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The Reel Truth: Why Online Video Consumption Continues to Evolve

Online Marketing

The digital video revolution started as soon as personal computers and laptops became common in each household. Due to the engaging and immersive nature of digital videos, consumers have turned to them for entertainment, education, and interactivity. By mid- to late 2000s, worldwide PC shipments reached all-time highs and the number of personal computers in use all over the world hit one billion, so the number of viewers of online video content blew up to unimaginable proportions.

Over the years, video streaming website YouTube has dominated most of our computer screens. Search engine giant Google even bought it for $1.65 billion back in 2006 for its huge income-generating potential, making it one of the biggest acquisitions for the Mountain View, CA-headquartered company to date. Lately, however, new players have started spiraling into the digital video space to threaten and challenge YouTube’s supremacy as the ultimate video sharing site. But what’s really happening here?

Online video consumption isn’t limited to certain devices anymore

Today, watching online videos has become better since viewing capabilities aren’t limited to laptops and desktops anymore. The rapidly increasing proliferation of tablets, smartphones, and other internet-capable mobile devices also fuel the demand for video viewing. This infographic from SundaySky clearly states that 50% of tablet users and 20% of smartphone users watch video content, so it’s highly possible that this has some sort of influence over the growing number of videos viewed across the web.

Discovery is being taken to an entirely new level

AllThingsD stated in this article that the most critical element in increasing consumer demand for web videos is discovery; and I couldn’t agree more. Spotify already made its mark in music discovery. Pinterest has already created a whole new realm for creativity and inspirational ideas. Instagram has cemented its place as the destination for finding tagged and stylized photos. User-generated video content has yet to see an aggregate site that will emerge to the top, and no such service has been able to make a patchwork quilt out of the bazillion videos available out there. And while YouTube continues to keep its stronghold in this area, users have started looking for other alternatives or sources to discover more videos, especially now that other video-viewing devices are within arm’s length.

Additionally, more and more businesses are willing to spend money to get their product “discovered” via videos. Some companies choose to enhance customer experience and engagement through video tutorials, personalized product introductions, and other witty and creative video marketing methods to increase their appeal to consumers. A good example of a company that leverages videos to communicate with audiences is cloud phone system provider RingCentral. Check out their video below to see a simple example of this audio-visual marketing method:

Available hardware and software makes it simpler to create video content

The availability of tools such as DSLR and point-and-shoot cameras and the declining software costs has provoked a surge in video production – both homemade and professional-grade. Moreover, these tools have become simplified to a great extent; they’re more user-friendly and accessible that they have even enabled grandmas to record, upload, and distribute videos by themselves.

TV networks and other similar content creators are being forced into this type of distribution model

Another interesting shift in terms of online video production and consumption involves the large TV networks and film outfits. Major players in the industry have started to produce more online video content in hopes of tapping more audiences or expanding their reach. Major television networks such as CBS and NBC are now starting to distribute some of their shows online to sustain viewership. Disney and other similar companies have embarked on offering exclusive content to drive more revenue and at the same time keep control over their content.

As video content continues to multiply, online video consumption will surely continue to expand. Advancements, smarter methods, and new trends are expected to develop over the next few years in terms of creating or distributing content that is intended to sink into the senses of most consumers.

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