Online Video to Grow by 5x by 2017

By 2017, more than 20% of audience viewing hours will be delivered via the internet, changing the basic competitive fundamentals of broadcast, pay TV and electronic sell-through, according to a just-released white paper by independent tech analyst Ovum. The Are You Video Neanderthal or Video Sapiens? report was compiled in collaboration with online video services provider Ooyala.

Roughly 4% of current U.S. viewing is delivered via the web, as calculated by Nielsen, so this would be a growth of five times the current trend, the study says. The increase will be spurred by continuing increases in tablet and smartphone ownership and the growing use of the devices as a television alternative, according to the findings.

The shift to watching content online is especially strong with younger viewers. Ovum found that in the U.S. in 2013, monthly daily viewing of conventional linear television by the 14-to-18 segment dropped by nearly eight minutes. This was offset by a rise in OTT viewing of seven minutes 30 seconds. “Of course, a substantial part of this is Netflix and YouTube viewing, not just broadcaster services such as ABC Go or NBC.com,” the report states.

While the paper bodes well for businesses that are digital natives, it strikes a note of caution for traditional broadcasters. According to Ovum, the “brutal reality” for traditional-TV types  is that the three-to-four-year time frame between now and the end of 2017 gives them little time to plan, build and execute new systems and operations architecture. 

The Ovum study identifies four stages that content services must go through on their journey to becoming successful competitors in the space.

The first stage is “experimental web video” where learning takes priority over profit, with a small team working in isolation to create content for a standalone platform.

The second is “basic service productization” where more commercially viable services such as a TV-everywhere app drives lower churn and higher average revenue per user, but web operations and ad sales remain isolated from each other – preventing efficient data sharing and reducing return on acquired multi-screen rights, for instance.

The third stage is “hardening the platform & service” where multi-screen revenues from advertising, subscription and other monetized services grow as sales operations and multi-screen management systems become more integrated and synergistic.

The fourth stage is “full integration,” which Ovum characterizes as “nirvana” and notes that “no one is there yet and most are at least five years away.”

Ovum’s analysis echoes a study released by Irdeto at CES last month, which found that 53% of 1,000 adults surveyed in the U.S. believed that smartphones and tablets would replace the television as the most common way to consume entertainment by 2022.

 

You Tube’s Rising Stars

Launch media viewer
Olga Kay, a former juggler, uses her home in Encino, Calif., as a studio to make videos for her various channels on YouTube which attract about a million subscribers. J. Emilio Flores for The New York Times
 

It is 3 p.m., and outside another brilliant Los Angeles afternoon beckons. But Olga Kay has drawn her blinds, leaving her living room in a semidarkened haze.

She has been up since 8 a.m., though she is still in her pajamas and has ventured outside only briefly to walk her dog, Roxy. Otherwise, Ms. Kay sits cross-legged in front of a glowing screen, offering cheerful commentary as she navigates her way through the violent video game Grand Theft Auto 5.

The video game marathon is not a diversion — it is her job. Ms. Kay, 31, is part of an emerging group of entertainers who are trying to make a living by producing content for YouTube. On this particular weekend, she is filming a week’s worth of segments for her online game channel, because during the week she must feed the rest of her network.

Yes, network. With neither writers nor producers, she has made herself the star of five channels on YouTube that together attract roughly one million subscribers. That following helps her earn money through advertising, sponsorships and merchandise like Olga Kay knee socks.

Launch media viewer
The YouTube production center in Los Angeles, where video creators produce and edit original content. Monica Almeida/The New York Times

It’s a living. But it’s a frantic one. The 5-foot-1-inch Ms. Kay, who started her entertainment career as a juggler in Russia, is a juggernaut who has turned everything in her life into material for her videos.

Her living room has become a studio for Olga Kay Games, the hall space outside her kitchen is used as an editing suite and her bedroom has been wallpapered in pink and white stripes to create a background for the taping of “Mooshville,” on which she gives makeup and fashion tips to her fans, who are largely young and female. There is even a channel featuring Roxy, her Shih Tzu.

In total, she posts at least 20 videos a week to her main channels — a punishing pace. “It is very stressful,” she says. “Every morning I wake up and think, ‘What can I do that’s different that will keep me relevant for another year?’ ”

Ms. Kay is in the vanguard of a do-it-yourself entertainment revolution, which YouTube has been nurturing since its inception in 2005. Once an outlet for zany antics and animal videos, YouTube has more recently sought to attract the kind of high-quality programming that advertisers will want to buy against. To do that, it has been providing resources and incentives to help amateur video makers step up their game.

In 2012, YouTube announced a partners program that would allow content producers to share with YouTube the ad revenue from their videos. The company had allowed some ad sharing as early as 2007, but the simplicity of the new model set off a gold rush: All creators have to do is click a button agreeing to let Google sell advertising that will appear on their site in return for a share of the revenue. Today, the company says, there are a million “partners” trying to make money off the platform, ranging from venture-backed enterprises that fill warehouses in Los Angeles to amateur cooks working out of small kitchens in São Paulo, Brazil.

That same year, the company gave more than 100 content producers grants of roughly $1 million apiece to improve the quality of their videos. And it has built huge, modern production facilities that are open for no charge to YouTube contributors in Los Angeles, London and Tokyo. (A New York studio will open at the end of 2014.)

The message to aspiring video makers was clear, and seductive: Come to YouTube, attract an audience, build your brand and even make real money.

Launch media viewer
Ms. Kay, 31, is part of an emerging group of entertainers who are trying to make a living by producing content for YouTube. J. Emilio Flores for The New York Times

But success, let alone stardom and wealth, remain elusive.  YouTube is vague on its numbers and says only that thousands of channels, among the million or so that collect revenue directly through the partners program, earn at least six figures in revenue.

Ms. Kay, who has been slogging away since 2006 to be in this elite group, says she has earned from $100,000 to $130,000 in each of the last three years. And while that’s a good income, she puts much of it back into her business, investing in merchandise, equipment and staff.

Moreover, she shares a growing list of worries with other creators: the precipitously dropping prices that advertisers are willing to pay, the huge increases in uploaded content that has made it harder for viewers to find their work, and the escalating costs of producing higher-quality content.

“Everyone is a little afraid for their income levels,” she says. “We are all growing in subscribers yet decreasing in views and advertising.”

Then there is YouTube’s cut of the profits. The company would not provide details, but content creators say the company takes 45 percent of the ad revenue.

Jason Calacanis, who received a $1 million YouTube grant to encourage his company to produce more of its popular cooking and lifestyle videos, set off a mini-firestorm last summer when he published an article explaining why he thought YouTube’s terms were unfair. Titled “I Ain’t Gonna Work on YouTube’s Farm No More,” after a Bob Dylan song, the article called YouTube’s take an “absurd” tax.

 “We were huge fans of YouTube,” he said in a recent email exchange, “but we are not creating content anymore because it’s simply not sustainable. YouTube is an awesome place to build a brand, but it is a horrible place to build a business.”

Launch media viewer
Robert Kyncl, YouTube’s head of content and business operations, said declining ad rates were a small price to pay for the vast growth in video creation. Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Relaxing in a swivel chair in YouTube’s mod headquarters in downtown Los Angeles, Robert Kyncl, the company’s head of content and business operations, acknowledged the fundamental tension built into the YouTube business model. Yes, he acknowledged, revenue per views is depressed and will probably drop even further in the near future as high-growth markets like Brazil and Russia continue to expand. But Mr. Kyncl is unapologetic. “If you had a choice, would you choke off that growth,” he asked, “or would you let it grow?”

“No other platform has invested in video delivery like we have in terms of ad force and technology,” he said. “There are huge amounts of people behind it and costs.”

Google, which has owned YouTube since 2006, has put its worldwide advertising sales force of 12,000 behind the platform. Mr. Kyncl also cited the investments that allow for high-quality video uploading from all over the world, even on cellphones or other mobile devices. All of this has made YouTube more attractive to A-listers. Hollywood studios like DreamWorks Animation and 21st Century Fox have each made substantial investments in multimedia studios to enter the YouTube market, and stars like the British comedian Ricky Gervais  and the celebrity chef Jamie Oliver have started channels. 

 As a result, once-wary advertisers are pouring in. In 2013, YouTube attracted all of Advertising Age’s 100 top spending brands. The company’s ad revenue for last year, according to eMarketer, totaled about $5.6 billion, up 51 percent from 2012. (By comparison, CBS, the most-watched network and three-quarters of a century old, reported $8.5 billion in ad revenue in 2012, the last full year for which data is available.)

It’s a lot of money, but it is spread so thinly among the many content providers that an increasing number are saying they aren’t so sure that the deal makes sense for them financially.

 Some executives of media companies that post videos to YouTube and other sites make basically the same point: YouTube is uploading videos so quickly that it can’t sell enough ads to fill all the potential spaces. It is especially lagging, they say, in selling ads to its two fastest-growing audiences: those coming through mobile devices and those overseas. The executives spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of angering YouTube.

 On YouTube, the average rate for pre-roll ads, those 30-second commercials that you must watch before seeing a video, is $7.60 per 1,000 ad views, down from $9.35 in 2012, according to TubeMogul, a video ad-buying software company. The same pre-roll ad on a broadcaster’s site, like that of CBS or CNN, would cost more than $20 per 1,000 views.

Launch media viewer
Inside the YouTube production center, crew members shot a segment of “The Next Great Starship,” a reality-based competition series. Monica Almeida/The New York Times

 David Burch,  a TubeMogul spokesman, says that most YouTube video makers do not sell an ad on every view of a video. “It varies a ton, but it wouldn’t usually be more than half, and for many partners it is more like two out of every 10 views will have a video ad,” he said. “It is an advertiser’s market.”

 In such a situation, he said, ads for two out of every 10 views would amount to $2,000, based on a million views. And then YouTube takes 45 percent. 

No wonder providers are protesting. “Your cost of production — which would including shooting, location, lights, cameras, sounds and editing — is going to be thousands of dollars per video,” said Mr. Calacanis, who stopped investing in his YouTube operation in July and turned his attention to Inside.com, a mobile news app he is developing. “For 10 ‘advertiser friendly’ videos of YouTube length, you would spend at least $25,000 to $75,000.  This means you are in deep in the red before you take into account your talent.”

 Mr. Kyncl of YouTube said that aspiring content creators who looked only at the cost equation were taking the wrong approach. What YouTube offers, he said, is a chance to build a worldwide viewership that can lead to income from sources other than direct ads. As an example of a successful switchover, he points to Bassem Youssef,  a Cairo heart surgeon, who offered a show something like “The Daily Show With Jon Stewart,”  won five million viewers in a few months and got a contract with an Egyptian television channel. Or there is Awesomeness TV, a network for teenagers, which was built for YouTube but now has content on Nickelodeon and intends to use YouTube as a “farm team” for TV.

 “The more successful you are on YouTube,” Mr. Kyncl said, “the more you should think about diversifying.”

Olga Kay grew up in rural Russia until her family ran out of money and she went to work for a circus. She learned to juggle and eventually got a visa to come to the United States to join the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey circus. She began to get work in commercials — for example, juggling glasses in a Smirnoff Vodka ad. In 2002, she moved to Hollywood, looking for a career in show business.

 At the time, YouTube was a burgeoning phenomenon, and Ms. Kay was sucked in. In 2006, she began a video blog about her daily life and soon had tens of thousands of followers. In 2009, she added a second channel, featuring skits with characters like Emo Girl, a self-involved, overly emotional teenager whom Ms. Kay plays by wearing a black wig and lots of black eyeliner. Her first Emo Girl video, “Doctors Want to Have Sex With You,” got a half-million views in about two weeks.  

Launch media viewer
Ms. Kay worked from home on her video-game channel. J. Emilio Flores for The New York Times

 There was “no breakout moment,” she says, just a constant push to expand. “I am always growing through real avenues and not counting on a viral hit.”

Advertisers noticed the traffic she was attracting and began to approach her. In 2009, she said, Ford gave her a car and some gasoline for a year; in return, she had to feature the car in a video once a month. It was around then that Ms. Kay decided that she could build her channels into a full-time career.

 At the end of 2009, she started quoting a rate of $75 per thousand views to advertisers who wanted her to promote their products on her site.  In 2011, she added the video gaming channel and, a year later, the beauty channel. She says she is interested in both topics, but both also happen to be rapidly growing subgroups of YouTube.

 Currently, she says, more than one million people, generally female and 13 to 21 years old, subscribe to all her channels combined — which means they have clicked a button asking to receive notice when she posts something new.

 

That kind of traffic gives her a strong base for pre-roll ads, but not enough to make up for declining rates over all. The problem is worsened by the fact that fat sponsorship deals for promoting products directly are increasingly rare — and even when they come through, they are not as lucrative as they seem.

 “We are underpaid,” Ms. Kay says. “We are not only coming up with the commercial concept and tapping into a loyal audience, we are also doing marketing. We are doing all of these jobs for a relatively small fee.”

 And those costs are going up as expectations rise for higher-quality videos. A year ago, Ms. Kay was among the first groups of creators to be tapped for a free fellowship at YouTube’s new production studios. There, she received training in topics as diverse as copyright infringement law and how to do better lighting.

 The one requirement of the fellowship was that she produce a video with high production values. She made a psychological thriller called “My Better Half.” YouTube gave her free access to its studio space and sets and camera equipment, but she had to cover the costs of crew, actors and costumes. The costs stung: “You know you have to feed them, too,” she said of the crew.

 To keep up with her daily channels and improve their visual quality, she has had to hire an editor, costing $500 to $700 a week when he works full time. It all adds up.

“My friends and I talk about it all the time,” she said, “But we think if we were coming to YouTube today, it would be too hard. We couldn’t do it.”

24% of business videos less than 1 minute long

 

24% of business videos less than 1 minute long

Business Videos: How Long Should Your Video Be?

 
 
 
Hayley
article by:

As a video hosting company we see a lot of different types of video content being distributed online.

From one minute in length to an over an hour, your video can be uploaded to vzaar. We took a look through our numbers from the past year to try and answer the question…

“How long should my video be?”

Answer: Keep it snappy
Average Video Length

  • 24% of business videos online are less than 1 minute long
  • Videos less than 10 minutes long accounted for 78% of online business videos

For business videos, it appears that short is most definitely sweet.

Perhaps because a lot of them are promotional in nature.

Short promotional videos work well because…

  • People have short attention spans.Studies have shown that our attention spans are getting smaller and smaller. Down from 12 minutes just a few years ago to 5 minutes. In the digital age information is at our fingertips like never before. The easy access to information means people are less willing to hang around and wait to hear what you’ve got to say.

     

  • People are busy. If they see your video is a long one they might not be willing to invest the time it takes to watch it.

     

  • Often, it can be hard to see the clutter until you actively try and cut it. Giving yourself a time limit will help you to sort the wheat from the chafe; encouraging you to convey the important information clearly and concisely. The result? Your video will feel snappier and more engaging.

Do longer form videos have a place?

Just because the data tells us that the average video length is under 10 minutes, doesn’t mean that long form content is completely ruled out.

It all goes back to understanding the type of content your audience are looking for and what video length they’re most likely to respond to.

For example, educational content like training videos, online lessons and webinars can all work well. Here the viewer is getting a lot of value from the content and it is therefore more worth their while to stay in it for the long haul.

Bear in mind though, that it is typically reported that the maximum attention span of the average adult is 20 minutes. Once you go beyond that point you might have a hard time getting the viewer to stick around.

And this was mirrored in our data, with a sharp dip in the number of business videos that go over 15 minutes in length.

long form average video length

So, back to the original question:

How long should your video be?

Well, for promotional videos the shorter the better, around the 1 minute mark is best.

For education and training videos go for under 15 minutes to ensure your students maintain their focus. If your lessons are typically longer than this try breaking them into smaller, more digestible chunks.

Post Google TV world …now lets define Android TV

In a post-Google TV era, Hisense takes a first stab at defining Android on TV

cin3.0_mediacenter_USA_F
Summary:

One of the bigger surprises at CES was Hisense with its new line of Vidaa smart TVs, which are based on Android and show where Google TV is going now that it isn’t called Google TV anymore.

If you’re interested in smart TVs, then CES 2014 had two surprises for you: The first one was LG with its webOS-based smart TVs, and the second one was Hisense. I ventured to the Hisense booth last week because I wanted to check out the company’s new Roku TV, but I quickly learned that at least for Hisense, Roku isn’t the big story: Vidaa is.

Vidaa is the company’s new smart TV platform, which has been developed by Jamdeo, a design and engineering company located in Ontario, Canada that’s co-owned by Hisense and Flextronics. I interviewed Jamdeo’s Principal Designer Mo Selim (see the video below) and after spending a bit of time chatting with his team about their thoughts on the smart TV space and their design philosophy, I came away impressed.

There are a couple things that intrigue me about the Vidaa smart TV:

It’s the future of Google TV. Hisense used to be one of the companies in the Google TV camp, producing the Hisense Pulse companion box. But Google TV was plagued with a long list of problems, one of them being the strict requirements Google put in place for its hardware partners. For example, the first generation of Google TV needed to include a full traditional QWERTY keyboard, leading to unwieldy and confusing remote controls.

Google eventually realized that Google TV was going nowhere, loosened up, got rid of the brand and started to allow manufacturers to build Android-based TVs, with the option to add Google services like Chrome and Primetime (Google’s TV programming guide) on top. The new Hisense Vidaa TVs are a first example of types of Android-based TVs in a post-Google TV era, and they show that the new freedom allows manufacturers to actually innovate and combine some of the better Google and Android apps with their own take on how smart TVs should look like and function. These first results are encouraging.

It’s using design to compete. TV is a tough market. Worldwide, close to 20 percent of all new TVs shipped come from Samsung. In the U.S., that number is closer to 30 percent. Chinese manufacturers have in the past primarily tried to compete through price, and apps were more of an add-on experience, which is why many hoped that Google TV would deliver them a complete product that didn’t require too much customization.

Hisense is still using this strategy with its Roku TV, but it also decided to spend some actual money on designing its own smart TV experience. The Jamdeo team told me that the first Vidaa TV premiered in China last year with an experience similar to the one now deployed in the U.S., but without Google services — and it turned into a hit, moving the needle for the company and significantly increasing its local market share. That’s why Hisense decided to bring Vidaa to the U.S., where it now wants to compete with brands like Samsung and LG and their take on smart TVs.

It actually gets things right. After seeing a demo of the Vidaa TV and talking to the folks who designed it, I’m actually impressed with this take on smart TVs. Take a look at many of the other smart TV platforms out there, and you’re often greeted by a convoluted desktop-like UI that bundles all kinds of stuff. That quickly results in information overload.

Jamdeo’s designers instead decided to do away with the home screen, and bundle apps and services around different activities, which is pretty smart. The ability to jump back and forth between these activities without having to back out of an app and launch another one is also neat, and the recognition that home media sharing is key to smart TVs, and possibly one day just as important as Netflix or any other video service, is right on the money.

Sure, there are still things to improve and some redundant features — but this is a big first step.

Check out Hisense’s official Vidaa promo reel for another look at the platform below:

Related research

24% of business videos less than 1 minute long

Business Videos: How Long Should Your Video Be?

 
 
 
Hayley
article by:

As a video hosting company we see a lot of different types of video content being distributed online.

From one minute in length to an over an hour, your video can be uploaded to vzaar. We took a look through our numbers from the past year to try and answer the question…

“How long should my video be?”

Answer: Keep it snappy
Average Video Length

  • 24% of business videos online are less than 1 minute long
  • Videos less than 10 minutes long accounted for 78% of online business videos

For business videos, it appears that short is most definitely sweet.

Perhaps because a lot of them are promotional in nature.

Short promotional videos work well because…

  • People have short attention spans.Studies have shown that our attention spans are getting smaller and smaller. Down from 12 minutes just a few years ago to 5 minutes. In the digital age information is at our fingertips like never before. The easy access to information means people are less willing to hang around and wait to hear what you’ve got to say.

     

  • People are busy. If they see your video is a long one they might not be willing to invest the time it takes to watch it.

     

  • Often, it can be hard to see the clutter until you actively try and cut it. Giving yourself a time limit will help you to sort the wheat from the chafe; encouraging you to convey the important information clearly and concisely. The result? Your video will feel snappier and more engaging.

Do longer form videos have a place?

Just because the data tells us that the average video length is under 10 minutes, doesn’t mean that long form content is completely ruled out.

It all goes back to understanding the type of content your audience are looking for and what video length they’re most likely to respond to.

For example, educational content like training videos, online lessons and webinars can all work well. Here the viewer is getting a lot of value from the content and it is therefore more worth their while to stay in it for the long haul.

Bear in mind though, that it is typically reported that the maximum attention span of the average adult is 20 minutes. Once you go beyond that point you might have a hard time getting the viewer to stick around.

And this was mirrored in our data, with a sharp dip in the number of business videos that go over 15 minutes in length.

long form average video length

So, back to the original question:

How long should your video be?

Well, for promotional videos the shorter the better, around the 1 minute mark is best.

For education and training videos go for under 15 minutes to ensure your students maintain their focus. If your lessons are typically longer than this try breaking them into smaller, more digestible chunks.

You Tube Capture now gets editing and 1/3 of all iOS Uploads

 

 

youtube capture update
Summary:

Arnold Schwarzenegger is not the only fan of YouTube Capture: The app is now used for a third of all YouTube uploads from iOS devices. That’s why YouTube added some updates.

 

YouTube just released version 2.0 of its iOS Capture app, and the update adds simple editing features to the app, including the ability to trim clips and combine multiple clips to a single video. Capture also now taps into YouTube’s catalog of licensed music to make it easier to add a soundtrack that won’t get your video blocked on the site.

YouTube released Capture as a simple video recording and uploading app for iOS in December of 2012, and the app has apparently filled a void: A third of all videos uploaded from iOS now come from Capture, according to a blog post published on YouTube’s Creators blog. Capture also has a number of famous fans, including Arnold Schwarzenegger, who recently used the app to film himself reciting some of his most famous movie quotes on request of Reddit users.