2012 Online Video Forecast – All About Connecting And Connections

2012 Online Video Forecast – All About Connecting And Connections

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Since 2011 is over and we’re rapidly hurtling toward the end of the world, or at least, the end of the Mayan calender, I asked everyone what they thought 2012 would have in store for online video. As I said in my online video advertising forecast, politics is going to be a major factor across the board in my mind.

A quick look at my CES calendar makes me believe that connected TVs are going to be a major factor as two screens finally merge into a user friendly and ubiquitous package that will bring all new dynamics to both online video uses as well as advertising. After all, if you can compliment your TV content with online content simultaneously, that will definitely increase brand engagement, right? Seems some people agree with me on some of this.

Video everywhere initiatives will mature this year and truly be just that. As newer, stronger tablets come along it will mean video content will follow.

Political video is going to kick into high gear this year with the looming elections and while this might fall more into advertising and marketing it’s going to be so prevalent that you won’t be able to escape them.

2012 Online Video Forecast: What do you see as being major trends, factors or drivers of video in 2012?

Aaron Beashel, Director of Marketing, Launchpad6

I would personally love for it to be the year of the Connected TV, however I’m skeptical as to whether the key influencers in this market can get it right. Whilst stats do tell us Connected TV’s are becoming increasingly popular, I don’t believe they will ever reach their true potential unless a unified platform is developed and accepted. If developers continue to be forced to build various apps for various manufacturers and operating systems, then I don’t believe there is enough monetary incentive to encourage the kind of innovation and development we have on mobile. So whilst I’d love to see Connected TV’s gain serious momentum and am eagerly awaiting the could-well-be-nothing iTV, I believe the biggest driver of video in 2012 will be the same as it was in 2011, an increasing amount of connected devices coupled with an increasing amount of high quality, on-demand content.

Brian Petersen, CEO, Raystream Inc.

Never has there been a more exciting time to be involved in the online video space. Just over a year ago,
online video accounted for 40 percent of Internet traffic; by the end of this year, Cisco predicts it will reach 50 percent. That is a staggering statistic, and we’re just getting started. Online video use will only grow from here.

As thrilling as this trend is, it comes with some monumental problems – all stemming from the enormity
of video files, especially High Def videos: the bandwidth they demand is extremely expensive for online
video content providers; and most Internet users, even those with high-speed lines, can’t enjoy an online
video without it buffering. Perhaps most troubling is legislation being proposed that may soon limit
unmetered broadband.

What the world of online video needs in order to continue its stratospheric growth in 2012 is not more
infrastructure to handle this gargantuan amount of data, but a method of file compression that maintains the quality of the image. That solution is here, being offered by my company, Raystream Inc. Our technology reduces the size of HD video files as much as 90 percent, with no loss in the vivid colors or crystal clarity of HD. We see our technology as a key driver of online video in 2012, as we begin drastically reducing the bandwidth consumed by streaming HD videos – whether those are existing HD video files, live streams, or even 3D. We are so excited as we enter this new year, in which we expect to essentially eliminate the only barrier that can keep online video from reaching its mind-boggling potential.

Roland Hamilton, Managing Director of U.S. Operations for Dailymotion.com

1.       Video Everywhere: Video distribution is now accelerating on every device. We’ve seen a huge jump in our video views overall but especially in our mobile video views. With the launch of our iPhone and Android application we’ve seen triple digit visitor and video view growth. We just launched with the Xbox and expect that to be a fast growing platform in 2012. Consumers love watching video and will watch video on whatever device is most convenient as long as there’s high quality video playback and intuitive navigation. Tablet devices really lend themselves to video. We’ll see a huge proliferation of video applications for tablets in 2012 that take advantage of the unique characteristics of those devices. And finally I think that cord cutting will accelerate. I’m hoping that we can work out the rights issues so that consumer wins and is able to watch content without resorting to pirate sites. I agree with Fred Wilson when he says, “piracy is largely a business model problem not a human behavior problem. If you give people a legal way to consume the content they want, they will pay for it.”

2.       Social: We’ve seen a huge uptick in sharing in 2011, especially with the launch of the Facebook Open Graph on Dailymotion. The “frictionless” sharing model really accelerated the network effects. Watching video is a natural social activity and what was a solo activity is now better when shared with your friends. Also the discovery aspect of social sharing is huge and will increase in 2012. In the same way you discover new music through your friends with Facebook and Spotify you discover new videos on Dailymotion through our social features. A great video player is at the core of this. People are used to sharing our player through blogs and social networks. Now it’s frictionless through the Open  Graph. We’re also very excited about the data that’s coming out of this. Ultimately it’s going to help users to discover more relevant video content and advertisers target more precisely.

3.       Live: In 2011 we did our first major US live concert stream with the Virgin Mobile Free Fest. The show featuring TV on the Radio, Cee Lo Green and many others had 55,000 people at the event itself. We were able to extend that reach to many times that and offer viewers the buzz and excitement of a live event. We’ll see that accelerate in 2012 with more exclusive live events coverage. The technology has improved so much over the last few year so that the user experience is amazing.

4.       TV ad spending will migrate online: With better content, more users and great engagement numbers, TV ad dollars will flow online in 2012. Companies like Auditude/Adobe and Kantar Media are working to bridge the measurement gap. More and more buyers are seeing video as video no matter what device it’s streamed on. Advertisers want to be where their customers are and more and more that means online video. And with more robust audience targeting and creative sponsorships online video is able to deliver results. No medium is better at making an emotional connection with an audience. Add in social sharing and we’re finally starting to realize the capabilities we imagined only a few years ago.

5.       Better original made for the web video content:  More ad dollars and better pay models will support better made for the web video content. Producers have learned  now what the sweet spot is for made for the web content: budget, subject matter, length, talent etc. Producers are more savvy about distribution and extracting value out of content. The ROI models are more accurate so that there’s less risk and more potential upside.

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