The domination of video has made it an exciting time to have a hand in the production industry. As we head into 2019, emerging technologies are beginning to disrupt the way we create and consume content. New gear, formats, and expectations are setting the stage for mini-revolutions across business and media. We have already begun to see the first signs of where things are headed- some to be expected and others more surprising.
Here are some of the more fascinating ways in which video production is currently evolving.
As smartphones further integrate with our lives the demand for mobile video has skyrocketed. In fact, more than 75% of video content in 2018 was viewed on a mobile device. With the majority of video captured on smartphones today being shot vertically, brands have started adapting their content to this upright format. Further underlining this transition is the popularity of Snapchat and Instagram stories, both of which account for millions of vertical videos uploaded daily. Brands who wish to engage audiences in a mobile-driven society are using concise bite-sized videos that embrace this format.
Video content with a ratio of 9:16 has several advantages that aren’t immediately apparent. The first is that vertical video fills a viewer’s entire phone screen thereby reducing distractions or options for clicking elsewhere. Another benefit of this format is the screen’s limited width which allows for only one point of focus per frame. While that can provide a creative challenge for creators or marketers, it also presents an opportunity to maintain audience attention.
Vertical video is expected to play a major role in the way we interact with content in 2019. If you’re searching for evidence look no further than the latest social media trends. Stories are already on track to pass Facebook and Instagram news feeds in terms of growth and user engagement. Additionally, the IGTV platform released last summer is a dedicated app for long-form vertical video. As the popularity of this format continues to grow, you can expect to see forward-thinking brands and creators making plans to execute a vertical video strategy.
One of the more creative trends that continues to gain traction online is the rise of Cinemagraphs. These are mostly still photographs in which a subtle and repeated movement occurs within a certain part of the image. Cinemagraphs are made using image editing software to composite a series of photographs or video recordings into one seamless loop. It’s similar to a gif, but the fusion of photography and film creates the illusion that viewers are watching an animation. The end result looks similar to the magical moving newspapers from the movie Harry Potter.
The term Cinemagraph originated from New York-based photographers Kevin Burg and Jamie Beck. The duo first used the technique to animate their Fashion Week photos but it wasn’t long before others wanted to experiment with the visually-striking method. Today, we’re seeing wide use of Cinemagraphs in a range of digital marketing mediums including social media, emails, websites, and digital ads. Even brands like Chanel and Netflix have used Cinemagraphs to create hypnotic and engaging advertisements.
Cinemagraphs offer more excitement than photos without the complexity of video. It requires creativity but it’s one more way content creators will tell visual stories in 2019.
Virtual Reality Adoption
In the past several years, the gaming industry has served as a home for most virtual reality experiences. However, as more industries begin to adopt the technology, you can expect the applications of VR to multiply. These immersive video experiences could start to change the way we learn, work, and play. As VR devices become more accessible to the public, you can expect a shift in the way brands try to engage a new generation of tech-savvy followers.
One exciting step towards mainstream adoption of virtual reality is the collaboration between NBA League Pass and NextVR. Basketball fans can now watch live games of the 2018-19 season in a thrilling virtual environment made to feel like you’re watching courtside. The subscription service features compatibility with several of the leading VR devices and offers free content including full game replays and highlights. It’s a major player in the world of virtual reality that could serve as a cue to other sports leagues and live entertainment events.
Virtual reality has also begun to find footing outside of entertainment. The military is now using the technology to provide simulation training to new recruits. Medical schools have adopted VR to practice surgeries in a consequence-free learning environment. Educators across the country see virtual reality as a path to overturning outdated teaching methods. Similar trends raise questions of how close we are to using these tools in everyday life.
In one study, 69% of experts predicted we are 5 years away from the mass adoption of virtual reality. For now, the industry still faces technological limitations and high development costs. If the demand for this type of content continues to grow it could revolutionize the way we film and watch everything from award shows to movies.
Despite the meme suggesting modern audiences have a short attention span there are a growing number of companies using long-form content. Most marketing videos are 1-2 minutes in length while long-form content runs closer to 10 or 30 minutes. Whether or not a video is long-form depends on the average run time of its distribution channel. This style of video content provides a number of strategic benefits that counter prevailing theories.
Long-form video offers a capacity for storytelling that creates an opportunity to connect with an audience emotionally. In an environment where consumers can easily compare prices and reviews online, the connection these videos foster is vital to establishing a sense of trust. Longer videos also provide important advantages to finding qualified leads. People who invest time in a 10+ minute video are more likely ready to convert for a business. The extra time people spend interacting with these videos naturally results in an SEO boost.
Planning to create long-form videos is considerably more intensive than most advertising projects. As more brands experiment with this method we’re seeing more and more examples of the best way to execute. Here are a few strong examples that succeeded.
- Documentary style storytelling from REI Boots
- Educational behind the scenes video from General Electric
Long-form content has a bright future in a world where video continues to dominate online. Consumption of the format has risen year to year despite the fact most online videos are 9 minutes in length. It’s a sign for producers that brands aren’t afraid to explore new territory.
Higher K Devices
Camera resolution has steadily increased over the past 30 years and the current generation is almost too good. People are just beginning to make the jump from 1080p to 4K screens while higher resolution cameras continue to emerge. It’s entirely reasonable considering most graphics cards in use today couldn’t handle the massive file size of 5K, 6K, or 8K footage. While some video producers have already started to upgrade, these cutting-edge devices will need time before becoming the practical standard.
For the time being, you can expect to see wider adoption of 4K footage in 2019. The lack of things to watch in 4K has presented a challenge to it’s spread but the shift is already taking place. When premium cameras surface they slowly trickle down to the market. The same pattern is expected to happen for newer 8K cameras as they increase in popularity.
High K devices are overkill for most of today’s video projects but we shouldn’t expect innovation to slow down. A sensible strategy for the moment would be to continue filming in 1080p, have a hand in 4K capability, and leave the 8K cameras to Hollywood producers.
Video is seeing a significant rise in popularity on Linkedin. In 2018, only 38% of marketers shared video on the B2B site despite the fact that 75% of them rated it successfully. Beyond that, advertising on Linkedin provides marketers with complex data on professionals including job titles, seniority, and job function.
As more people turn to the site for video marketing there are several key areas to examine. The first is a Linkedin user’s profile where videos can be featured to provide introductions and overviews. Another area where video will have an impact is Linkedin Publisher, the site’s dedicated space for contributors to provide long-form content. This area requires that posts contain a minimum of 400 words but when combined with video it can be used to provide demonstrations and webinars.
Lastly, it’s important to keep a close eye on Linkedin native video. Publishing video content on the site once required users to use Youtube or Vimeo, but Linkedin is now hosting videos directly on the platform. While this is a relatively newer feature, we have seen native video posts on sites like Facebook achieve 10x reach compared to Youtube Links.
Linkedin is a mostly untapped resource when it comes to effective video marketing. We can expect to see this activity grow as more people become aware of its potential.
In 2019, the number of smartphone users is expected to surpass 5 billion people. Dozens of video-focused websites are offering entertainment, communication, and editing capabilities. Access to low-cost cameras and video editing tools has made it easier than ever to produce a video. More video is uploaded to the web in one month than TV created in 3 decades. Video is getting in the hands of everyone, everywhere.
As online video becomes a huge part of our internet experience, there will be a growing need to make videos accessible to people with disabilities. Sites like Youtube and Facebook have implemented automatic captioning tools but the technology remains troublesome. At the moment, even Instagram does not offer or support any native captions for videos. App developers and video players are increasingly adding accessibility features that will alleviate some of these issues. We can expect this to become an area of focus for platforms trying to innovate and make their content more inclusive.
In 2019, video is expected to account for 80% of all internet traffic. These staggering video trends show no signs of slowing. As the amount of video content continues to soar the real challenge will be standing out among the clutter. Staying creative and in the loop will ensure you’re prepared for the next-gen landscape of video production.