May 18, 2017

How will we be watching video in the future?

Next Thursday will be the third instalment of the new Curious season where we will be exploring the future of video. With our fantastic line up of ITV, YouTube, Twitter and Amazon, together we will discuss who is watching video and on which channels, platforms and devices and how the sector is being disrupted. Best of all, we will be hearing from the media giants themselves. This blog serves as a bite-size appetiser for the main event, so read on for a quick 101 to bring you up to speed ahead of Thursday!

Tech crunch facebooklive

This year, Facebook was championed at SXSW as the platform for video consumption with The New York Times specifically identifying them as the essential channel for engaging their audience. Much of the conversation for the New York Times is around Facebook Live, which is now being used to provide real-time coverage of news events. They are even looking at using this channel to create crowd-sourced investigations, a kind of mass citizen journalism. The phenomenon of live video is that brands have an opportunity to powerfully engage with a massive audience, using current, exciting and rapidly changing content. However, due to the live unedited content, there could be a concern around quality and the loss of editorial perspective – a potential watch-out for brands as the video landscape evolves.

Mosul battle

In any event, Econsultancy has been quick to point out that the benchmark for how we define quality video is shifting in tandem with our transition from a ‘TV-centric’ to a ‘mobile video-centric’ world. Increasingly, everyone with a phone also has the means to be a director, and as a result, elements such as speed and authenticity are threatening the traditional preoccupation with mere production value.  That said, Facebook – a platform which has long relied on other people to provide it with content – has recently announced that it’s going to start investing in its own content programme. Recent reports indicate that they’re currently in talks with TV studios and other video producers about licensing shows, in a bid to boost their video credentials. The talks are reminiscent of Facebook’s attempt to boost live video earlier this year when it struck an exclusive deal with Vox Media to provide them with live content. As such, the platform is making a distinct move into the territory of the more established content providers and clearly still sees the value in producing premium content.

As video evolves towards live content and the propagation of mass citizen journalism, the boundaries between professional and amateur are becoming increasingly blurred. That said, the development of technologies such as augmented reality, 360-degree video and virtual reality hold great promise in improving our capacity to communicate with one another across space and time. Not only can video help people better articulate their message and tone, but it also helps to develop empathy with the people you’re trying to connect with. Hopefully, having the effect of re-humanizing communication in a digital era, and perhaps even reducing the preponderance of the passive aggressive email!

So get yourself down to Curious next Thursday 9am to hear from some of the industry’s biggest movers and shakers. We’ll be following up with a blog on our five main takeaways from the big debate for those who miss it – until then, stay curious!

Session 3


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