Online video FAQ posted on my blog

October 13, 2008

I keep getting the same questions from people about online video. How many people do it? How much do they do it? Why is the online sky blue? Why, Daddy, Why?

Enough already! Just kidding. To make it easier to get your answers, I have assembled an Online video FAQs page that will always be accessible from the top menu of my blog.

I don’t know how often I’ll update it, as we don’t have surveys in the field every month. But as interesting facts become known, and I can share them, I will add them to this page. Spread the word, so I don’t have to…

Video everywhere: ATM screen in NYC runs ads

October 11, 2008

OmniVideo (OmniWhat? Read up on OmniVideo here) predicts that we’ll have many more public screens for video in the future. Not just the screen in the bar or even the elevator, but at retail, at the gas pump, and, below, you see the first ATM I’ve seen that uses full-motion video to attract passersby. 

This was in NYC on my way to speak at the Veoh-sponsored event (see my posts about Michael Eisner, online video engagement, and the heavyhitting online TV panel). The video captured my attention exactly as only full-motion video can (I promise to write more later about how video unique attracts our brains — we’re wired for video).

I was crossing from 7th Ave to 6th Ave on 26th Street, this ATM was on the north side of the street. Today, it only shows ads for the bank itself, but where could it go tomorrow? Ads for related services — travel, car loans — why not?

Where have you seen video in unusual places? It’s a new category for my blog. If you find a good one, let me know, I’d like to post a picture or video of the strangest. Maybe I’ll even start a contest for the best entry.

My son runs for president, or, does he?

October 7, 2008

If you haven’t seen this, you should check it out. It’s a gag video that also functions as a sign of things to come. 


Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “2008 Election Coverage“, try this yourself at

Lachlan — the candidate featured in the above — happens to be my one-year old. Don’t know if he’ll seek political office one day, but just in case, I inserted his name into this video so he has a track record of grassroots support.

I posted this because, despite how cheeky is it, it’s a handy example of one of the things that’s likely to come out of an OmniVideo world (for more on OmniVideo, the future of Video, read the What Is OmniVideo page). A world in which video is as flexible and malleable as the word processor made text and Photoshop made still images.

Video is only going to get easier to manipulate. The phrase “seeing is believing,” hasn’t held sway since Terminator 2 made a man turn into molten metal.

At least back then, that little stunt cost hundreds of thousands to plan, shoot, and add effects in post production. Today, with 30 seconds of work, I put a virtual tattoo on the small of a senior citizen’s back promoting a fictional campaign for my toddler. Wow.

Day In The Life Of Typical Viewer: 2008 vs. 2013

September 29, 2008

Let’s put some money where my mouth is. I’ve said that people are going to watch an extra hour a day of video by 2013; I’ve said that people will watch much more content on-demand and on portable devices than ever before. So what does that look like? When you do the math on my predictions, it says that 2013 looks like this compared to today:

What do you notice about this? The biggest shocker is that although OmniVideo sounds like the death of linear content, doing the math shows that at least in the 5-year time frame and under the assumptions I’ve envisioned, linear video viewing has only gone down by 27 minutes a day (from 3 hrs 12 mins to 2 hrs 45 mins). If you’re a linear content provider (broadcaster, cable net), take some heart. However, recognize that these are averages. The youngest and most sophisticated viewers will be way lower than this…

Four Trends OmniVideo Predicts

September 29, 2008

The extra hour of video that people will watch a day in 2013 creates a 25% growth opportunity for every player in the industry, creating a potential $37.5 billion growth opportunity in advertising revenue, content and subscription fees, and bandwidth charges.

That’s a pretty big assertion. It’s also entirely possible. To see how quickly we’re moving toward this future, I will be keeping my eyes on four specific predictions or metrics that OmniVideo implies:

· The percent of video viewed that is on-demand. The best evidence that OV has already started is the preponderance of on-demand viewing; this will account for an estimated 20% of all viewing in 2008 and rise to nearly half of all video — 45% — in five years. I’m not including recorded media like DVDs, as this involves the step of first acquiring content before it can be viewed. I do include content played back on a DVR, as well as true video on demand (VOD) delivered by cable, satellite, and telcoTV providers. The biggest force here is online video which is all on-demand by definition.

·  The percent of video delivered via IP. All content will be delivered via Internet Protocol eventually, but for the near future, the closed networks of cable and satellite providers will dominate, keeping this number to 35% in 2013. In the US, much IP-delivered content is also viewed on-demand, with the exception of IPTV-delivered linear content on platforms like AT&T’s U-verse (so make sure you recognize that these four predictions are not mutually exclusive).

·  How much video is consumed on a mobile or portable device. Between laptops, iPods, and mobile phones, no more than 8% of video will be viewed on a portable device in 2008. This number isn’t going to rise quickly, either, reaching just 15% in 2013. It’s not the minutes that matter here as much as the percent of people who snack on portable video, which should reach nearly half of all viewers by then. A big number of people, even if they don’t spend a majority of video minutes on it.

·  The percent of video consumed that is personal. The final indicator is the portion of video consumed that is personal, meaning the viewer or the viewer’s friends or family created it. This number starts small — just 2% this year — and rises to only 10% in five years. It can’t rise faster than the others because it depends on the others for a boost. Only when people have an OV environment in which it is easy to deliver and view video will they finally feel like it’s convenient to generate, maintain, and share video of their own making.

Source: Forrester Research, 17 June 2008 report, “How Video Will Take Over The World,” by James McQuivey, Ph.D.



OmniVideo Will Change What And How Much People Watch

September 29, 2008

The passing of the torch from TV to OmniVideo will produce specific changes in viewers’ lives — Most important, OmniVideo will drive the average total viewing time up 25% between now and 2013, from 4 hours to 5 hours per day, as people:

·  Use new platforms to “enhance” old viewing patterns. Producers ask: “Will my ratings dip even lower because people will have so much to watch and so many ways to watch it?” The answer in the five-year time frame is no. The first thing people want to do with a new platform is watch their favorite shows in a more convenient context. That’s exactly what has been happening with portable devices and especially online TV viewing. [See my Forrester Report, What It Really Means To Watch TV for more on this]. As a result, the viewing of favorite programs actually increases, adding an estimated 30 minutes of viewing a day by 2013.

·  Snack on new content to fill spare moments. As nontraditional – especially portable – video devices become normal parts of everyday life, viewers will gradually find other things to watch. They will want video they can snack on — short, 5-minute clips that fill the empty space between other activities, be it in the kitchen waiting for a buzzer to go off, in the conference room waiting for yet another meeting to start, or at the bus stop waiting for the overcrowded bus to arrive. This will add an estimated 20 minutes of video to the typical viewer’s day by 2013. 

·  Add personal background loops to their lives. Imagine a VH1-style Behind The Me documentary that intelligently assembles itself based on what it learns about you over time, keeping a current video diary of your life and times, accessible and running in a background loop on any display in your environment — TV, PC, portable media player, phone, or digital photo frame. This will add just 10 minutes of video viewing to the typical viewer’s day by 2013 because few people will do it; however, for those few who have a personal video loop running on a digital photo frame, it will add hours of video per day. 

Core Human Needs Drive OmniVideo

September 29, 2008

In the end, no technology can force OmniVdeo into being. Instead, the core need of the human animal will drive OV into our lives, because:

·  The brain is built for video. Simply put, we are alive today because millennia ago, the hominids whose visual skills helped them spot threats to survival as well as opportunities for food (and reproduction, don’t leave that out) survived. Those with less powerful visual machinery did not. It should come as no surprise, then, that in the modern age, we have an immense portion of our brain power dedicated to processing moving visual images. We will go to great lengths to stimulate those dedicated systems in the brain, much the way an addict does. 

·  We want yet another way to communicate. Alexander Graham Bell famously doubted that the phone would be useful in the home except for calling doctors to attend to emergencies. He was very wrong, failing to recognize that a technology that facilitates our human drive to communicate will spread rapidly. The phone did, as did email. Now it’s video’s turn because if a picture is worth a thousand words, then a minute of video is worth 1.8 million words (lessee: A second of video contains 30 individual pictures or frames; therefore, a minute of video contains 30 x 60 = 1,800 pictures. Multiplied by a thousands words per picture, a minute of video is worth 1.8 million words.) 

·  Society craves a mirror. Happy Days said something about who we were as a people in the 1970s, just as Lipstick Jungle (sadly) speaks volumes about who we are today. Only now, we don’t have to content ourselves with a monolithic mirror reflected by a handful of networks. Instead, we can see ourselves — and all our blemishes — vividly portrayed in skater videos, kitten videos, reality TV shows, home movies, and thousands of other video sources of humor, awe, inspiration, contention, distraction, and debate.