06 January 2012

I have been inquiring to make some prognostication about the future of video. According to Yogi Berra, “It’s hard to make prognostication, particularly about the future.”

Nevertheless, I have erudite a thing or two from the writer of such books as When You Come to a Fork in the Road, Take It! (2001) and you can observe a Lot by Watching (2011). The first is: When you’re asked to make predictions, just state, Thank you for devising this day necessary. And the second is: When you’ll get to make those predictions, remember, if you do not know where you’re moving, you may not get there. So, with that clearly understood, let’s look at a couple of the video marketing trends that we can expect to see in 2012.

“Nobody goes there anymore. It's too crowded.”

ComScore said about Video Matrix, 184 million U.S. Internet users observed on-line video content in 2011 for a standard of 21.1 hours/viewer. A year before, comScore described that 175 million U.S. Internet users observed online video content in 2010 for an ordinary of 15.1 hours/viewer. So, it’s safe to predict that up to 5.1 percent more Americans will be spending close to 39.7 percent more time watching online video content a year from now. That would be about 193 million Americans, who will be watching roughly 29.4 hours per viewer in October 2012. Hey, it will be an election year.

In addition, comScore reported that Google websites, driven primarily by video watching at YouTube.com, placed as the top online video content holding in October 2011 with 161 million unique watchers.

Google Sites also demonstrated the highest engagement with 7.1 hours/viewer. A year earlier, comScore reported that Google websites, driven primarily by video viewing at YouTube.com, ranked as the top online video content property in October 2010 with 146.3 million unique viewers. Google Sites also had the highest average time spent per viewer at 4.5 hours back then.

Therefore, I think it’s secure to foretell that no other online video content property will be ranked No. 1 a year from now. But, will comScore still be referring to the top property as Google Sites?

YouTube.com already represents more than 99 percent of video watching at Google Sites, while Google Videos represents less than 1 percent. And, “YouTube” is now featured in the new drop-down menu on Google, while “Videos” is now hidden under the “More” option.

So, I expect to see YouTube’s share of video viewing at Google Sites to rise up to 99.9 percent over the next year, while the share of Google Videos will wither away to 0.1 percent. As President Barack Obama would say, “This is not class warfare; it’s math.”

“It's déjà vu all over again"

In 2009 Yossi Matias, Niv Efron, and Yair Shimshoni of Google Labs, Israel, posted a paper entitled On the Predictability of Search Curves. Their paper contains the given observations:

  • Over half of the most famous Google search queries are predictable in a 12 month forward predicts.
  • Nearly half of the most famous queries are not forecast-able.

Based on the findings in this paper, Google introduced a forecasting feature in Insights for Search. For example, add the search term, snow, and you’ll see that web search interest in the United States is forecast to spike in February 2012 and again in December 2012.

Instantly, monthly seek term masses in YouTube are frequently garbled than the number of local monthly explores on Google. But, in a post entitled, “How shortly Till Spring? ,” Kevin Allocca, YouTube Trends handler, observed, “Accommodate to YouTube information, findings for ‘snow’ videos generally peak in December, which could mean that while we like to take in the winter weather when it first arrives, we are not excited about looking at more if it after the holidays.”

So, what other finding curves are we capable to forecast for the upcoming year? Well, Google Insights for Search predicts that website search interest in April fool’s Day, Earth Day, Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Labor Day, and Christmas will spike in the United States on those holidays in 2012.

This means video marketers can start planning onwards to create what the YouTube Inventor Playbook, which compiles significant tips, best exercises, and tactics to construct greater audiences on YouTube, calls tent-pole programming. In other words, they can plan to create and release content themed around tent-pole events like these holidays.

“It isn’t over 'till it's over.”

Of course, there are a plenty of things that I can't foretell. These include if or when YouTube will roll out any of the recipes and concoctions that its engineers and developers are working on in Test Tube, its ideas incubator.

One that I’m hoping will make it soon is Insights for Audience, which helps you discover what different viewers like doing on YouTube.

Another thing that is very hard to forecast is which of the 100 new original channels that have already started to appear on YouTube will go on to be fortunate in 2012. Many in the mainstream media are booking that it will be the channels created by well-known personalities and content producers.

But I’ll stake that it will be the channels created by few of the most innovative up-and- arriving media companies as well as some of YouTube’s own being collaborator. They don’t require reading the YouTube Creator Playbook. In lot of cases, they created the plays.

However, 30 years ago, when cable TV extended our seeing possibilities from just a handful of channels to hundreds, few forecasted that MTV, ESPN and CNN would go on to convey us some of the few defining media experiences of the last few ten years.

So, whether Yogi Berra said it or not, it’s hard to make fore castings, particularly about the hereafter.