Video in 2016: What’s worth a look

Setting off on a negative foot about the future of video for 2016 may not be the most optimistic way to look at the industry, but it’s more important than ever to cast a cynical eye at a digital medium that’s booming like it is. Now, we’re going to have a look at three key trends that stand to make a much more positive impact on the industry – that is, if they’re done properly, and indicators are presumably correct.

Mobile will be at the forefront of video

In the Econsultancy piece that opened on a point from the BBC that we lambasted pretty heavily, there was one very fair point: that mobile will figure particularly heavily in the future of video. So says both Sophie Turton of Bozboz and Anna Francis of Search Laboratory; Turton claims that marketers “will get smarter about mobile, not just in ensuring all sites are mobile responsive but in creating content specifically for different platforms and devices.”

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You only need to look at the figures from this week alone to realise why video needs better integration on mobile channels. A UPS/comScore study discovered that the overall percentage of consumers use mobile alone, or in combination with PCs, to buy items online is increasing. Over two-thirds (69%) of high-tech shoppers bought their items on mobiles, too. Meanwhile, Uber, Pingit and friends are taking advantage of cashless mobile transactions, and even text-based payment service Paym is booming.

Sure, YouTube’s been an accessible mobile platform for a long time now, but the majority of websites are still catching up – and often with little space for video. It’s time to think of the two together, if you want to capitalise on roaming consumers.

Good quality becomes even cheaper

As Brad Jefferson points out in his second trend here, it’s becoming ever cheaper to produce quality video. Smartphones are working at an incredible baseline; the likes of the flagship iPhone 6S and Galaxy S6 are knocking it out of the park for accessible video quality, and that’s on a simple fixed lens. The same goes for GoPro – prices have gone through the floor for the once-“overpriced” range, and this only pushes lower with each new iteration (which, admittedly, has powered the rate of improvements in the mobile world at the very least).

So just remember: if you want to have a crack at video, it won’t cost the earth. Getting it up to scratch is more an issue of time than money, unless you really want to knock it out of the park – it’s usually the software costs that may hold you back.

Interactive elements revolutionise video’s boundaries

We’ve already seen it with the endless chatter about Oculus Rift and its cohorts: immersion is coming to videos across the web, and those jumping on it now with just one good idea can make a huge name for themselves, even if it’s just finding the right innovation to add to the technology at the right time.

As Salesforce’s Vala Afshar correctly explains to the Huffington Post, “[t]he promise of interactive video has been around for a number of years, but we’ve yet to see it take off as a mainstream technology”. Yet the foundations were laid as far back as bespoke linking on YouTube videos (preferably at the end, over a video-produced link, so you don’t immediately feel the need to disable captioning).

The power of 360-degree video has yet to be fully felt, not least because of the processing power usually required. But imagine that in the right place at the right time – a close motor race, a walking trip through an abandoned building… you get the picture. It’ll certainly beat some of the videos on YouTube’s 360-degree channel (not least “getting jumped over by a horse“, where, er, that’s all that happens. Twice.).

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And as for Oculus? Well, the news keeps rolling in. In fact, the first PC bundles are now available to pre-order. What better way to get recognised than to get yourself front and centre when they all go live?

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