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BBC Mobile Video

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

By Ledetta Asfa-Wossen , journalist



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May 19, 2015 | 4 min read

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Moving images, in its many digital forms, was a key topic of Digital Shoreditch’s Live day on 15 May.

“Over six billion hours of video are being watched each month. There’s more video being consumed all the time but the opportunities to consume video is rising with it", says Will Saunders, creative director of digital at the BBC. How do you keep the viewer engaged? Invite your audience in. ‘People want to control what they watch and do’, he says.

Saunders used the recently launched BBC Taster as an example of engaging customers by giving them ownership. The digital project invites the public to try, rate and share new content ideas and vote pilots into production. It’s also provides valuable feedback on their customer’s media habits. “Videos are fundamentally about good stories and talent, so why not open up the process?”

Let the customer take the stage

Erika Trautman, chief executive officer of Rapt Media spoke about the rise in mobile interactive video. “Brands are missing a huge opportunity if they don’t embrace short form video. 65 per cent of viewers watch video on an iPhone or Android. The video market is being driven by millennials who check their smartphones 8,000 times a year (that’s nearly 22 times a day). They’re notorious sceptics, incredibly idealistic and they want brands to talk to them individually and invite them to contribute and engage.”

Trautman urged brands to create videos that put the customer at the centre of the story. She gave examples of two interactive video campaigns: Phillips click and shave: Designed to Play and the Warner Bros: Focus on the Con.

It’s not what you view, it’s what you share

Debunking a few video myths that are stagnating brand engagement, product director, Cat Jones at Unruly says viewing rate is no longer king. “You can buy views. Don’t measure your engagement on views alone – you’re just measuring your media budget. The metric to follow is your share rate. You can’t buy a share.”

Jones also called on brands to measure their success outside of YouTube’s view counter. “74.1 per cent of online video views happens outside of and YouTube embedded video player, so it’s important to look at the whole picture.”

A mobile first economy

So, what’s the future of short form video in a mobile world? “Social, mobile and native”, says Grabyo chief executive, Gareth Capon. “The best experience is native for high level engagement, don’t use a third party video player. Short form video is a different video model entirely – it’s social and it’s consumed fast. 40 per cent of our video content is consumed within the first 20 minutes of release and almost all our videos are viewed in the first two days”. If brands want to fully take advantage of short form video, they need to ask: “Is it mobile, is it social and does it have scale?” warns Capon.

Ledetta Asfa-Wossen is a journalist for Ogilvy One. The Drum and Ogilvy UK are working in partnership to share the latest thinking from Digital Shoreditch 2015. Read more at The Drum’s Digital Shoreditch hub.

BBC Mobile Video

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