Mandar Kamat
Head of Innovations,
Hungama Digital Services

The Big Video Opportunity

From the black-and-white era to binge-watching, video as a medium has constantly evolved and reinvented itself.

We all are aware that video consumption is at its inflection point. As per a recent Nielsen Report, an average US adult spends close to half his daytime watching videos. There are many factors leading to the change in ways videos are being consumed in the rising ecosystem. Demographic shifts and changing consumer mindsets have been a key contributor to this trend. Today, even 5-year-old children have access to the content of their choice. A smart device in their hands is enough to fulfil their needs and demands of getting entertained.

Millennials have gotten hooked onto the likes of Instagram IGTV, Facebook Watch, and other social media platforms that are well designed to provide quick and easy access to engaging content with the easy swipe of a finger. Instagram’s IGTV has even gone ahead and modified the video resolution to a custom long format that is perfectly designed for mobile screens. They back their video strategy on the basis of their learnings that 60 percent of their one billion customers consume video content on a daily basis. Facebook 1:1 Square Format and AutoPlay are making it easier to intersperse video snippets in the newsfeed. Stories on social media have further democratised the sharing habit by empowering users to share their creativity using tools such as Boomerang and Filters.

There is no doubt that Gen Z will be watching more videos than reading text. Brands are riding on this wave to engage consumers by providing interesting, value-added content. Creative agencies have sensed this phenomenon and smartly strategized and packaged branded content into the Hero, Hub, and Help format. Now, at the end of 2018, almost all social media advertising formats have embraced the video format.

Rampant video consumption and easy access have definitely created a void that requires fostering the pace at which content needs to be produced and delivered. Just for You Tab on your favourite Social App is getting evolved and contextual with the advent of advanced ML and AI algorithms. Videos are no more limited to the single screen. For instance, a show that is telecasted on a TV channel can be watched at leisure, on demand.

Today’s generation prefers streaming media over the classic television. There is a steady rise of influencers who are defying the budgetary boundaries and reaching out to masses. Video production is no more a privilege of the rich and famous. Crowdsourced platforms such as TikTok and StarMaker have facilitated mass participation in the video creation economy.

For OTT platforms, it’s a fight between generating efficacy in curating content and balancing it with consumers’ willingness to spend and watch on their platform. Almost all OTT players will be pumping money and backing their own original content. Online episodic content has slowly started generating a cult effect that was limited to bollywood blockbusters. Suspense, thrillers, and college romance seems to be driving the originals in the Indian streaming space.

For the audience, there are sites such as Instantwatcher.com that categorize and curate content in a micro 24-hour window based on the show’s popularity. French start-up, Molotov has created a virtual VR coffeeshop concept for co-watching video content from remote locations.

Videos are more searchable with advancements in backend infrastructure. A 30-second video on the LinkedIn network generates 4x times engagement than a text article. A whopping 96 percent of consumers find videos helpful while making a purchasing decision. By 2021, it is predicted that video is going to account for 82 percent of all internet traffic.  These are all interesting numbers which are reinforcing the fact that video will continue to be the most engaging medium in the years to come. Video marketing is definitely going to be a key trend as we enter 2019. There surely lies a huge opportunity for each and every player in this ever-growing ecosystem.

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