TED’s Chris Anderson says “the rise of web video is driving a worldwide phenomenon he calls Crowd Accelerated Innovation – a self-fuelling cycle of learning that could be as significant as the invention of print. But to tap into its power, organisations will need to embrace radical openness.”
I find his notion, that useful messages (and not just the 3Ps – puppies, piracy and porn) are being spread by audio-visual media, an uplifting and hopeful proclamation for a world beset by challenges that appear bewilderingly complex. Because these videos are enabling people to learn, adapt and refine ideas, activities, systems and technologies in order to help themselves and each other simply by viewing how things can be done. Which gives us hope for a future where 9 billion people are vying for resources to survive and grow.
Anderson believes our brains are “exquisitely wired” for the medium of video, and so the potential reach is enormous. “Today, one person speaking can be seen by millions. Face-to-face communication has been fine tuned by years of evolution. That’s what’s made it into this mysterious powerful thing it is. Someone speaks, and there is resonance in all these receiving brains. [Then] the whole group acts together. This is the connective tissue of the human super organism in action. It has driven our culture for millennia. Now, print came along 500 years ago and was a challenge to the face-to-face communication largely because of the scale it provided in spreading ideas far and wide. And the art of the spoken word withered on the vine,” says Anderson. “But now, in the blink of an eye, the game has changed again. What Gutenberg did for writing, online video can now do for face-to-face communication.”
Anderson predicts that over the coming 5-10 years as much as 80% of online content will be audio visual. Which suggests a lot of work is currently being done to search engine optimise (SEO) video content and make it indexable so you can access the exact moment that the information being sought was conveyed. This idea was confirmed on the online video marketers guide website ReelSEO, where James McQuivey (Ph.D.), Vice President and Principal Analyst at Forrester Research, stated that “Even though the economy is in the crapper online video will see a boost in a year or so from now. Because people are going to focus on things that bring in easy ad dollars, like new ad formats and ad interactivity. They’ll then recognise that improving video speech recognition will help their improved ad environments scale up to more viewers and that’s when they’ll prioritise it.”
Search is the number one way people say they find videos. One of the keys in the future of video search is that, while it’s fine for people to find a video via search that they were looking for, it will be even more powerful if search can help people find – and easily consume – video when they weren’t looking for it in the first place. In that scenario, the video has to have some way of letting people know whether it’s going to be worth their while. So search isn’t just about finding the right video, it’s about providing the right communication around the video so people know which videos are worth their time.
In which case Google’s work with Google TV might prove a far more useful medium for marketers after all…. In fact, according to McQuivey, connected TVs are going to be a very big deal. His latest report, which includes US survey results about connected TVs along with a forecast for connected TV penetration through the middle of the decade, shows that they are going to sell like proverbial hotcakes. “By 2015, we forecast that more than 43 million US homes will have at least one. That’s a remarkable number, especially considering that we entered 2010 with fewer than 2 million connected TV homes in the US.”
Sources: TED TV, OmniVideo, ReelSEO, Forrester Research