Jan 17

The success of the photo application Instagram and its acquisition by Facebook is certainly no secret and has been shared and discussed among peers and friends throughout 2012. The question that came to mind for those of us in the video industry immediately was whether or not there was an equivalent for video. The answer was a resounding “no” to those I discussed it with due to the lack of video manipulation technology at the time. This is the sort of flexibility an application would need to have for video, in order to provide the same experience Instagram does for photos.

Image courtesy of techdigest.tv

People love pictures and videos which is one of the reasons Facebook has been so popular and has gone from “0 to 1 billion users in 7 years” (Source: LinkedIn.com). Add the fact that a user can customise a photo and put their personal style stamp on it with an application like Instagram is one of the top 10 rules of modern marketing in the digital age (Source: Boston.com). So how can we provide that same customised or interactive experience for video to create a little “Customer Love”?

That’s the question many of us in the industry have been tackling with, working on, and discussing with fellow digital partners alike. The good news is there is some traction in this area by some first movers which is bound to shift the industry. In a recent MediaPost article called “Making Video Truly Social” a company called Hapyak has figured out a way to personalise the video experience by adding a layer that allows users to customise the video with insights and share with whoever they like.

This is a great first step in what is soon to turn into a new way to use video for those brands and advertisers that have already figured out the value video provides, and are ready to add the interactive element to enhance the user experience. This is an area that we, at Preview Networks, believe will provide the customisation users crave, and the engagement brands can measure.

About Preview Networks

Preview Networks is a content marketing platform for brands and content aggregation and syndication platform for publishers. We provide the tools for brands to centrally distribute and manage marketing and PR content across media destinations, devices, and commerce platforms; allowing media partners to automate content acquisition delivering audience and advertising revenue growth.

UPDATE: The idea for this post has been brewing since the Facebook/Instagram acquisition in September, 2012. However without real progress in this space, the post would not have provided the value we strive to show in each blog update. Others in the industry also thought this was a valuable blog topic, found after this post was published. For more information, check out these guests posts on TechCrunch here and here.

Mar 08

The past couple of weeks have produced a news trend in the online video space all revolving around the same topic. The increased usage of smartphones and how that is affecting the video ecosystem.  This is always a good time to take a step back and look at the data to identify what kind of story it is telling. So this week’s blog post is a summary of those numbers and sources with one very important message for online marketers. The increase in smartphone and tablet usage, increases video views on devices which is a content marketing and video advertising opportunity.

Image courtesy of adostrategies.com

46% of U.S. Adults Own Smartphones
This headline comes to you courtesy of Media Post, but the data is from a recent Pew Study which indicates that as of February 2012, almost half of all American adults (46%) are smartphone owners. (Nielsen and comScore also reported similar trends at 48% and 42% respectively). In other words, nearly 3 out of 5 adults own a smartphone which makes them soon to be the majority with a good chance that the number will only increase. Every demographic is represented in this number but the groups which have the highest overall adoption rate (60%) are college graduates, 18-35 year olds, and those with an annual household income of $75,000 or more.

Key Online Video Mobile Demographic: 18-34
Similar to the Pew study mentioned above, Nielsen also recently released new data confirming a similar demographic (18-34) leading the smartphone adoption rate (Source: Media Post). However, they have taken this data one step further and looked into the behavior of this group they call “Generation C” which take personal connections to new levels with their use of devices, apps, and social networks. They are also avid multi-taskers, checking email or social networks while watching TV, which supports past research noted in previous blogs.

Video Half of All Mobile Internet Traffic with Mobile to Surpass PC Internet Users
A quarterly report from Bytemobile indicates that video now accounts for half of all mobile traffic, which according to a TechCrunch article is also testament to the rise of smartphone and device usage. This report notes that Android is generating more ad volume than iOS devices, with tablets leading the way overall compared to smartphones in terms of video traffic. An eye opening piece of research conducted by Forrester indicates that currently one fifth of the world’s mobile population  are using the internet to go online. Global penetration of mobile internet users will exceed that of PC internet users by 2016, with emerging markets driving adoption levels.

Europeans More Responsive to Ads on Devices
Nielsen research also indicates that mobile is becoming a powerful commerce tool, facilitating consumer transactions and access to real-time information and deals. Twenty-nine percent of U.S. smartphone owners use their phone for shopping-related activities and more than half of mobile users are repeat visitors to daily deal sites (Source: Media Post). However, tablet and smartphone owners in Germany, Italy and the U.K. are more likely than American device owners to make a purchase online via PC after viewing an ad on their tablet or smartphone according to the Nielsen report, also suggesting the need for a cross-platform strategy as supported above and in past posts.

Mobile Commerce on the Rise
A December 2011 study of 4,000 mobile users in the United States and United Kingdom by mBlox, confirms the rise and interest in commerce trends. Their report indicated that 9 in 10 young adults between the ages of 18 and 24 spend one to five hours on their mobile phones each day, and 1 in 10 spend between five and ten hours on their mobile phones. One third would like brands to send promotions via smartphone or tablet, noting it is “extremely important” for there to be an “opt-out” option. This is promising news for advertisers and also supports Nielsen research above. Whether or not these smartphone and tablet users would then use the same device to purchase a promotion afterwards remains to be discovered by future research.

About Preview Networks

Preview Networks is a platform for brands and content aggregation and syndication platform for publishers. We provide the tools for brands to centrally distribute and manage marketing and PR content across media destinations, devices, and commerce platforms; allowing media partners to automate content acquisition delivering audience and advertising revenue growth.

Jan 06

It’s YouTube – Not YourTube

By Ervin Draganovic Digital Media Trends Comments Off

The moving picture appeal of versus still graphics or written content is progressively influencing consumer behaviours and preferences. While marketers and retailers are becoming aware they need to be scalable when it comes to , most of them are left confused when deciding which video strategy to use. “Let’s just upload everything to , or wait! Should we host it ourselves?” should be an extension of the video strategy, not the strategy itself.

Image courtesy of zeroone.com

With more than 48 hours of content aggregated every minute and over 3 billion video views delivered a day, there is no doubt that YouTube is the most popular . Moreover, while these numbers are most often used in pitches arguing for using YouTube as the primary video destination and distribution platform, the numbers should be put into context for corporate video.

On a philosophical level, placing corporate videos primarily on YouTube is like placing a product on the lowest shelf somewhere in the corner of WalMart, while hoping that your product will get some consumer attention. The total amount of content shared on YouTube creates a high level of disturbance, which removes any hope of creating a controlled content consumption environment.

Additional arguments for not using YouTube as the primary platform are as follows:

  • YouTube is a entertainment platform – not a commerce channel
  • YouTube’s biggest interest is to get people to YouTube.com – not to a company domain
  • Uploading content to YouTube improves YouTube stickiness – not company domain stickiness
  • YouTube is about playlists – not call to action (CTA) opportunities
  • YouTube powered videos are likely to improve organic search results, however the video is linked to YouTube – not company domains where the product can be purchased

Instead of focusing only on YouTube, companies should invest in platforms that will bring exclusive video content propositions to its domain. With the right solution and execution, the video empowered domain can easily boost search engine results, increase stickiness, and improve conversion rates. As consumers continue to increase engagement levels on YouTube, companies should aim at utilizing the platform as a secondary vehicle for its corporate videos, not the focal strategy.

About Preview Networks

Preview Networks is a platform for brands and content aggregation and syndication platform for publishers. We provide the tools for brands to centrally distribute and manage marketing and PR content across media destinations, devices, and commerce platforms; allowing media partners to automate content acquisition delivering audience and advertising revenue growth.

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Dec 29

Video Prediction Mashup for 2012

By Heather Timmerman Digital Media Trends Comments Off

At the end of each year various analysts, experts, journalists, media and technology junkies alike, take to the wires with their predictions for the new year. The industry is no different. is exploding and not everyone is yet accustomed to why it is so popular, how to use it, or where to put it. One might say the industry has even more predictions than most due to its volatile nature. So in the spirit of collaboration and aggregation, I have developed a mashup of various predictions that we, here at Preview Networks, have found to be relevant in our research and discussions with customers and fellow junkies.

1. Video Context will become as important as . This prediction comes from Tom Wilde, CEO of Ramp via VideoNuze.com and is not so much a prediction as it is a rule of thumb for how to use video most effectively. Placing a video into a relevant editorial section to enhance its appeal, or using a media platform in line with the video content, is just as important as creating the engaging content itself. Creating an “a-ha!” moment is the point at which comprehension and emotion come together, which pulls consumers deeper into the sales cycle.

2. Increased Branded-Content Production. According to Alphabird, more marketers will begin producing original-content for brands, and increasingly playing the role of media company. With advertising on the rise, these assets become easier for brands to manage and distribute themselves, saving costs on various agencies that are currently being used. We saw this trend happening in 2011 among luxury brands like Burberry and Ralph Lauren as we have blogged about in the past. Accordingly, the focus has become more and more about the media-content as it has been on the design.

3. Cross-Platform and Cross-Device Campaign Planning will become the Norm for Most Brands. This is an increasing consumer trend that will be solidified in 2012, as more brands offer these services, as noted by YuMe’s Jayant Kadambi among others. The increase of usage enables video mobility, and the popularity of and expansion of device manufacturers, gives consumers more ways to consume video. is the final piece of the emerging platform puzzle, and according to AOL’s Ran Harnevo, Cross Platform will be the new King. This trend is about the ability to view video on any platform, at anytime, and providers who are able to offer a comprehensive video solution will be able to take advantage of this growing market share.

4. Reallocation of Traditional Budgets towards Digital Budgets. As AdoTube’s Steven Jones has noted, this is a prediction that many in the advertising and technology community have talked about for years, but 2011 is the first time the effect of advertisers extending TV buys by using digital video online could be felt. Marketers are becoming aware of the complementary nature of combining TV and online video, and as economic concerns increase across the globe, so does the shift in advertising from offline to online, according to an eMarketer recent report.

5. 90% of ’s Channels will Fail. Perhaps a bold statement, but as companies wake up to the fact that they can easily manage and distribute digital assets themselves, it could hold some validity. According to Jim Louderback, CEO of Revision 3, YouTube’s program is a classic venture model where they expect to lose 90% of the investment, but for the ones that will succeed it serves as a pipeline for TV ad money to funnel into the online space. This supports the argument made above and is also a nice teaser for next week’s blog post. Stay tuned for more!

About Preview Networks

Preview Networks is a content marketing platform for brands and content aggregation and syndication platform for publishers. We provide the tools for brands to centrally distribute and manage marketing and PR content across media destinations, devices, and commerce platforms; allowing media partners to automate content acquisition delivering audience and advertising revenue growth.

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Dec 22

has been exploding onto the marketplace adding interest to editorial sections and intrigue to sites on the internet for some time. However, the use of video on various platforms such as smartphones and tablets is an area that is emerging very quickly, and one that some forecasters are noting as a trend to watch in 2012.

Image courtesy of tablets-planet.com

According to a recent eMarketer study, US smartphone viewers represent 90% of the mobile video population and mobile video adoption is poised to continue on a steep incline for the next four years. In regards to multiple devices, one platform does not necessarily outweigh the other. “As tablets attract a larger share of video viewing, smartphones are benefiting because most tablet users also own smartphones and typically have the same apps on both devices,” according to eMarketer Analyst, Paul Verna. “With more video content flowing to these apps, users are choosing their preferred screen at any given time. Often this means toggling between tablets and smartphones, or between laptops and any number of entertainment devices.”

Among online video viewers on all platforms, watching premium content is becoming increasingly popular. eMarketer estimates that 49% of US adult viewers watched full-length TV shows at least once a month during 2011 with full-length feature films on the rise. Providers offering full-length films for some time are the airlines who are also increasingly adopting the tablet trend for in-flight entertainment. Just last week, American Airlines announced that they are offering the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 for first and business class passengers. According to Samsung, the tablet has been completely customised for AA which is also something we are seeing here at Preview.

One of our latest integrations is an in-flight integration with Adaptive Channel in France who will be offering the Apple tablet on private jets this week. The integration offers the latest news, fashion, culture, and upcoming films by integrating with content providers and syndicators like Le Monde, Elle, and Preview Networks.

About Preview Networks

Preview Networks is a platform for brands and content aggregation and syndication platform for publishers. We provide the tools for brands to centrally distribute and manage marketing and PR content across media destinations, devices, and commerce platforms; allowing media partners to automate content acquisition delivering audience and advertising revenue growth.

Related posts

Dec 13

Image courtesy of seoinhouse.com

Regardless of whether your focus is B2C or B2B, is the marketing strategy to be thinking about for 2012. Not only does increase conversion rates, it encourages sharing across web platforms, and creates a more engaging experience .

Recent data from Forrester, comScore, eMarketer and more, show that utilising video in your online marketing strategy creates action and moves the consumer deeper into the sales cycle 52% of the time (business2community.com).  “The combination of moving images, still pictures, graphics, sound, and text…appeals simultaneously to multiple senses making online marketing video the ultimate way to communicate, engage, and capture consumer attention” (Rick Dearborn).

Consider why 60% of business executives state they would rather watch video than read text (Forbes Insight Study, 2010). Because as humans we are visual beings and have an inherent preference for moving objects (Motion Effect Theory, Sundar & Kalyanaraman 2004).  “Due to ’s unique way of grasping the potential client’s attention and educating them on the people behind the products and services, companies that start using video will gain a quick competitive advantage and put themselves ahead of their competition” (Robert Weiss, President of MultiVision Productions).

Think of online video and TV advertising in the same context as far as affect, only far more affordable. Recent research from Google and Ipsos has shown that combining the two actually complement each other very well when it comes to increasing brand recall. However, not everyone can afford TV advertising. In that case, consider replicating your online video onto mobile and tablets and you have yourself a competitive multi-platform strategy. But first things first;  start with the video. If you build it [they] will come.

About Preview Networks

Preview Networks is Europe’s largest preview network. We serve websites, apps and . Our content is available on MSN,, , The Times, MySpace, The Guardian, El Pais, El Mundo, Le Monde and more than 2,300 other online . We work with more than 300 brand and companies. Learn more on previewnetworks.com

 

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Dec 06

Image courtesy of resonancesocialmedia.com

Recently I have been asked for several sources that document why is such a good marketing tool, so I thought I would dedicate a blog to documenting this trend. By gathering all the good tid-bits of information from the past year, here is an roundup. It includes links to previous posts in addition to external sources that sum up the power of .

Online Video Trending Up: 2010′s online video number review including links to 3 different reports. Here’s a blog-bite: “Consumers favor short form over full 30-60 minute programs, as 42% of video is consumed at the workplace in “snackable,” shortform clips” (YuMe Online Video Attitudes Whitepaper).

The Growth of Branded Content: The beginning of 2011 showed investor confidence in online video as $477 million was raised in Q1 alone, to support businesses focusing in this area (VideoNuze Blog post). Consumers are watching more video, and the industry is acknowledging the trend.

Leveraging the ROI of Video: increases , encourages sharing, and creates a more engaging experience for the consumer, and a blog post by video-commerce.org tells you how to leverage that ROI.

Product Videos Improve Consumer Decision Accuracy: In case you need a little academic theory to back up the trend, read this blog to find out how consumers, as cognitive misers, are drawn to video versus text heavy sites.

Brands that Embrace Video Improve Sales: This post links to case studies of brands like Zappos and Lands’ End who are capitalising on by incorporating video into their online marketing strategies.

Online Video is Content Marketing of the Future: A data-packed post with sources from comScore, Forrester, and Business2Community.com supporting the power of video. “The combination of moving images, still pictures, graphics, sound, and text – with interactivity and devices – appeals simultaneously to multiple senses making online marketing video the ultimate way to communicate, engage, and capture consumer attention” (Rick Dearborn, B2C).

The Secret Ingredient for Engaging Content: Check out a recent case study done by Getty that captures how to create powerful and engaging communication with video, and get introduced to the concept of The Content Graph which is the basis for many future blog posts, and where we see this trend going.

The Role of Brands as Media Companies: Brands like Burberry and Ralph Lauren are leading the trend and utilising their video assets to become more like media companies than designers.

I hope you enjoyed this review of past posts. Stay tuned for more future posts documenting this trend.

About Preview Networks

Preview Networks is Europe’s largest preview network. We serve websites, apps and . Our content is available on MSN,, , The Times, MySpace, The Guardian, El Pais, El Mundo, Le Monde and more than 2,300 other online . We work with more than 300 brand and companies. Learn more on previewnetworks.com

 

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