If you haven’t already heard about VidCon, it’s time to get familiar. The three-day conference in Anaheim brings together more than 300 of the most widely-known YouTube and online creators and draws nearly 20,000 attendees. What SXSW has become to the technology space, VidCon is for the online video [R]evolution.
But when you get past the fun and the fans, VidCon is at the center of a multi-billion dollar growing industry that is online video. While performances, events and shows draw thousands of fans, there will be just as many executives from TV, Film and Advertising agencies looking to figure out how to tap into this highly-connected younger generation for years to come.
So as is custom, we decided to create a few custom cocktails, VidCon-coctions if you will, around our thoughts and the trends we’re hearing from insiders in the space.
The 4V (Vertical Video Views over Vodka)
- 3V – 3 parts vertical video views
- 1 part vodka
- Splash of soda water
- Twist of lime
With the growth of apps like Meerkat, Periscope, Snapchat, and the widespread adoption of Facetime on the iPhone, vertical video is becoming more acceptable than ever as a medium for people to consume content.
Like your basic vodka soda, people are consuming more video on the go because it’s ergo dynamic and easy to consume.
Phones are getting big! Sure every TV and computer monitor is designed to show video horizontally, but with the growth of the mobile consumer, there’s a huge opportunity to service a new type of production style.
The tough part is that it requires producers and creatives to think differently, and to expend some extra effort to produce multiple formats. But let’s be real, we’re talking about various forms of short-form or mobile live-streamed content. I don’t think anyone is thinking about watching a full-length feature film on their phone in portrait mode. So why not adapt to and see if optimizing the video works better than the alternative.
“‘Snapchatters’ hold their phones vertically in their hands — the way that they typically use their phones,” writes Jon Steinberg of the Daily Mail.
Combine that with the 2 Billion views on Snapchat daily, and their report of nine times better performance when they were presented vertically and you can see that’s a number no sane business person could ignore.
Secs on the Beach
- Peach schnapps
- 1.5 oz Orange
- 1.5 oz Cranberry juice
Right now there’s a battle waging over your attention span.
You know it’s a problem when we’re being compared to goldfish. Yes that’s right, results of a recent study showed the average human attention span dropped from 12 seconds in 2000 to eight seconds, compared to the laser-focused nine seconds of your common goldfish.
It’s no secret that during the span of time this study was measured, mobile devices and social media networks took off as a means of communication across the world via the internet. How are creators and networks reacting to this short attention span?
This year we’re already seeing companies creating content of all lengths, but as the idea of “TV’ declines to younger audiences, we’re seeing an interesting trend of “polarizing production” – with everyone producing content towards the outside edges of the spectrum.
We have the short form, Instagram at 15 seconds, Snapchat with 10, Vine at 6 and new BeMe, the new video social network from Casey Neistat, recording 4 second bursts.
We have the long form, with more and more companies pushing OTT and longform content on sites like Vessel.
- 2 slices Fresh ginger root
- 2 dashes Angostura bitters
- 1 1/2 ounces housemade rhubarb syrup (this recipe isn’t really ours – original here)
- 2 ounces Buffalo Trace Bourbon
- 1/2 ounce fresh lemon juice
- Garnish: Raspberry and a candied ginger stick
It’s not easy to be an MCN right now. A bit muddled in their identity, MCNs companies like Maker Studios, AwesomenessTV and Fullscreen continue to churn out new shows with their creators in attempts to become the new Hollywood studio powerhouses.
But are they more like the Disneys and Universals of the world? Or brand agencies, given the increased demand for access to “influential talent” they receive? Some hybrid in between?
And what happens when faced with increased competition from more and more “influencer companies” who brand out into managing and producing their own original series? Companies like Famebit, typically known for connecting YouTube creators with brands, who announced recently they’ll be creating and distributing original content, or VHX, enabling creators with large audiences to bypass the MCNs and sell premium content directly to their fans.
But like good muddled drink, taking time and effort to unlock the best flavors, MCNs too can take advantage of their early position in the space to extract the best opportunities and data around talent to define the future of entertainment.