This post is the second in a five-part blog series centered on the digital marketing topics that we most frequently discuss with our brand customers. Read on!
In the not-too-distant past, life was a lot less convenient. I vividly remember the first time I heard about Peapod, Stop & Shop’s grocery delivery service. It seemed revolutionary--picking out your groceries online only to have them magically appear at your doorstep at a designated time. Fast forward a decade or so, and seemingly every service, chore or task can easily be outsourced or conveniently delivered: laundry, healthy meals, personal styling, discovering new products, treats for your pet...if you can dream it, it's possible. Groceries at your door? That's old news! Essentially, in many ways we have grown accustomed to a "virtual concierge" way-of-life, or a technology-enhanced daily existence. Everything that we need--or simply want--comes to us, on our terms and is at our fingertips at just a moment's notice. And, of course, content in all forms (entertainment, educational and informative) has followed suit.
I think of online video content as being concierge-like for two reasons:
- We seek out guidance on a plethora of topics--we want everything from insight into a major enterprise software purchase to reviews on a new pair of shoes, and infinite types of advice in between. And, we expect (even demand) to find it online. Can't figure out how to hang that new Pottery Barn mirror you just bought? No fear; there's a how-to video you can watch to have that mirror on the wall in a flash. This trend replicates across industry and product category.
- We want to be able to access content anytime and anywhere, on any platform or device. Most of us take for granted all of the hard work (and technology) required to make this happen; we want the ability to toggle between our Lenovo laptop, iPad and our Galaxy S3 and enjoy the same viewing experience on all of them. And, to the credit of content producers, most broadcasters and brands have expended considerable effort to ensure that this universal access to in-demand material is a "given" rather than a "nice to have."
The death of the PC
So why is our omnipresent need for content on disparate channels and mediums worthy of a blog post? Because it's representative of a massive change in consumption trends. Consider these recent statistics:
- 187 million Americans watched more than 48 billion online content videos in July 2013;
- Mobile video will account for $520 million in ad spending in the U.S. this year; to justify this spend, it's clear mobile video traffic is significant.
- 34 percent of consumers own a tablet; at the same time, 64 percent of consumers have a desktop computer (compared to 68 percent last year)
Traditional means for accessing content (i.e. the computer or a traditional TV) are no longer the most popular, and content publishers in all categories have recognized that they have to "go where the eyeballs are," but that's not as easy as it seems...
Complexities of mobile reach
And why not? Because, mobile platform fragmentation continues to be a considerable issue. As a result, whether content creators are battling with various connection types, platforms or devices, there is always the risk that the integrity of video content quality will suffer and that a high-quality viewing experience will not be uniform across the entire spectrum of an audience. Obviously, this is a major challenge and something that brands and broadcasters have to manage in order to continue to build brand affinity with key target audiences. But, thankfully technology exists to ensure that they can maintain the "concierge" experience for both informational and entertainment content, making it available in broadcast quality whenever and to whoever desires it.
Connected TV emerges as a content destination
Tablets and mobile devices are not the only destinations that content providers need to cater to, though. According to recent data from YuMe, smart TV adoption will near 20 percent in 2013. Additionally, the YuMe survey found that video viewing growth on connected TVs will rise to 42 percent this year, representative of a 7 percent annual growth. Concurrently, YuMe reports, we're all accustomed to multi-screen viewing; it's rare that one content screen has our undivided attention (driving demand of and relevance for complementary online video content--but that's the subject for another post). The point is, as smart TV adoption continues to rise and countless OTT options make the scene (Chromecast, Roku, Fan, etc.), content providers need to feel confident that they can meet consumers' content expectations.
The content business, similar to the concierge business, is built upon customer service. Success--or failure--is determined by the provider's ability to deliver what the customer, or viewer, requires in a reasonable timeframe. At Brightcove, we're happy to be a piece of the puzzle that empowers content providers to deliver online video assets in the highest quality for every stream.