Whether it’s news, humour, human rights, corporate branding, sports, entertainment, or ecommerce, most destinations on the internet today have a web video component to it. If you check YouTube for The Viral Fever’s (TVF) spoof show Barely Speaking with Arnub, or the controversial documentary banned for screening in India but viewed extensively online, India’s Daughter by Leslee Udwin or the tastefully done first lesbian ad in India The Visit by Myntra, they all have millions of views each. Or consider even the rendition a few years back by the talented Dhanush and Anirudh, Why This Kolaveri Di, today has crossed 9.7 crores views. These are just examples but exemplify that video content for the digital world is making its mark.
Incidentally, TVF’s show concepts were rejected outright few years ago by mainstream channels in India including MTV, according to news reports. The company went ahead and launched one of the very few original web series in India on YouTube and their own website, TVF Pitchers that explores the challenges that young entrepreneurs face in India. Recently the show was ranked 43 on the Internet Movie Database’s (IMDb) coveted top 250 list of TV shows. What better vindication for TVF and proof that online videos are giving television shows a run for their money. India in the case of web content is a front-runner. According to YouTube, India is among the top 5 in terms of content generation.
Evidence of video becoming the popular medium in the digital world is ample and one does not have to go further than observe one’s own habits online. Some of the figures on the kind of video content now being uploaded and consumed on the internet are mind-boggling. According to a Cisco report, video will account for 69% of all consumer internet traffic by 2017. YouTube on its website (http://www.youtube.com/yt/press/en-GB/statistics.html) says it receives more than one billion unique visitors every month – that’s more than any other internet platform, apart from Facebook. Another report by YouTube says that 300 to 400 hours of video content is uploaded to YouTube every minute. comScore report also states that YouTube has over 60 million unique users in India. This is hard data and a good reason for content publishers to prioritize and take it seriously.
The following 4 reasons further elucidate why creating video content is not just good business sense but also in sync with consumers’ evolving expectations from digital content:
Video, currently allows for monetization of content through a variety of models and platforms.
YouTube has been the elephant in the room for video content and is primarily Ad supported, but now there are several opportunities beyond YouTube for content creators. In fact, today one of the primary challenges for the content creator is to figure out the best model and platform for distributing content.
Following are the most effective revenue models of distributing video content:
1. AVOD – Advertising supported Video on Demand
2. SVOD – Subscription based Video on Demand
3. TVOD – Transactional Video on Demand
4. Hybrid – Mix of VOD models
SVOD is a popular model, dependent on the number of Subscribers the platform has. NetFlix is one of the most popular video subscription platform in the US and will come to India soon. Content creators who have managed to get on NetFlix in the US know that they have hit it big time because ½ of internet users in the US have a NetFlix account.
NetFlix, which offers movies and TV shows, also enjoys a reputation of having great content and now, the company also got into the business of producing it's own content. Hulu, owned by Comcast,Fox Broadcasting and Disney-ABC, also carries videos and TV shows like NetFlix but is ad supported.
The TVOD model is similar to the pay-per-use model,where you pay and either rent or download content (usually movies and exclusive content). http://youtube.com/moviesand http://www.apple.com/in/itunes/charts/movies/ are good examples of the TVOD model.
Also available is the license fee model where the content creator is paid a certain license fee for the content and then the platform owner aggregates and becomes an exclusive provider in the content they have aggregated.
2. Decentralizing Mass Media &Impact on Conventional and Traditional Media
Traditionally, mass media has been about television and print. Digital offers defined sections for specific content types and particularly, videos have a purpose and are community oriented. Video on the internet can be created for a specific community with specific tastes unlike mass media. Because of its targeted and focused orientation, feedback on content from digital world is far more valuable both quantitatively and qualitatively than feedback mass media would ever get.
That said, a caveat for video content is about quality and maintaining standards (not only production quality, but also storyline, message, etc.) will be key to effective distribution.
3. Technology and Video
As video is getting more and more embraced, developers are creating tools that allow automation in terms of creation, distribution and analytics.
The video content model is evolving extremely rapidly and therefore getting into it right now would be challenging for any new entrant.The current industry is witness to the fact that even existing companies struggle to keep pace.
Volatility and instability is another factor. A piece of video is either growing in popularity or is stagnant in terms of reach. The secret is to keep creating and refurbishing content already made while keeping costs low. Automation and Creative tools are available today that allow creators to work on content even if they don’t have deep technical skills.
4. Consumption patterns indicate video
Video fits in with consumers’ behaviours and budgets!
People today have shorter attention spans, less time and want to consume content quickly and on the go. If a picture can say a thousand words, definitely a video can convey a lot more. Video content on the internet is certainly more favourable for this consumer preference than anything mass media has to offer.
According to one report, the time adults spend watching digital video each day has increased from 21 minutes in 2011 to 1 hour and 16 minutes in 2015. Also the Millennial generation that constitutes a large proportion of internet users are the age group watching more shows on digital devices than on traditional TV screens. Add to this the fact that device bandwidth rates are going down and there is a rapid penetration of smart devices.
Putting aside the few caveats mentioned above, clearly, creating video content cannot be ignored for any entity wanting to make its presence felt in the digital world.