By Tyler Kindred
The increase of online video as an emerging platform has been a change synonymous with the entrance into a digital age. Today, there is an average of 100 million daily video viewers and growing. These changes affect areas beyond simply entertainment, into the industries of business and consumerism. Rather than advertisements interrupting programming, companies can supply content of their own, providing a more symbiotic relationship with their shoppers. Ninety percent of online shoppers find a video helpful in making buying decisions, and for good reason. It’s the next step before seeing something firsthand and it makes the absent purchasing process more tangible.
YouTube, a video-streaming platform, has become the second most used search engine, right behind Google. The average Internet user watches 32.2 videos a monthi, or 16 minutes and 49 seconds of video advertisements alone. Future estimates of video growth show no signs of slowing. In 2017, it is estimated that a startling 69% of all Internet traffic will be video. Today, it is estimated at 50% of all mobile traffic.
One of the most drastically affected industries in the business sector by the rise in video marketing is no surprise, real estate. Without having to physically travel to multiple locations, viewers can get a three dimensional sense of space through online video. An Australian real estate company famously claimed that their real estate properties with video content receive 403% more inquiries than those without.
The vast majority of homebuyers turn to the Internet first, for information on properties. And while photos have always been of great importance, video content is now trumping photos in terms of sales advantage. Seventy-three percent of homeowners claimed they would be more likely to list with a realtor who offers video; despite the fact only 4% of agents have their listing on YouTube.ii And since people are 1200% more likely to share a link with video than without,iii property listings included, word will likely spread much faster with video. It’s quite certain that the future of real estate sales will forge an even closer alliance to online video.
The change of medium has undeniably brought a change in attention span. While movie theater attendance is still high, 20% of viewers will click away from an online video in 10 seconds or fewer.iv After 30 seconds, 30% will be lost on average, and 60% by 2 minutes. These statistics are typical regardless of the length of the video.
Despite rapid fall off over time, video viewership is still more reliable than written articles, or audio. Eighty percent of viewers will watch a video, rather than the 20% that will finish an article. Viewers also find video features more informative, and branding has a stronger effect. Viewers spend an average of 88% more time on a site with video. A comScore poll suggests visitors are 64% more likely to buy a product online after watching a video. Not to mention, that it also aids in search engine optimization. A website can be as much as 50% more likely to appear first on a search if it includes a video.
Beyond consumerism, online video is revolutionizing the workplace. According to Forbes Insight, 59% of senior executives would rather watch a video than read text. About 65% of those who view a video click through to visit the vendor website, 50% look for more information and 45% report that they contacted a vendor after seeing an online video ad. About 50% of those who viewed an online marketing video went on to make a purchase for their business.v
So while streaming becomes more prevalent, simultaneously accessible at higher speeds (YouTube and Vimeo now both stream 4K video, resolution twice the size of HD), higher quality video will continue to be more accessible. Moore’s Law, the law that states, in simplified terms, that processor speeds, or overall processing power for computers, will double every two years, suggests that computing power will not plateau for some time. And with the speed at which computing power increases, each generation of future computers will be more capable of receiving higher bandwidth video.
The future of computing power seems to give tangibility to the wildest of dreams. Quantum computing is being heavily researched, funded in portion by Google, and is suggested to be commercially viable within 20 years. This computing processor, which would be based on three dimension ‘qubits’ rather than the bits of conventional processing, would exponentially change the potential of computing power. And while 20 years may seem distant in the high-tech world, D-Wave systems are already available, and take advantage of the ‘qubits’ system to increase processing power.
Simultaneous with the availability of video streaming platforms is the rise of camera equipment availability. GoPro has become a multi-billion dollar corporation, supplying the world with small, high-resolution cameras built for any environment. Major camera companies are producing 4K cameras aimed more at the mainstream consumer. Even the recent Golden Globe awards left an impactful mark to the established forms of video and film, being the first time in history the large networks were neglected in favor of newer online competitors (specifically Netflix and Hulu).
As DVD’s fade into the past, like VHS tapes before them, they are being replaced by a medium of a different kind. While changes in product shape are significant enough, replacing a disc with an intangible stream accessed by a computer is more than just a change of product, it’s a change in process. The more innovative businesses have and will continue to explore the emerging possibilities of online video, and it’s no doubt that the next decade will host a significant transformation in what we watch.
iii Orion 21 Reports