Mid-Year Report Card on Business Video
Now that we’re past the mid-point of the year, it’s report card time for the old crystal ball.
At the beginning of this year, I used this space to make a few predictions about trends impacting the streaming sector in 2012. The goal was to avoid gushing about obvious issues, such as the growing role of social media and mobile video, in the world of webcasting. Instead, I tried to glimpse ahead at some likely 2012 venues that held the potential for changing the way we perceive (and use) streaming video.
Let’s take a look at the streaming lessons learned so far in 2012 in the venues we discussed at the beginning of the year:
- The 2012 presidential election: My crystal ball projected that the presidential election would spark additional creativity in marketing political candidates online, establishing templates for how large corporations could better leverage online video for marketing So Far…. The volume of online videos posted by the campaigns continues to swell. Production values for the videos continue to be high, as well. But truly creative uses of video in this realm are sparse. The biggest lesson for corporate marketers here is that the online venue gives more people than ever a video megaphone, making it more challenging for companies to consolidate or control any branding message they seek to put into the marketplace.
- London Summer Olympics: From the perspective of early 2012, the rogue video blogger appeared to be a viable threat to the economics of Olympics broadcasting. Time zone challenges would let interested viewers see anything they wanted online from fans using smartphone and other video capture devices to capture and transmit their own videos from the competition. So Far…..NBC, the U.S. television network with Olympics coverage rights, is producing more than 5,000 hours of Olympic event coverage, making it broadly available online. Such saturation largely renders the idea of rogue amateur video moot. More than enough professionally produced content is available to satisfy even the most ardent Olympics fan. The real lesson from Olympics streaming lies in understanding the impact of video ubiquity on viewership. The Olympic fortnight will tell us whether real-time access to virtually any Olympic event via desktop, tablet device and smartphone will splinter viewership and destroy ratings or spark greater interest in Olympic storylines that will fuel higher ratings for core Olympic telecasts on the broadcast network.
- Your Trip to the Mailbox: Troubles at the U.S. Postal Service prompted me to project that companies would accelerate experiments in leveraging online video in marketing campaigns, preparing them for the day when sending traditional junk mail would no longer be an economically viable option So Far….Online video marketing experimentation continues in full force, but any full transition in corporate marketing will take years before dethroning the marketing king that is junk mail. In this area, expect online video to spark an evolution rather than a revolution.
- Your midday conference call: At the beginning of the year, small online group meetings featuring video communications appeared poised to become more commonplace than ever. So far…Nothing appears to be derailing broader corporate adoption of video into small group meetings online. The quality of vendor offerings continues to rise and the willingness of organizations – and individual executives – to experiment with more forms of online video communications is as strong as ever. At the same time, providers of conferencing services are growing more aggressive in offering expanded solutions that enable large-scale one-to-many streaming webcasts on a more cost-effective basis. The net effect is more extensive adoption of online video in a range of business communications applications.
On balance, the venues projected at the beginning of 2012 to have significant impact on the streaming industry have delivered on the promise of change – even if the actual changes seen sometimes have been different from those predicted.
I guarantee that streaming will foster even more market change in the second half of the year. But we’ll just have to all watch together to see how that unfolds without the benefit of prognostication. I’m taking a break from the crystal-ball gazing business – at least until the calendar turns to 2013 and lures me into taking another peak into the future of streaming.
What does your crystal ball see for the streaming market for the rest of 2012? Write me at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll feature the most intriguing predictions in a future blog posting.