The State of Online Video

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This morning started out just like every other. I drove to work, got my coffee and sat down at my desk to read through my emails. As I scrolled through the page at the emails already beginning to accumulate, an email from a coworker quickly caught my eye. I open up the email and immediately click on the link to a YouTube video inside. The video eventually finishes and I click on a related video, and when that one ends, another. After about 30 minutes I remember I was at work and finally checked my email. Please don’t tell my boss.

Video sharing is nothing new on social media, but it is arguably one of the most distracting mediums online. It’s no wonder many employers actively block social networking sites completely (probably so their employees don’t suffer the same rabbit hole I went down this morning).

YouTube still top dog after 10 years

This year marks the 10th birthday of YouTube. Since its inception, other video sharing networks have tried to compete with the mega-giant and have fallen short. Many have tried to dissect video sharing into subcategories or offered amenities to counter Google’s unadorned approach, but it’s Facebook who has become a legitimate contender. We all know how large YouTube and Facebook are and, no matter who has the lion’s share of the online video market, as a marketing professional, it’s essential to recognize how this industry has evolved to gauge the best ways to improve your brand reach now and in the future.

The YouTube Dynasty

YouTube is by far the largest video sharing website with more than 1 billion unique users each month, but their reign at the top could eventually come to an end. There are many video sharing websites vying for just a fraction of the market share. The battle for the scraps include BreakFlickrMetacafeVeohDailymotionVevo and better known Vimeo. A true testament to the demand and size of the video sharing industry, these smaller websites focus on specific categories like music, gaming and comedy and have captivated millions of monthly viewers.

Will specialty video sharing websites follow print magazine’s bad example?

Since 2009, the magazine industry has seen a 30% decrease publication launches per year. It could be due to the decrease in readership and advertising dollars within the medium, or maybe it’s because the way people are sharing and reading content is evolving. There’s still an incredible opportunity for the video sharing websites for their respected niche markets but is this industry becoming eerily similar to the niche magazine publications that inevitably led to the decline?

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At one point there was a magazine for every market or interest (in some cases many), but what we expect will outlast the categorized sharing services is a platform that allows others to share how-to videos, footage from a Rolling Stones concert and all the other special moments you want to share with the world – all in one place. And there’s only one company who is positioned to compete with YouTube at the game they’ve perfected: Facebook.

Facebook: the impartial video sharing source

The teenage years of YouTube are now upon us, but it’s Facebook that is making a push to be the big man on campus. Why? Facebook works smarter, not harder. The massive social network creates none of its own video content, instead allowing the masses to upload video directly or from competing video sources. Facebook doesn’t care where or how their users upload their videos, just as long as they come back and share them on the social network. Last year, 70 million photos and videos were uploaded each day to Instagram, and by adding a social sharing button across networks, users were able to share on Facebook too with just one more click.

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It comes down to the basics | reaching your audience

As a marketer you don’t care which social network has the biggest library of videos – you just want to reach the right audience with the right message. So often, that message can fall short when a brand focuses on one channel, and this is particularly important when using video. A study recently released from Google found that the majority of media consumption is screen-based, and consumers move between multiple devices to get their viewing fix. So it makes sense that half of YouTube’s views are on mobile devices and 87% of active users access Facebook using their mobile device. If the marketing video you are promoting online is not compatible with all devices, you may want to reconsider your plan of attack to insure you reach your whole audience.

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The social network video battle will continue, but with the clash of online powerhouses come progress. It wasn’t long ago that homesick college students had only pen and paper to write home; now grandparents link streaming video to their television to see their newest grandchild have his first steps. Yes, the future of video networking will certainly see improvements that will influence the way marketers construct their campaigns, but as long as people want to share their lives with others online, we know that websites like YouTube will have many more birthdays to come.


Sources: Statista, Fandom Marketing Inc., Publishers Information Bureau

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