Video has become an integral part of the users experience on the internet. Long gone are the days when even the shortest clip would take an age to load; streaming video can now be accessed and watched almost instantaneously – and watched it is. According to Don Reisinger at The Digital Network, 83.5 % of US internet users watched internet video in January. That’s a total of over 171 million people. That translates into big bucks. Analyzing Comcast’s data, Reisinger says that average videos “lasted about five minutes, and those who watched ad-supported content were forced to sit through an average of 24 seconds worth of commercials.” Overall, that’s 4.3 billion ads in January alone.
So why has online video become so popular with internet users? A picture may speak a thousand words, but a video is worth at least a thousand pictures. Video is uniquely placed to give the most accurate reflection of events. Sights, sounds and action can all be shared in an easily accessible fashion. With smartphones from all major market players now ubiquitous, video can be used to document users lives, from everyday experiences to once in a lifetime events. The natural next step is to upload these videos online and share them with friends, family, and the world. Here is a video of a wedding shot entirely on an iPhone
Even big name news stations are now relying on user videos for coverage, with much of the footage from protests in Egypt, Tunisia, and Libya coming from individual citizens who took out their smartphones and recorded the events that they were experiencing.
Viral videos, those internet phenomena that pervade social networking status updates and email forwards are especially popular. It’s hard to say exactly what it is that makes a video go viral. Anything from an awkward teenager with a light saber to horrific atrocities can, when caught on film, become a part of the cultural lexicon, known and seen by almost everyone.
One of the most important elements to a successful viral video is, of course, the soundtrack. Video is an immersive experience and the auditory input of a viewer is essential to their decision to continue watching and to share it with others. While catchy songs of the moment or iconic anthems of the past can sometimes be appropriate, a custom soundtrack can make a video really pop. The benefit of custom soundtracks is the ability to create perfect match between what is happening on screen and what is coming out of the speakers. The track can be designed to slowly build to a crescendo at the climax of the video, to feature as a soft backing to the clip, or to emphasize significant elements of the video.
It’s clear that online video is not only here to stay but will every day become even more vital to internet users’ experiences. Uploading and sharing videos is becoming easier every day, and as it becomes normal within social circles to do so, making and sharing original videos will become essential in order to keep up with the times.