The insatiable appetite for video means there has quite simply never been a better time to be in the video industry, says Accedo head of marketing, solutions and innovation Luke Gaydon.
The relentless march of online video continues as it becomes ever more prevalent. Initially, online video was limited to more traditional content, such as entertainment, sports and news. But content providers are now looking more closely at viewer behaviour and matching content choices accordingly. There are an increasing number of different industries and verticals being served with video choices, from cooking and DIY tutorials to fishing programmes, along with all of the more traditional types of content.
All of this means that consumers expect to be able to go to any online resource and find the video content they want, no matter what it is. This insatiable appetite for video means there has quite simply never been a better time to be in the video industry. At the same time production and distribution is becoming more commoditised, meaning people can afford to make and distribute more of it than ever before.
This is of course fantastic for our customers, whether they are creating content, distributing it or monetising the audience. It is also great for consumers, who know that no matter what they like watching, they can find a service to provide engaging and increasingly high-quality content to suit them.
While it is a good time for video, its very success is also causing the biggest challenge. As more platforms, devices and technical solutions emerge, video workflows have become exceedingly complex. That may be manageable for the big, well-funded companies with a lot of engineers who can spend time managing systems, but even then, it entails lots of time and effort to simply keep the service going. Instead, providers should be putting this effort into continuing to delight their audience, optimising monetisation, creating better content and marketing that service to potential new subscribers.
As video providers seek to find new ways to monetise their services, we are seeing a lot of experimentation with hybrid business models. In order to figure out the best model for a given audience, service or type of content, it is absolutely crucial to be able to very quickly test those various options. If the testing process takes months, they will quite likely no longer be your audience anymore.
In order to manage that complexity, experiment with hybrid business models and continue to delight viewers, video providers now require tools that enable them to grow their video services at the right pace rather than being hampered by technology choices made to date. If the technology solutions that drive the video service are not flexible, the service will not be able to evolve at a rate that keeps audiences happy and delighted.
Solving that either needs better standardisation of the entire tech stack or innovative new strategies to provide a simpler, quicker, more cost-efficient way to gain access to the technology ecosystem. It also requires the flexibility to change that ecosystem, or parts of it, at any time – even if just for specific regions or types of content. That flexibility will make it easier for video providers to focus on delivering the right content to their viewers.
Luke Gaydon is head of marketing, solutions and innovation at Accedo.