By Tarek Nasr, CEO of Mintrics
Consumers of digital content have redefined the way publishers create, monetise and distribute their video content. The media space is in the middle of a complete shift that will ultimately and completely change viewing habits, mediums and power structures in the content publishing industry. To keep up with the trends, publishers will need to have more detailed metrics, benchmarks, historical data and more in order to understand what retains an audience and what bores them.
We have been watching these trends. There are more than 5 million social videos accounting for 100 billion+ views analysed on our video analytics tool, Mintrics, since we launched the platform earlier this year. The sources of the content include BuzzFeed, Disney, AJ+, American Idol, Facebook and more. The platform runs the numbers every hour, and in the right hands the data can be invaluable to content publishers.
Here are the six key trends we at Mintrics think will run the show in the future:
Sports goes digital – all the way
Sports content is essentially the only thing that is keeping linear television in business today. This too will end in the coming years. The next bid for a major sports event should – and probably will – include a platform like Facebook as a serious bidder.
Cinemas will be reinvented
The cinema industry will face significant disruption. Cinema spaces will be used in different capacities and will have to diversify revenue streams as more people get their film content not just elsewhere but on demand. Last year, The Screening Room – a start-up launched by Napster founder Sean Parker – fuelled serious protests and concerns (and continues to do so) from cinemas for allowing home viewing of new releases on the same day as they hit theatres via an encrypted set-top box that costs $150. Decades ago the music business didn’t pay attention to the inevitable change it was facing because of technology. This is a major alert to movie-makers and production companies.
Traditional grid formats will die
Linear television is still filling up seasonal grids with 30- to 60-minute programmes layered with commercials. Digital video consumption habits clearly show that this is not what the audience wants any more. For example, if people enjoy watching action-based content that’s between six and 12 minutes, but can complete up to 30 minutes of drama-based content, then content creators need to consider this data in programming.
Content will move towards becoming increasingly automated and customised according to demographics. Thanks to location detection, for example, US viewers of a film or video in the US may see roles played by different actors from those seen by viewers watching in Southeast Asia.
Ad blocks in content will die
Online viewers won’t even be satisfied to just click “Skip ad” any more. They don’t want advertising content to be enforced on their timelines. Instagram users are constantly voicing complaints about invasive sponsored posts. Traditional ad blocks that appear during linear content will start to disappear, as the industry moves more towards integration and in-video branding.
This is not a big surprise – clever product placement has historically worked much better than push advertising because it creates relevance within a story. This is more of the same, just much more challenging for the creative process. With today’s technology, brand integration can happen in post-production, and can also be customised for various markets in accordance with local culture, relevance and brand availability.
Data, data and data
Video analytics is not just a buzzword. Forward-thinking content publishers and creators are constantly looking at reach, consumption, views and engagement in order to enhance content performance and even direct the creative process accordingly. By becoming data-driven, content publishers are driving higher engagement, strengthening the viewability of the content and empowering marketers with intelligence that makes their advertising investments more viable.