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Staying Relevant in an Online Video Invasion

It’s no secret that online video has taken over, or at least helped shape, the current trend of content being shared on the internet. This trend is highly evident on social media, but can also be observed all over the web as more people are consuming video on mobile. But where did this push for online video start, and more importantly where is this trend going? One thing is for certain, consumers want more and that isn’t likely to change anytime soon.


The true start to this online video invasion dates back to the launch of YouTube on Valentine’s Day in 2005, even though developments were starting back in 1997 when Flash first became the standard for web video. Early content included the popular television show South Park, along with material from other popular television series at the time. Nike was the first company to go “viral” on the online video platform, with its three-minute clip of soccer star Ronaldinho breaking one million views. Content transition started roughly a year later when “vlogging” became popular due to consumers having more ready access to personal cameras.

In October of 2006, Google purchased YouTube to gain an upper hand in the online video revolution. In the years to follow, popular streaming services such as Hulu and Netflix began to reevaluate their business models to serve a more digital-only experience. All the while these shifts were happening for video-streaming services, smartphones made huge leaps to become more video friendly. Google, still trying to keep up, created its own smartphone and OS in Android to compete with Apple’s iPhone and iPhone OS (now known as iOS), which both launched in 2007. These advances all happened in the span of a few years, which led to video rental superstar Blockbuster filing for bankruptcy in September of 2010.

The fall of rental video stores across the country led to new approaches to charm marketers into reallocating marketing dollars away from traditional television. In 2010, online video first fulfilled its potential as mobile users skyrocketed and trends turned towards more smartphone usage, which provided consumers videos on the go. Within the past seven years, we have seen the rise and fall of Vine, Snapchat growth and other new platforms for users to get more “personal.”


YouTube now reaches more adults 18+ during prime-time hours than any cable TV network. This increase in younger audiences has led to loyal viewership of the online video platform giant. With statistics including teens watching 3% less television than adults 35+ and millennials watching 47% less than adults 35+, it’s a no-brainer that advertisers need to make adjustments in their marketing plans.

Given the past decade of rapid change and current online viewing habits, it’s safe to say the next decade will bring its own set of trends that marketers will need to adapt to. There are a couple things that are certain, though. Mobile devices will continue to play a huge role in how consumers are viewing content and there will be new platforms, or at least new ways, in which consumers will view this content on mobile devices.


The future of online video is strong and resilient. So strong, in fact, that Cisco predicts that 80% of internet traffic will be video by 2020. The next big question is, how can brands stay relevant during these influxes of technological advances in online video?

Personalization and interactivity will be key. Providing users with a unique experience, one they don’t believe they will be able to find anywhere else, will be a cornerstone for brands to stay ahead of the game. This is now evident in 360-degree video technology becoming more readily available and other advances in augmented reality. The ability to interact with this content is what consumers are looking for. Also, as more online video advertising products become available to marketers, the days of pre-rolls ad formats is no longer the only option.

Overlays and mid-rolls, in conjunction with pre-roll options, will give marketers the ability to provide the most relevant user experiences. These new options will also create a challenge, in that there will be a push towards specific creative for each format. This also applies to all online video content in general. Marketers will need to invest in custom-created content for digital instead of just recycling television spots to stay ahead of the competition. This omnichannel video strategy will play a pivotal role in where your content stacks up against the overload of increasing online video content to come.

So, ask yourself this, what am I doing now that will keep me relevant in the online video invasion?

Elise Braun is the Digital Media Specialist at KK BOLD. She’s watching that video of the guy high-fiving and fist-bumping his cat on her phone right now.