The latest tech offers exponential growth potential for video

Virtual-reality-ces-2016

Will Virtual Reality be the Future of Video?

CES conjures images of drones, VR headsets, and quirky home gadgets–of which there were plenty, of course–but this year, the Las Vegas-based conference had more of an emphasis than ever on video and its growing ubiquity in consumer’s lives.

At a keynote on Thursday, YouTube’s chief business officer Robert Kyncl described how Americans spend more than five hours a day watching video. “There are only two things we do more than watch video: sleep and work,” he said. “More than five hours a day are spent watching video, and those hours fuel a $200 billion economy.” That’s even as traditional TV viewing has been on the decline since 2009. More than ever before, the definition of TV is simply becoming just another device where users consume video content.

Kyncl also affirmed his prediction made four years ago that 90 percent of all internet traffic would be video by 2020. In fact, data from Cisco indicates that the 90 percent mark will be hit in 2019.

More video on mobile, but does it matter?

Not only that, but consumers are turning more to their mobile devices to get their video, and advertisers are noticing. More than 50 percent of all Johnson & Johnson’s web traffic is from mobile, said Allison Lewis, the company’s global chief marketing officer.

Still, industry leaders are starting to move past the dreaded “Year of Mobile” proclamation (which has been bandied about since at least 2012) and are instead embracing the fact that we live in a multi-device, multi-channel world. Rather than get caught up in mobile myopia, the industry is starting to take a more holistic approach and find the consumers they’re looking for at the right time in the right context, regardless of the device they might be on–and brands finally have the right tools and data to do it.

What’s next for video?

There was no denying that Oculus Rift and other similar virtual reality headsets were big this year, with long lines to try the technology in the Convention Center’s South Hall. Industry leaders agreed that VR could be video’s next big frontier–both on the content and advertising side–but it is yet to be seen how exactly the platform and technology will evolve as a method for brands to reach consumers.

Kyncl suggested that for the tech to truly take off, more people would have to have access to the tools to create and consume such immersive experiences, such as GoPro’s new Odyssey 3D camera and Google Cardboard.

Whatever form it takes, video will continue its exponential growth over this year and next, and content creators and brands alike will push the medium forward in innovative ways that will continue to shape our viewing habits.


lgalloway_220x220By Lindsey Galloway
Director, Product Communications

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