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Pandemic boosts demand for visual-first experiences as AI adopters see gains

The report, which analysed data from more than 670 global customer brands, revealed a substantial increase in images and video content publishing during the pandemic. For example, video views nearly doubled, and video bandwidth grew almost 140% in Q2 2020, when the pandemic first began.

From January 2019 and through the pandemic, video requests on the Cloudinary platform doubled from 6.8% to 12.79%. And while managing video was far more complex than managing images, there are fewer video codecs than image codecs to handle. Among the brands in the study, the h264 video codec is the clear winner with an adoption rate of more than 98%, however other formats were found to be slowly gaining momentum.

Cloudinary also looked at differences between mobile versus desktop delivery. The data showed that the h264 (21%) and HEVC (20%) formats are delivered much more often to mobile web browsers than VP9 files, which were mainly delivered to desktop browsers (29%).

Even though it acknowledged that managing video codecs could be complex, Cloudinary said this had not stopped brands from managing and transforming more video content than ever before. The report’s heaviest video users were transforming their video assets 17 times on average, not too far behind the heaviest image users which transformed their images 20 times on average.

“Our extensive data tells a clear story that visual media usage continues to grow and was influenced greatly by the pandemic,” said Tal Lev-Ami, co-founder and CTO, Cloudinary commenting on the State of Visual Media report. “However, it also shows that brands in many industries stand to benefit by taking advantage of new tools and technologies to optimise images and video and deliver exceptional ‘visual-first’ user experiences. As we gradually return to a new post-pandemic reality, fast and flawless visual content will remain critically important for communication and commerce alike.” Rapid TV News

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