This blog is an extract from the Marketer’s Guide to Video Technology Whitepaper.
Authors & contributors:
• Nick Bolton, Founder & Director, TEN ALPHAS
• Ian Vaile, Director of Video, Australian Publishing Network, Fairfax Media
• Matt Moran, Regional Director, thePlatform
• Jennifer Wilson, Group Executive Director, The Project Factory
• Mark Blair, Vice President Asia Pacific, Brightcove
Publishing and marketing has changed rapidly since the turn of the century, and change appears to be accelerating rather than peaking. The increased use of smartphones and their improved performance has liberated a range of opportunities for content distribution, and in particular opportunities involving video.
Online video is not just YouTube and Netflix. They are important platforms and have driven a raft of changes in the presentation and consumption of content, but video performs important roles in fields other than entertainment.
Why use video at all? Video is more engaging than text and audio, when it’s done well. Video conveys tone, and can effectively complement other sources of information. For marketing purposes it can be used to create viral awareness-raising content that hooks people effectively into your brand or product domain. For customer support or community-building video is a very effective tool for “how to” demonstrations. Internal corporate communication can be delivered in an engaging manner, improving staff morale and helping provide faces to the names in the organization chart. Sometimes the video is, itself, the product. Businesses have successfully addressed both mass and niche markets with entertaining and informative videos and monetized those videos effectively.
Growth in usage and decline in price to reach each viewer
The TL;DR (Too Long; Didn't Read) meme of the last few years is evidence that there’s an overwhelming number of people who prefer not to read. Now we are in the era of “show me.”
"With video, I think we’re in the middle of a tech revolution. We have now
got maturity and mass adoption. It’s better than it was ten years ago.
It’s better than it was two years ago. And we’re not far away
from total IP streaming of content."
Nick Bolton, TEN ALPHAS
There are several ways companies choose to monetize video. There’s advertising, and pay-per-view or subscription video. But there are also many companies that choose to use video to sell products, for example by providing contextual cues in a video that highlight products alongside the player.
Not every business can run advertising to support the costs of content. For many it’s inappropriate to promote other products. Even when advertising is a viable option, there are many questions to be asked. Do you have sufficient traffic to your video channels to make them attractive to advertising networks? If not, you’ll need to sell your advertising directly, and the costs of doing this can exceed the revenue from the ads.
The kinds of in-stream advertising you can run depend on the kind of content you have, and the degree to which your audience is prepared to tolerate interruption. If your content is predominantly short-form videos, pre-roll video is preferable to mid-rolls because there may not be time to show the mid-roll.
Overlays can be used with all kinds of video, but you should be aware that some devices, such as iOS mobiles and tablets, will likely not support overlays, and this will hurt your advertising performance.
All the major OVPs support advertising. If it’s important to your business model you should ensure advertising is a part of your discussion with them.
Sustaining a business with video as a core part of the multi-screen offering
One of the challenges in owning and operating any video platform is keeping up with the speed of changes in the industry. New codecs, new and more efficient encoders and cloud-based encoders, cloudbased storage, increasing e-commerce integration and calls to action, even new content security systems, all contribute to changes and upgrades. When the platform is a cloud-based system this may involve some minor training on new features. But if it’s a build-own-operate system then there may be a steep upgrade path to take account of new features, and where the system is tightly integrated with 3rd party systems this may involve additional development work.
For this reason, an OVP that has a robust API for ease of integration with your CMS is important. Ideally you want to work with a platform that enables you to do most of your editorial work in a single interface (i.e., your CMS). To some extent the degree to which you want to invest in integration of your OVP with your CMS depends on the volume of video you will be providing, and the degree to which you will be supporting that video with associated content such as metadata or editorial.
If your needs are simple, then the embed code offered by most OVPs (including YouTube) will be sufficient for you to publish pages and web apps that also have high quality video. But if video forms a core component of your offering and your catalogue is going to be large, you will want to think about ease of use, because one of the biggest components to running a successful video publishing site is the cost of administration and editorial production.
“If a business has a web CMS already you will want to see
if the video platform has an API, so you can integrate the
video CMS with your normal publishing workflow.”
Ian Vaile, Australian Publishing Network, Fairfax Media
2015 is an exciting time to be working with online video. Viewers increasingly expect the engagement itoffers, and the technology is now sufficiently mature that cost-effective solutions exist for almost everyuse case. Whether you choose to go free, open-source, or with a commercial OVP provider, it’s almostcertain there is a mix of products and services to suit your business.