Web sites have always been a fluid medium, ever changing and constantly evolving. Everything encompassing the internet is always on the move and everyone wants to know, what is next? Recent studies from eMarketer.com, a leader in research and analysis on digital marketing, indicate that the future of the internet has become very clear. Video content is the newest online technology and it is taking over faster than anyone could have predicted.
In October of 2009, eMarketer.com published the results from a study it conducted on US online advertising spending. It concluded that the internet giants are no longer sinking their advertising dollars into old tactics such as search engines, email campaigns, or banner ads. The focus has been shifted towards online video advertising. Online video advertising skyrocketed in 2008 with 126% growth and continued to soar in 2009 with 42% growth. Analysts predict that this trend will continue well into 2014. These statistics become even more shocking when it is learned that in 2009, search engine growth was at a mere 4%, while email advertising and banner ads were on a steep decline.
What does this mean for web developers? That essentially web sites without video content are like newspapers without pictures. An article published at the end of 2009 by the New York Times said that “Web sites are starting to look a lot less like newspapers and a lot more like television.” Web developers will need to start adding video content to their websites in order to keep up with the changing times.
Why the change? The biggest factor is the recent leap in wireless broadband technology. Just a few years ago, people could not even watch a video clip on their computer without worrying about buffers and long loading screens. Now videos can be watched on mobile devices instantly, at any time, and in any place. We are living in a society that wants to be permanently connected. Wifi is available from coffee shops to airplanes. Even the cable company is no longer just the cable company, they offer high speed internet and in some cases are even willing to setup your wireless home network free of charge.
What kinds of online video content are there? There are two schools of thought when it comes to video content; educational videos and promotional videos. Educational videos are used primarily as a training tool to help explain a product or service. The top dogs like Google and Apple will not even release a product without supplementing it with an online educational demonstration. Promotional videos, on the other hand, are used to showcase a product or service to the world. They are more similar to television commercials because their main purpose is to advertise.
One thing is clear, online video content is taking the internet by storm and it is here to stay, at least for now. As for the future, no one really knows. The unpredictable nature of technological advances will always keep people asking, what is next?
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