The future of short-form video: Make it native, social, and mobile (and interactive)


London’s Digital Shoreditch Festival 2015

The Digital Shoreditch Festival, held annually in London since 2011, celebrates some of the best technical, creative, and entrepreneurial talent that the world has to offer. People from around the globe gather to present and experience the cutting edge of the newest, most innovative fledgling technologies that will go on to fundamentally change the way we market, create, and consume media.

Rapt Media Presents!

It’s no surprise then that Rapt Media’s co-founder and CEO, Erika Trautman, had a prominent presence on the stage last Friday, where she explained Rapt Media’s innovative interactive video platform as a solution to the changing media landscape to a full house. (Click here to see a SlideShare of her presentation, “Technology, Creativity & Data: How to tell your story, engage your audience and gain valuable data from interactive video.”)

In her presentation, Trautman spoke about the critical role short-form video plays as the majority of video consumption shifts to mobile devices. This is especially essential for millennials, who check their smartphones 8,000 times per year, and consume most of their news, entertainment, and marketing messages while on the go.

Interactive video puts the viewer at center-stage, which is especially appealing to a generation that grew up on the Web, where users actively engage with content rather than passively consume it. It’s time to bring what’s at the core of the Web to video – and that starts with interactivity. Unsurprisingly, these ideas have created waves in the digital marketing community.

Competing with 300 Hours of Uploaded YouTube Video Each Minute

The Drum, Europe’s largest marketing media and advertising site, rightly took interest in the subject, featuring Trautman’s presentation in an article that identifies the future of short-form video as “native, social and mobile.”

Amidst the noise of the 300 hours of video uploaded to YouTube each minute, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to keep consumers engaged before they move on to something else. According to BBC creative director of digital Will Saunders, the seemingly simple solution to this is to invite your audience in so that they can control what they watch and do. But this is sometimes easier said than done when it comes to actually creating an engaging experience.

That’s where native, social, and mobile come into play. Truly engaging experiences can’t be pawned off onto a third-party video player. Making use of a customizable, native player allows for a much more integrated campaign that isn’t a slave to the limited, generalized options offered by the old defaults like YouTube.

Mobile Devices Becoming the First Screen

And, of course, mobile is also critical. Sixty-five percent of video is consumed on mobile devices, a figure that’s rapidly increasing and shows no signs of slowing down. According to recent research from Google, mobile devices are quickly becoming the first, rather than the second, screen across upcoming demographics.

Social Shares = Valuable Reach

And finally, social is essential to a video’s success. Forty percent of video is consumed within the first 20 minutes of being released, as it spreads across the Internet like wildfire via social channels.

Interactivity + Personalization = Valuable Engagement

But this is all missing something: interactivity. Consumers want brands to invite them to participate and engage, not just throw content at them with the same, non-personalized message that everyone else gets. Until now, we’ve failed to apply the inherent interactivity of the Internet to video. To date, we’ve used the power of the Web as simply a poster board for the same type of linear content we’ve been consuming since the invention of the film camera.

Interactive video is a marriage of storytelling and modern Web technologies. It opens up a world of possibilities that allows for the two-way conversations that consumers desire and what the Web was born to provide.

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