Commentary

Online Video Content: Adapt for 'Any Screen' Consumption, Or Bust

Recently, I attended the BrightcovePLAY Conference. (Brightcove is a partner with my company.) Sessions included topics one would expect at an online video event, such as HTML5 Video Monetization & Measurement, Encoding & Production for HD Video Delivery, and Cracking the Code: Search Engine Optimization for Online Video.   

From an agency perspective, those were all interesting topics. But one of the most shocking things I've learned is that even though most attendees understood that we -- as consumers and marketers -- are familiar with the power of online video, fewer video content generators may be truly adapting for "any screen" consumption. 

Current statistics state that online video accounts for 50% of all traffic on the Internet. Those same statistics say that 25 million Americans watching online video also do so from their smartphone or tablet device.  Currently, only 8% of the American population owns some type of tablet device, but that is expected to jump to 27% in the next year. 

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So what does this tell us? Mobile video is the future. 

It's no longer a matter of "I want to watch X when I get home"; it's "I want to watch X on my nearest screen." It doesn't matter what your nearest screen is -- a smartphone, tablet, PC or even TV. People are transitioning from delayed gratification of watching where and when media is being pushed to them, to instant gratification of watching where and when they are pulling media to their (mobile) devices.

As a content-generator, that means you must work to remove any barriers that keep the user from getting to the desired content: your mobile content. 

Some things to consider:

·     Does your site only render video in Flash? If so, that means you're missing the nearly 25% of smartphone users who own an Apple iPhone and 75% of the tablet users on an iPad

·     Is your site optimized to be mobile-friendly? Easy to navigate with touch-screen controls? Do you offer adaptive bitrate streaming so you deliver the best quality video, whether the user is on a 3G network or connected to a Wi-Fi hotspot?

I know what you're thinking. Customization gets expensive. But is losing out on your target demographic because your mobile experience is cumbersome (or not available at all) worth that cost saving? With more options available for customizing content for mobile devices, I'd say it's a no-brainer to do this.

Ultimately, the only thing user SHOULD notice is that more content is available to them, no matter where they are and no matter what device they are using. This is a great example of removing a barrier between the audience and the content.

Bottom line? If your video content is not available when and where your viewers want to consume it, and, if you don't make it easy for them to do so, you lose.

4 comments about "Online Video Content: Adapt for 'Any Screen' Consumption, Or Bust ".
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  1. Gordon Vasquez from RealTVfilms.com, June 14, 2011 at 12:47 p.m.

    The Mobile Website - Make it easy on your visitors with a simple menu structure with 4 to 6 buttons. If you are in the entertainment industry take a look at our website on your PDA VS. your Desktop -- easy to navigate on a mobile device!

    http://www.RealTVfilms.com

    Thanks
    Gordon Vasquez
    Founder RealTVfilms

  2. Bruce May from Bizperity, June 14, 2011 at 12:51 p.m.

    Phone mobile and tablet mobile are not equivalent user experiences and thus, some caution should be taken when considering the nature of the content. Customizing content for these different kinds of experience is expensive but creating the right kind of experience is crucial to successful video strategies.

  3. Chris Baillie from admoogle, June 14, 2011 at 1:17 p.m.

    This article outlines exactly why I have just created the LinkedIn "Mobile Video Advertising" Group so that we all contribute to each others' specialist knowledge and collectively ready ourselves for "Mobile Video Advertising" on any screen as it becomes the mainstream marketing format of choice for "any" business over the next 36 months.

    Feel free to join and contribute to the group.

  4. Nick Dimitrakiou from Convidence, June 14, 2011 at 3:53 p.m.

    Nice post - agree with most of your thoughts. However, there is a key piece missing...the financial implications of monetizing "premium" content across all devices. In the end, if it makes financial sense for all sides- it will happen.

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