Online video content is expanding at the speed of light—which means the marketplace for content providers, advertisers, and buyers is growing more and more competitive.
The Cisco Visual Networking Index Forecast predicts that by 2020, nearly a million minutes of video content will cross the network every second. In order to stand out in this massive video ecosystem, advertisers and content providers will have to deliver strong content that hooks viewers in the second or two before the next million minutes of video washes up on shore.
The growth projected by Cisco's forecast is astounding. Incredibly, this IP video traffic growth does even not include managed IP video from single-service providers, such as cable companies. But it includes everything else, from YouTube to Netflix. Video will represent 82 percent of all global IP traffic by 2020, which includes both consumer and business video traffic, as well as IP video on demand and internet video traffic. Overall, online video is expected to grow 30 percent—with business video driving that growth.
One important implication related to this growth in video traffic is that both brand marketers and video content providers need to get video “right" the first time. For buyers, digital video ads needs to entice viewers and deliver measurable results for advertisers. At the same time, the Holy Grail for content providers is to provide a great viewing experience that can be monetized. This is made even more difficult as new formats like virtual reality and 360-video are changing the scene all the time.
Delivering the Best Experience
The race to leverage video is also driving new alliances in the marketplace. “As video traffic is growing and video definition is increasing, it calls for greater partnerships between the content providers and the service/network providers to deliver optimal customer experiences," says Shruti Jain, a marketing manager at Cisco Systems Inc. “With video being accessed over a variety of networks and devices, it requires adaptive rate programming, software defined networks and other technology enhancements that can deliver the best quality video for the chosen device/network."
The evolution of internet video for advertising and marketing also is significant in terms of monetization. To meet the demands of steadily increasing video consumption, content providers will be challenged to find appropriate price points and service delivery models. They also will have to re-think everything from subscriptions and programmatic options to advertising and yield optimization. But the real question may be: What are customers willing to buy, and at what cost?
The Cisco report also notes that an increase in both video surveillance and immersive video will have a growing impact on total internet traffic. Video surveillance currently account for about 1.5 percent of total traffic and is expected to nearly triple by 2020.
But immersive video is where the big opportunity exists for content providers and advertisers. It also means that service providers will have to be ready to handle even more robust video consumption demands on their networks. In fact, 2017 may be the year that immersive video goes mainstream.
“This emerging traffic type can cause significant new network design implications, as it is a high-bandwidth consuming application," says Jain. “Social media platforms, such as Facebook, have launched support for spherical, or immersive video that integrates multiple camera angles to form a single video stream, and can be watched from the viewer's preferred perspective."
In addition to Facebook, increasing use of technology for user-generated immersive video, such as Snapchat Spectacles, may drive growth in this sector. The question is, how will that growth manifest? Will we see an explosion of immersive video, produced by brands (as well as users) and devoured by eager consumers, in 2017? As this new market takes shape and gains momentum, brand marketers will likely be in a foot race to meet demand for immersive video content.
Immersive video combined with predictable delivery of video across all device platforms will continue to facilitate advertising and marketing opportunities. While competition will increase, so will infrastructure stability. For visionary content providers and brand marketers, a new Golden Age of digital video may be on the horizon.