TV is dying while video is thriving. What’s up?

Where do you go to learn about the future of TV and video?

The easiest and most natural path…YouTube videos.

Two video series from digital media conferences stood out. One was from the “Video Everywhere” summit held on November 3rd, 2015 by the DPAA (Digital Based Advertising Association). It was a star-studded event with speakers representing leadership from the top ad agencies and holding companies. With advertising having long been dependent on traditional TV, the tone was both “OH NO!” and “OH BOY!”.

“Change Sucks ….Marketers will need to be better at their jobs.”

This is paraphrased from two appearances of Rishad Tobaccowala, Chief Strategist of Publicis Group. Mr. Tobaccowala can be relied on to provide an unvarnished and expansive perspective on the industry. Another quote…

“It is not the strongest of species that survives. Nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is most adaptable to change.”

That one came from Charles Darwin. So the followup question for businesses dependent on traditional TV, what species are you?

The keynote address by David Sable, Global CEO, Y&R, offered a positive perspective on the demise of traditional TV and the immense growth of screen-based video engagement. He broadened the definition of TV and he  backed it up with impressive numbers.Video is a growth industry

  • The average viewership (age 16-45) for video is more than three hours daily.
    102 minutes TV
    45 minutes on Smartphones and Mobile
    20 minutes on tablet
    37 minutes on laptops or PCs.
  • Monthly reach of screen-base media has increased by 75%
  • The number of screen-based electronics has doubled in the past five years.
  • The number of “TV Series” aired in 2014 topped 1,700. In 2009, there were only 87

While there’s tons of worthless video being uploaded, subscription models and social media thrive on premium video. And As Mr. Sable pointed out, there are only three ways to get premium content. You steal it, pay for it, or are willing to accept advertising.

The second YouTube series that shed insight into the industry was the recent DLD (Digital-Life-Design) Conference held in Munich on January 19th, 2016. The Economist refers to it as “the most influential tech conference in Europe.” With representatives from all corners of technology, innovation, science, and culture, it provides a forum for attendees to meet and greet the bleeding edge futurists.

The topic for one panel discussion was “The Golden Age of Storytelling.” The moderator referred to it as the “age of the SCREENAGER”, and the panel provided an interesting perspective on the new role video is playing within media companies.

The measurement of success has changed from the number of eyeballs to the quality of conversations.

Game of Thrones has 1/10th the viewership of the Seinfeld series, yet it generates tons of social media content. The reason Amazon Prime is producing original content is to create conversation. Ratings don’t matter. As long as people are talking about it, that’s enough. In essence, we are outsourcing our marketing to our customers. In a strange flip of roles, instead of advertising supporting video, the video is driving social media where advertising occurs.

And the demand is for quality.

Premium video of 10 hours or more creates the “lasso effect”; it keeps viewers on subscription with character-driven content and a narrative arc.

Even better, quality is becoming more affordable.


Tangerine is a feature-length, award-winning movie with a 96% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and a Breakthrough Performance nomination by the Detroit Film Critics Society. The entire film was shot using three iPhone 5s smartphones and edited using Final Cut Pro.

The good news? Technology has unleashed the creativity of storytelling. I just spent three hours researching the future of an industry.
And it was done through video.


Up next….Video and the Arts.

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