Video Developments in 2015 Part 1: The Medium
2015 was a big year for online video both in terms of the medium or technology and the message, the content.
While you could say that ‘it’s been a big year for video’ for last few years, it’s not often that we see such development in both fields – how video content is handled and how it’s used to communicate.
In this 2 part blog post we’ll have a look at both aspects of video’s development in 2015 and how these changes have impacted Video Marketing. In part 1 we’ll have a look back changes to the medium of video.
2015 Video Development: Medium
Online is now the primary distribution method of video content. New video content is continuing to push technological boundaries in response to user or viewer demand and these new developments are giving rise to more creative options for video.
In 2015 we saw the introduction of 360 degree video on the webs two big social video platforms, YouTube and Facebook.
Video is becoming a more interactive experience with viewers able to make choices over what part of a video they want to focus on. The 360 video experience is tied to the rise of virtual reality headsets, many set to launch in 2016.
Whether 2016 is the year of VR video we’ll see in 2017! This isn’t the first time VR technology has attempted to capture the world’s interest. At least this time the technology seems to meet the ambition of creatives and the expectations of consumers.
VR is big for Video Marketing as the more people engage in a natural and enjoyable way with video content the more favourable they will be towards that brand, product or service – a particularly useful tool when building customer awareness and experience.
YouTube Cards & Mobile Interactivity
People are experiencing web content more and more through mobile devices, especially video. And why not, mobile devices are increasingly more capable and comfortable to use. The greater the ease of use and more comfortable people feel using technology the more they will use it.
But phones and tablets aren’t without their limitations.
One of YouTube’s technological advantages over its competitors has been its interactive Annotations that allow content creators to embed buttons and links to further video content or external links to related web pages (great for e-commerce).
The major disadvantage of Annotations is that they don’t work via YouTube mobile apps. With more than 50% percent of YouTube use now on mobile devices there was a huge amount of traffic missing out on a killer YouTube feature.
YouTube Cards is the answer. While based on Annotations in that interactive button appears over video content, this is a more universal approach.
Cards appear on mobile apps, the desktop version as well as embedded players, importantly they appear the same on whatever version allowing for a consistent experience for viewers.
The functionality and aesthetic of cards is also a step up from annotations, which can often get in the way of video content, disrupting the viewing experience. Each card appears in the same discrete position in every video.
In contrast, in order for video creators to create the most aesthetically appealing annotations, the graphic of the button needs to be part of the actual video and a transparent annotation frame placed over it. Otherwise buttons are limited to solid colour that don’t necessarily match the video’s style.
The big disadvantage of this approach is that on mobiles the graphic for the button appears but the annotations themselves don’t. This often leads to a frustrating user experience as they can’t follow a call to action or link to further content.
Cards make the whole interactive experience universal and reliable. Easy of use is critical for encouraging views to take that next step after watching your video content and following that call it action.
UHD and 8K
Viewers are continuing to demand a quality of video. One of the critical requirements is video resolution. Higher resolution videos are becoming a reality online with the adoption of UHD (Ultra High Definition 4K video) and the roll out of 8K video on YouTube.
That said you’ll be hard pressed to find an UHD display in an office at the moment but it’s on the way, in the same way that 10 years ago HD was just taking hold it is now the expected standard.
8K is still more problematic than useful at the moment and its inclusion on YouTube was more of an artistic and technical exercise. However is does highlight that the time taken for technology to upgrade is getting shorter and shorter.
Producing content at higher resolutions when in reality a smaller screen will be used to view the content may seem like a bit of waste of effort (and money), but it does ensure that the video content looks its best on whatever device is used. It’s also a way of protecting your content for the future. Video content if produced in a smart way can stay useful and relevant for years to come. UHD might not be very common today but next year more and more people will be expecting it as the new HD.
Video Technology Marches On
These are just some of the ways that the Medium of video changed in 2015.
Every year sees more changes to the way video content can be produced, how it’s distributed online and how we can make sure it gets seen. If you need advice on moving forward with your video marketing content in 2016 then talk to the team at Workshop Media.
We’re always happy to help. Get in touch today if you’re looking for a new video partner or are just getting started in using video.