and 18 minutes a day. This is the highest average ever! These statistics show that internet video is on the rise, but they also suggest that the more video is watched online, the more it's watched everywhere. Anyone interested in seeing some correlating numbers on reading?
Recently, the New York Times Magazine featured an entire issue on 'screens'. I think it's a must-read for anyone working in advertising or marketing. Here's a choice quote from Benjamin Palmer, CEO of the Barbarian Group:
"What the proliferation of screens has done is give a bazillion creators the power to publish. There are now billions of hours of content, which means new places for advertisers to latch on to — lots of content that pockets of people find interesting. But the shift you’re describing makes things more complicated for advertisers too. When the TV networks held the reins for content, all advertising had to do was buy into the public consciousness of entertainment, which was television."
What this "shift" means is that companies cannot simply buy in to the public consciousness anymore. They must create in to it now by allowing their products, services or processes to exist transparently online. Video is probably one of the most direct ways of doing this, as it is a format that lends itself easily to customer testimonials, product demos, personal introductions, commentary, event coverage, etc. Really, when it comes to video, options abound.
All of this is really just a little background, which I hope provides some context for what I have to say about online video. The subject of video in general is obviously just too big to cover in our newsletter, so for now, let's just say that the influence of online video is growing too rapidly to be ignored by anyone. Video can be leveraged by businesses now more easily than ever before. Next, I'd like to review some examples of how video is being used among our clients' websites, as well as those of some other companies.