It’s 2013. We’re nearing 2014. Today, we can start watching a movie on Netflix on our iPad, pause it, pick it up on our iPhone at the exact same spot, 2 hours later, and then complete the movie from the confines of our couch, later that evening, via our AppleTV. Impressive, right?
Earlier this year, from Sydney, Australia I used Apple’s FaceTime to video chat with my daughter back home in Minneapolis. That’s technology, in the video space, working hard to deliver an amazing consumer experience.
Despite the growth and innovation of consumer video experiences, the branded video content and video advertising categories continue to struggle with both growth and traction with consumers. It would be easy to point the finger at the myriad of video formats marketers need to plan against, lack of measurement standardization or the overall fragmentation of the web. But, I think the lack of progress in digital video stems from 2 critical challenges.
- Infrastructure: In 2012, I wrote about how the increased focus by mobile providers to throttle data usage or increase the cost for data usage would hold the industry back. It has. When you have a choice between watching a great, funny, entertaining video or refreshing your Facebook stream 10X a day, it’s rare you’ll choose the video. Mobile data is life and you don’t want to reach the end of your life quickly.
- Quality Content: The reality is, the majority of video content from manufacturers isn’t interesting enough to earn the right on to a user’s screen. The last time a brand created content that was so good, you’d pay to watch it, was BMW Films. Since then, marketers have been copying that formula to try and drive success. On the whole it hasn’t worked because the content still pales in comparison to the content BMW presented in 2002. Yes, I said 2002. Video content from 11 years ago is better than the majority of video content being produced today. Then again, we’re a culture that thinks Old School was a better movie than Animal House.
As a marketer you could wait for the infrastructure to evolve. But, the reality is, infrastructure always evolves. I think your better bet is focusing on creating the type of desirable content that transcends infrastructure, data caps, screen sizes, platforms and languages. It also, wouldn’t hurt to stop advertising a 60 second pre-roll in front of a 15 second piece of content on YouTube.
*These thoughts were included in the recent CMO.com Wants to Know Article.