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What to Expect from the Year of Video

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Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know that this has been declared the Year of Video (2015). Every minute, 300 hours of video are being uploaded to YouTube and the platform is currently the #2 search engine online. As a medium, video has really come into its own over the past five years or so, and there’s still a lot of evolution ahead.

During a recent industry roundtable in which we brought together (on a particularly cold day in New York and faux blizzard at Deloitte); JWPlayer,Eyeview, Wibbitz, TubeMogul, VerticalMass, Wochit, Rakuten, Youtube, andWaywire. PluggedIn led a discussion on what we can expect from video this year.

We’re all living in our own personal primetime.

When new media arrives on the scene, there’s always talk of it replacing the old. But traditional media never really disappears. The new doesn’t replace the old, it just augments or extends it in some way. Right now, all the TV numbers are telling us that people are watching more TV these days—they’re just not necessarily paying for it. Online video has the ability to complement TV, extend messages, or tell different stories. In fact, when we’re watching TV on our iPads or computers, what does “TV” even mean anymore? The fact is that it’s amechanism, not a medium.

Is there a place for “snackable” content in this space—does it have the same value as long form? Yes, but the industry has to go along with it. TV is currently using different measurements, and we need to break away from them. There’s actuallyso much more data that we’re able to derive from digital video than from TV. The old standard of measurement just isn’t going to work anymore.

What’s really going to matter is tracking. When consumers are in this “primetime at all times” world, watching a video in any space, we have to be able to track that viewing process. If we put a video somewhere, we have to attribute that and show how it impacts sales.

Content isn’t the only king.

The real king is the consumer. That should always be top-of-mind. Right now, we’re going to Facebook less because it interrupts us more. There are all of these branded advertorials getting in the way of our friends. When it comes down to it, brands need to be better creators. Marketers need to understand what consumer intent when they sit down to watch a video—whether it be short form or long form.

Attention spans are a factor as well. People are abandoning those two minute videos and skipping ads — even when they’re technically relevant. It’s been shown that consumers watch more content when they don’t have to watch ads that don’t appeal to them. And as brands get better at creating them, consumers will start watching more ads.

There’s also a fragmentation of experience across platforms that’s getting in the way of the consumer experience. The video journey gets broken a lot as the consumer has to jump around sites. We need to normalize standards so that wherever consumers are, they can watch seamlessly. Our goal should be to enable consumers to watch what they want where they want.

Brand integration is more art than science.

We’re seeing a “Vine-ification” of content. Everything is getting shorter. We’re trimming down pre-roll and experimenting with extremely short video snippets (e.g. brands like CNN and Yahoo with Snapchat’s new Discover feature). But there’s still a place for long form video. We’re seeing that from Netflix and Amazon getting into the originals game with hit series like House of Cards and Transparent.

Previously, we’ve seen brands do everything they could to be in every show with product placement. The trend has evolved, becoming more sophisticated and subtle. Brands are now taking a holistic approach, looking for organic ways to be a part of this content and then leveraging a social component.

When it comes to curation, algorithms can filter the noise way, way down to a rational collection. But at the end of the day, the decision comes from curation or editors. Consumers want a handful of choices, not thousands and thousands. (When you’re checking up on the blizzard, you want to see a cute kid, the mayor, and a funny Onion article, but that’s about it.) The volume of content right now is outpacing algorithms 3:1. We need both man and machine.

This is only just the beginning of what video will turn into—from a content creation, tech, distribution, and monetization standpoint. It’s simultaneously nerve wracking and interesting. We can’t wait to see what happens next.

To learn more about Video in 2015 be sure to check out AdTechSummit Israel, taking place on April 29th. AdTechSummit is the premier ad tech even in Israel and will be discussing native, cross screen, programmatic, video, & mobile advertising along with content marketing.

What do you think is in store for the Year of Video? Share your thoughts in the comments!

Roundtable Participants:

eyeview: Anthony Risciato, CRO

JW Player: Chris Mahl, President

Wochit: Drew Berkowitz, SVP

Wibbitz: Zohar Dayan, CEO and co-founder

TubeMogul: Seth Bardelas, Head of Agency Development

Rakuten Marketing: Russell Peachman, SVP, Video Advertising

VerticalMass: Michael Hirshoren, VP BD

YouTube: Kathryn Friedrich, Head of Video Strategy, Americas

Waywire: Steven Rosenbaum, CEO

Rubicon Project: John Peragine, VP Business Development

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