June 5, 2017

Fast Five: The Future of Video

For the third instalment of Curious Season 5, VCCP welcomed ITV, YouTube, Twitter and Amazon, along with VCCP Media’s own Nick Baum, to debate how they see the future of video unfolding. Starting with an acknowledgement that the key to unlocking the full potential of the medium lies in improving its convenience, the panel then got down to discussing the explosion of opportunities offered by the multi-device age, an age in which the average time spent watching video is an incredible 4 hours and 37 minutes a day.

For those who missed it, we’ve picked out our top 5 takeaways from the session:

1) Access to content is key

With a wealth of content services to choose from, how we watch content is defined by which service we subscribe to, be it Amazon, Netflix or Sky. Being able to access the types of content you want to watch in a convenient way and on one platform will be key for the likes of Amazon and Netflix, who will want to keep the viewer on their platform for all their video wants and needs. We could even see a merging of platforms; Twitter, for example, could be a layer over live TV for everyone to see on the same screen, taking live tweeting The X Factor to a whole new level of ease and entertainment.

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2) Here, there and everywhere

With the proliferation of 4G mobile coverage and the ubiquitous Wi-Fi hotspot,  it’s now possible to watch video almost anywhere. According to one member of the panel, 80% of all internet traffic is forecasted to be video content by the end of next year, doubtless down to it being more convenient and accessible to watch video wherever you might be. And with driverless cars on the not-too-distant horizon, commuters will be able to increasingly focus their attention on their favourite video content instead of the gridlocked traffic.

3) Video as part of a brand’s wider experience

While most of us watch video content for entertainment, Amazon is looking to video to enrich the experience its customers have with the brand. There is an exciting opportunity to drive product discovery and exploration through video content, allowing people to move seamlessly from a programme they are watching, to a shopping platform where they can browse for the jacket worn by the actor they were just watching. Video has the potential to allow largely transactional brands to provide their customers with a richer and more engaging shopping experience.

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4) The role of voice in video is an area of innovation to keep an eye on

When asked what video format most excites them, a number of the panel lauded the potential of voice command and the simultaneous interaction that can occur with your device while watching video. While not strictly a format, the human voice requires no manual, making the experience both convenient and accessible, which is a key ‘customer need’ content publishers and brands are always striving to provide for.

5) Innovation in formats may be exciting, but ideas are still more exciting

YouTube’s Trueview format allows viewers to skip ads after 5 seconds, an innovation that delivers brands better value for money (they only pay for the completed views) while also putting the onus on the brand to create advertising that’s engaging enough to hold a viewer’s interest. However, the panel also reflected that, despite all the innovation in the video format space, our industry is yet to improve on the 30-second spot, due to how effectively it channels the message.

Video offers our industry a wealth of exciting opportunities for engaging consumers and enriching their brand experience. The advances in voice command technology and the increasing accessibility to a wide range of content on single service platforms are key areas to watch. But remember, without a great idea no manner of video format innovation will be able to compensate for a lacklustre creative execution. Special thanks to all our guest speakers (Stephen Edwards, Helen Lawrence, Simon Daglish, Ant Hill) for such an insightful debate and also to Nick Baum for chairing. Make sure you check out the rest of the Curious Season and tune in later this week (June 8th) when we’ll be hearing from our keynote speaker, Snapchat, who’ll be giving us the 101 on how they’re evolving the concept of storytelling.

Until then – stay curious!

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Team Curious

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