4K Is Here!

Are you ready for 4K? Manufacturers are, and they are ramping up for the next phase in how we enjoy videos, both on mobile TV and via big screens. There are some hurdles, and although it seemingly took the better part of decade for most countries to transition into 720p/1080p HDTV, the next wave of ultra resolution definitely seems like it is on the fast track.

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So just how big of a leap is going from HDTV to 4K? It’s big. Current HDTV specs come in at 1280×720/1920×1080, 16:9 ratio and 24p, 30p and 60i. 4K ramps up to a pretty big jump of 7680×4320. The same aspect ratio of 16:9 is in effect, but the frame rate is bumped up to 60p, for extremely high-definition, flicker-free imagery.

Companies are going full force with producing 4K sets, but the lack of content could be problematic. And that’s where we come in! The team at ReelDealHD is committed to providing consumers with next level products and services that add to the scarce library of 4K content.

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This week we are proud to announce that we will be contributing to the advancement of this next level technology and commencing our first 4K project. The beauty in 4K viewing is best exhibited through gorgeous patterns and hues. Because of this, it is fitting that we have chosen to bring the party to life by recreating a nightclub scene packed with dazzling lights and vibrant outfits.

Make sure to stay connected with ReelDealHD in order to get more information on 4K as well as a behind the scenes look at this weeks shoot.

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Corporate videos put employees in the frame

Many people use YouTube and Facebook to achieve “15 minutes of fame” in their personal lives by making videos about their interests and enthusiasms. Now employers are encouraging them to do the same at work.

Reality TV has been a big influence, and everyone wants to be on camera now, says Vern Hanzlik, executive vice-president of Qumu, a video management software company. “Video is becoming a much more mainstream method of internal communications for companies, from the chief executive to junior employees,” he adds.

This was borne out in an international survey of 300 companies in February and March this year by Kaltura, another video management software company. Some 70 per cent of respondents said they regard video as essential for internal communication, knowledge sharing and collaboration.

More than three-quarters agreed that video provides a “nearly in-person” experience, making messages powerful in a way that written communication cannot and helping connect geographically divided employees.

The problem is video’s voracious appetite for bandwidth and storage space. “Video clogs up corporate networks, so you need the infrastructure for intelligent routing and streaming,” says Mr Hanzlik. This is the aim of products such as Qumu and Kaltura.

Bayer piloted Qumu last year when it held a singing contest to celebrate its 150th anniversary. It invited employees to upload videos of their performances to its corporate network, assess each other’s rendering of the specially commissioned song, share their favourites and vote for winners.

The contest was a huge success, attracting 200 entries and 680,000 viewings, says Thomas Helfrich, Bayer’s global head of social media. “It was unbelievable to see how excited contestants were, and the venues and styles they came up with,” he says.

“There were entries from more than 50 countries, including China, Mexico, Machu Picchu and the oldest stadium in Uruguay.” But they comprised 100 terabytes of data and there was no way Bayer’s existing network would have been able to cope.

Qumu handled the task so smoothly that Bayer has since adopted it for all its videos. Philips had similar success with Kaltura last November, when it asked employees to make videos of what the company’s brand meant to them.

The aim was to build staff awareness of Philips’ three businesses – healthcare, consumer/lifestyle and lighting. Again there was an enthusiastic response, says Paul Osgood, Philips’ head of internal communications.

A Philips employee in Brazil filmed himself cycling through São Paulo, contrasting a dingy and deserted neighbourhood, which felt dangerous, with a brightly-lit street where people were partying on the pavement. A female employee in the US made a video demonstrating how different her headphones made her life while jogging.

“People loved watching the videos and they went viral,” Mr Osgood says, but without Kaltura this could have brought down the Philips network. The software also lets Philips integrate the videos with its in-house TV channel, so that they can be viewed on TV screens by people working in factories where they do not have PCs.

Video management software makes the approvals process much more efficient, says Bayer’s Mr Helfrich. Many Bayer videos have to be checked for compliance and intellectual property issues such as copyright, patents and trademarks.

The software also provides better security than ad hoc systems built in-house. This was important at Bayer, where videos need to be stored securely for legal reasons and to ensure data privacy. “We wanted an application we could run in a protected environment with access restricted to employees,” Mr Helfrich says.

Ease of use is crucial for such software to be adopted widely across an organisation. The simplicity of Qumu meant that some 25,000 people had largely taught themselves how to use it by the end of the contest.

“We invested nothing in training beyond making a short online tutorial,” Mr Helfrich says. “It involved far less effort and education than usual when introducing new software.”

The next big step with corporate video, says Mr Osgood, will be giving staff access to it on their mobile phones. In the Kaltura survey, 75 per cent of respondents said that the ability easily to include video in corporate emails, social media and instant messaging would play an important role in the near future.

Employers are becoming much more receptive to the idea of their staff making and sharing videos, says Michal Tsur, Kaltura’s president and co-founder. “Three years ago, managers worried that employees might say the wrong thing, so their focus was on moderating, patrolling and reporting tools,” Mr Tsur says.

“But there has been a change in culture towards empowering employees. Organisations are recognising that communication need not be just top down, but can be bottom up, and that employees may have information that chief executives do not.”

Organisations have also realised that videos can help identify talent, spot charismatic employees and get more information from and about them, Mr Tsur says.

All this may be good for employees wanting to raise their profile at work. But as with other online activities, they would do well to check what they might subsequently be able to remove, should circumstances alter. Otherwise people may find their “fame” lasting longer than they bargained for.

Reeldeahd and nowhouse created OfficeBlink a unique corporate video format.  We successfully produced a series of video insights in these companies that was used for recruitment and social media. Would you like to learn more about how corporate video can help your company then please contact sales@reeldealhd.com

 

Pre-roll Ads Most Tolerable Video Ad Format [Report]

Yahoo! surveyed 1,775 consumers in the 16-44 age range who are regular online video viewers, several time a week at the least. Some of the results seem counter-intuitive to what many other reports have found. I guess it depends on who you survey, what platform you survey form and when you survey.

Paying for video seems to be not all that popular with the Yahoo! survey respondents. Just 35% said they would make micro payments for video while just 25% would pay monthly subscription fees for video. But the question is, are they talking about things like news video clips you find on Yahoo!? I mean, presumably, the audience they surveyed was theirs and not say, Netflix users.

Now, 35% of the U.S. online video viewing population is about 66 million people so that’s not all that bad. 25% is 47.25 million and that would be a fairly large SVOD subscriber base.

The research also showed that the video viewers are pretty ad savvy. Over half (57%) expect online advertising to be “more interactive.” More interactive than what immediately sprang to my mind. Than TV or print? Surely. Than other forms of digital advertising? Well, who knows, because I can’t find the exact wording of the question.

Privacy seems to be less of an issue to these surveyed consumers;

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Nearly half of the respondents expect online advertising to be relevant to them and 55% expect to have some choice in the ads that are shown to them. So overall, about half of the respondents are ad savvy where they have some passing familiarity with interactivity, engagement, ad relevance and targeting and ad choice, presumably in pre-roll ads.

The quality expectation for online video content has come close to that from TV.

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This question seems a bit leading to me. Were they asking about appealing or disruptive or a combination of both? Take a look at this slide from a Yahoo! presentation of the results (the typo is theirs I assure you). It’s entirely possible that the “How acceptabile [sic] are each of these ads ?” was the exact question I suppose.

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Here’s that part where I said tolerable because just 22% said that pre-rolls are more acceptable, apparently in regards to the others. Second was interactive ads which had an 18% approval rating, even though in the same slide show 57% said they expect the ads to be more interactive. Sponsorships also got 18% of the vote. Tied at 15% were banner and wrapped banners and mid-rolls were least acceptable in the reported results.

For video player ads there’s a 10% difference in acceptance of mid-roll and pre-roll. I hate pre-rolls personally, especially when the ad is paired with a piece of content that is less than 200% of the ad length. In terms of relevant targeting, 42% said they would be happy to share shopping information to get more relevant ads, another 42% said they might consider it and 16% said No .

Finally a few key take aways for advertisers;

  • Take into account daypart, device type, and demeanor

  • •Don’t get in the way of what the user wants to do

  • •Use data wisely and respectfully when targeting

  • •Contribute to the value exchange and reciprocity

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Online Content Videos Exceed 50 Billion Monthly Views in December 2013

comScore, via the Video Metrix report, has stated that, for the first time ever, a single month of online video viewing has purportedly topped 50 billion video views. I say purportedly because, as we are all aware by now, it’s not really the truth based on the way that they choose to track video views. Any 3-second viewing of a video is included, multiple views are included for a single piece of content, etc. Here’s their definition once again:

A video is defined as any streamed segment of audiovisual content, including both progressive downloads and live streams. For long-form, segmented content, (e.g. television episodes with ad pods in the middle) each segment of the content is counted as a distinct video stream. Video views are inclusive of both user-initiated and auto-played videos that are viewed for longer than 3 seconds.

So while it may be 50 billion views by that metric, it’s most probably a lot, lot less in terms of what other people consider a piece of video content, for example, an episode of a television show. A single episode on Hulu is accounting for 3 or more views in the comScore Video Metrix based on the number of ad pods (n) which means (n+1) video views, so please take 50 billion views with a large grain of salt. Five ad pods in a single episode then results in six reported video views.

Facebook Overtake AOL in Battle For Top Online Video Content Property, But Both Still Miles Behind Google

The total increase over November is just over 5 billion views, with a drop in minutes per viewer of just around 13 minutes per along with a drop in total viewers of almost a million. So in a nutshell less people spent less time watching videos online in December than November, yet generated 5 billion more views at least according to comScore.

The real news in the numbers is Facebook who, remarkably, bumped AOL for second place. But there’s a reason for that because comScore notes:

Facebook’s December 2013 online video viewership, particularly the number of video views, is substantially higher than prior months due to both organic and inorganic factors. The largest (and inorganic) source of increase is the recent inclusion, following a technical validation effort, of a significant volume of short (typically 6-second) Vine videos that have been uploaded to Facebook. The other, and currently less significant, factor is the limited roll-out in December of auto-play videos in the Facebook News Feed.

Facebook minutes per viewer also went up from 28 to 50 in a single month, and in addition they added 13 million viewers and nearly tripled the amount of views. So those autoplay videos are counting as views clearly. I suppose that hypothetically, they were in the viewing window of the browser and could, again hypothetically, have been viewed by someone. But that’s a lot of hypotheticals on which to base such important numbers.Still, it’s no more shaky than their 3-second rule for video views I guess. This is all information to take into account when you use these numbers for business or for ad buying.

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Video Ad Networks Explode?

It was just like a year ago when a single video ad network broke the 1 billion ads in a month mark. Now, if you’re not reaching that mark, you don’t make the top ten. Well, OK, there is still one spot in the top ten below that mark which is Videology with 991 million video ads in December 2013. At the top end of the spectrum is AOL with over 4 billion video ads in December. We should start a pool on who hits 5B first and then another for 10B video ads.

The whole video ad industry, at least those tracked by comScore, accounted for 35,235,361,000 video ads, roughly 0.67 video ads per comScore video view. That’s roughly an ad per 1.5 video views. December also saw an average frequency of 204.1 video ads per viewer for 55.6% of the US population. That boils down to a video ad every 5.7 minutes and an average ad length of 0.38 minutes or 23 seconds. Finally, video ads accounted for 40.2% of all videos viewed, which is misleading due to their determination of a video view. It’s probably more like 3:1 ads to video content files views. For example, if every video viewed and tracked by comScore was bisected with an ad pod, the total video file views fall to 26.2 billion, while video ad views remain at 35.2B. Granted, comScore also states that the average online content video is 4.2 minutes. 5.7% of all time viewing videos last month online, was watching ads.

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Top YouTube Partner Channels: VEVO Still Triumphant

Has anyone ever wondered if there’s a YouTube channel that’s not a YouTube Partner channel but is getting more than 16.3 million uniques per month? Either way, none can top VEVO most likely, what with its 38,460,000 unique viewers a month which is about 20.4% of all video viewers online and roughly 11.4% of the US population. They average 51.1 minutes each. SureMaker Studios has 72.2 minutes each for their 24.7 million uniques, but they’re a full 100 million videos behind per month. Fullscreen put up a good fight as well with 27.3M uniques, and 40.9 minutes average but showed just 358.3M videos. The one stat I would like to see in this chart is total uniques for these channels. Because as far as we can tell there are just 38.46M unique viewers for all of them which is just 20.4% of all Google/YouTube video viewers. Really, it has to be more like 50% given the wide range of topics for the top ten channels.

top youtube channels dec 2013

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Five Trends That Will Define Branded Video In 2014

Branded video reached new heights in 2013. More than 38% of new campaigns achieved more than 1 million views in 2013, compared with 26% in the year prior. And 5% of campaigns reached more than 10 million views, compared to 3% the year before.

In 2012, brands saw campaigns like Red Bull’s “Stratos,” Invisible Children’s “Kony 2012,” and Rovio’s “Angry Birds Space” become mega viral hits. The result of that success was that brands began to see producing quality content – not just ads – as an important weapon in their marketing arsenals.

So in 2013, the name of their game was perfecting the brand story. And in this regard, many brands succeeded this year. Brands were able to drive big views consistently throughout the year.

The biggest campaign of 2013, “Real Beauty Sketches,” came from video veteran Dove. This emotional campaign questions women’s self-image with the help of a trained FBI sketch artist. While the short film met with a warm reception, for the most part, some critics felt that the ad patronized women. But that debate didn’t hurt the brand; the media coverage that ensued only helped to lengthen the life of the video and drive views up to more than 136.2 million views.

Other brands that hit it big included Volvo Trucks, which emerged from obscurity with “Live Test” starring Jean Claude Van Damme. Pepsi MAX pulled off a stunt in “Gordon Test Drive,” and Internet Explorer called on our nostalgia with “Child of the ‘90s.”

So what does 2014 hold for branded video? Based on the successes of 2013, here are five trends that I think will flourish in the coming year:

  • Longer-form, cinematic content: The draw of branded video is the freedom it gives brands to tell their stories outside of the 30-second TV spot. So videos like True MoveH’s “Giving,” were longer and more cinematic.
  • Stoking the debate: Some of the biggest video stories in the 2013 came from brands that incited debate. Cheerios, for example, achieved its biggest success to date with “Just Checking,” which opened a long debate about interracial families and their portrayal in the media late last year. Did they mean to start the debate? Probably not, but it did keep their brand in headlines for weeks.
  • More interactivity: Old Spice produced one of the most viral interactive campaigns with 2010’s “Responses.” It produced another in 2012 with “Muscle Music,” which allowed viewers to create their own music inside of a video. And last year Intel and Toshiba released its third social film, “The Power Inside,” which allowed viewers to shape the campaign’s story through social media. Interactive campaigns like these only work when viewers actually engage with them. As the video universe gets more crowded, brands will be looking for unique ways to attract and engage viewers, and interactivity is a great way to do both.
  • Real-time campaigns: At last year’s Super Bowl, Oreo became the poster child for real-time marketing with its half-time tweet, while Coca Cola’s campaign changed based on the score of the game. Both brands had good feedback from their campaigns, which seemed more relevant because of how timely they were.
  • Encouraging user-generated content: Some of the most successful campaigns of the last year benefited from user-generated content. Volvo Trucks’ “Live Test” generated more than 30 million of its more than 111 million views from user-generated content – spoofs, mashups, copies, responses, etc. Besides showing how engaged viewers are with a brand’s campaign, user-generated content that takes off can extend the life of a campaign.

These trends – and the more cinematic, provocative, imaginative, and engaging campaigns that they produce – will lead to one thing: views skyrocketing higher than ever before. As we have seen every year for the past five years, overall views in 2014 will surpass 2013, as brands continue to break new ground and perfect their video storytelling and strategies. If you are looking for advice in producing effective video marketing campaign’s then please get in touch with our team atbespokevideoproduction.com.

Facebook’s Video Ads Risk Alienating Users

Facebook said it would begin selling video advertisements later this week, a move that may help the social-networking giant capture a share of the annual $66.4 billion TV advertising market.

Some advertisers rejoiced Tuesday when Facebook introduced long-awaited video advertisements. A bigger question is how users will react.

Marketers “have to be sensitive,” said Tony Pace, chief marketing officer for the Subway sandwich chain, which advertises on Facebook. “If someone said [this video ad] is going to run whether consumers want it or not, that would give me pause,” he said.

Facebook said its first video ad, a teaser for the coming sci-fi film “Divergent,” would begin appearing Thursday, marking an effort by the world’s largest social network to grab a slice of the $66 billion annual U.S. TV advertising pie.

The video ads, which the company says are still being tested to a limited number of users, will start playing automatically as users scroll through their news feed, the central real estate in Facebook’s desktop and mobile platforms. They will initially play without sound; users can stop the ad by scrolling past it in the news feed.

Some users are wary. “This may be the proverbial straw that breaks the camel’s back,” said Lee Kirschbrown, a senior citizen in Tampa, Fla., who is irked by existing Facebook ads. Video ads “will only make me madder,” he said.

Facebook said its first video ad, a teaser for sci-fi film ‘Divergent,’ would begin appearing Thursday. Shown, Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif.Associated Press

In a November survey of 735 Facebook users by global marketing consultancy Analytic Partners, 83% of users said they would find video ads “intrusive” and would likely “ignore” them.

Marketers are more enthusiastic. “Video is really powerful,” said Shelby Saville, managing director at Spark, a media-buying unit of Publicis “Using sight, sound and motion is a way to get consumers to have an emotional connection to the brand, if it’s well done,” she added.

Video advertising isn’t available to all advertisers, and Facebook didn’t say when it would expand the offering.

Many advertisers will be priced out of the market. Facebook is charging around $2 million per day for the ability to reach its 140 million U.S. users aged 18 to 54, according to media buyers. Some media buyers said they found the price surprisingly high.

Facebook began pitching advertisers on video ads about a year ago, giving several advertisers and media buyers a sneak peek last January during the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. In September, Facebook began quietly testing auto-play videos.

Subway was among the companies that placed ads containing video that users had to start manually. Mr. Pace of Subway said roughly 88 million people saw the ad and “millions” of people clicked on it. “It worked pretty darn well,” he added.

Media buyers said advertisers would be more interested in video ads if Facebook allowed them to better target specific sets of users. Facebook currently allows advertisers to target video ads by gender and age, but not by interests, as it does for traditional ads. “Advertisers always need more data than simply impressions and reach,” said Vik Kathuria, global head of digital investment at Mediacom, a media buying firm owned by WPP.

“This news further confirms that Facebook has abandoned social marketing in favor of standard push-style ads,” said Forrester Research analyst Nate Elliott.

Ad experts say it is no surprise that a movie studio was the first video advertiser, since consumers typically are more interested in movie trailers than ads for more mundane products like soup or toilet paper.

“A movie is perfect for this,” said Jordan Bitterman, chief strategy officer at Mindshare, the media buying agency that brokered the ad deal for Lions Gate Entertainment  “Americans love films and when you show a movie trailer there is always going to be a certain part of the audience that really likes it,” he added.

YouTube advertising revenue surges 50% to $5.6bn

Advertisers will spend a projected $5.6bn on YouTube in 2013, an increase of more than 50 per cent on the previous year, according to a report that underlines a shift away from traditional television ads. The sharp rise, which follows an explosion of viewing on mobile devices, comes as advertisers strive to reach younger consumers who have drifted away from television. Television’s share of advertising budgets has peaked after 30 years of growth and online video is now competing for ad spending. YouTube does not keep all of the advertising revenue that flows through its site, paying much of it to partners and “content creators”. The report, by media research firm eMarketer, predicts that YouTube’s net revenues will be $1.96bn once those partners have been paid, giving it 1.7 per cent of all global digital advertising spending. This is a larger market share than sites such as Twitter, AOL and Pandora, eMarketer said.

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“Video ad revenues are expected to increase significantly in coming years for YouTube’s US operations, particularly as mobile video viewership grows,” said the report. Television remains the biggest global recipient of ad spending globally: in the US advertisers are expected to spend an estimated $66.5bn in 2013. But eMarketer is projecting only modest increases over the next three years. “There’s ongoing fragmentation in viewing,” said Dan Cryan, senior director of digital media with IHS, a media research firm. “TV viewing is more or less flat but total video viewing is going up and that’s being driven by things like YouTube and Netflix.”

YouTube, acquired by Google in 2006 for $1.65bn, has more than 1bn viewers every month and attracts about a fifth of all advertising spending on US online video. It has faced competition from rival sites such as Hulu, which expects to generate $1bn in advertising revenues in 2013, but it has maintained its lead. Hulu, owned by Walt Disney, 21st century Fox and NBCUniversal, has twice explored a sale only to call off proposed deals at the last minute.

Heightened advertiser interest in YouTube comes as a new generation of online video production studios have sprung up to cater for a younger generation that watches most of its television programming online.

Investors are clamouring to get a foothold in these companies: Maker Studios, one of the biggest online video networks, recently brought in investors to join a shareholder list that includes Time Warner, Elisabeth Murdoch and Robert Downey Jr, the film star.

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