“Everyone is an online video publisher. Retail, small businesses, foundations, non-profits, and of course media companies. The use cases for online video are now as many as the use cases for the web in general.”
So began Brightcove chairman and CEO Jeremy Allaire in his keynote talk at this year’s Online Video Platform Summit in Los Angeles. The keynote, titled “The New Video Landscape: Multi-platform Distribution, Monetization, and Fragmentation,” took a bird’s eye view of the online video landscape, focusing on the growth in video usage by companies and organizations that historically have not been media publishers and using video to build brand awareness, drive sales, and encourage customer loyalty.
According to Allaire, 68% of the top 50 online retailers in the U.S. now offer video on their site. “There might be 800 meaningful media companies in the world, but there are something like 10,000 meaningful retailers,” he said. “That dramatically expands the reach of online video, and we’re just getting started in these applications.”
Allaire also cited reports from online retailers who have seen increased revenues and sales, as well as a 24% reduction in product returns. “People who have seen video about a product are less likely to return it, because they have a deeper understanding of what the product is before they purchase it,” Allaire said.
Allaire also spoke about the opportunity and challenge presented by the fragmentation and complexity in the online video space driven by what he called the “runtime wars” between Apple, Adobe, Microsoft, and others.
When Brightcove started in 2004, Allaire said, it was a simple matter of getting video from a company to their website on a PC. “Now, companies need to reach upward of five platforms: Android, iOS, HTML5, Flash, and others,” he said. Mobile video usage has grown 150% year-over-year, and Morgan Stanley predicts that mobile internet use will exceed desktop use by 2015.
“Whether you’re a marketer trying to reach an audience or a media company trying to drive views, there’s a doubling of scale that has now become very material,” Allaire said.
On top of that, the connected TV market—which will expand to 120 million homes by 2014, according to Screen Digest—adds yet another layer of complexity and fragmentation, as consumers increasingly access online video and, in particular, apps, on their televisions.
The last piece in the fragmentation puzzle is the unfettered growth of social platforms. Allaire said that video referrals from Facebook are the fastest-growing source of views, and that people watch video for longer when it comes referred to them. “Having a strategy that allows you to weave your content seamlessly into social platforms is becoming increasingly important,” he said.
Allaire then showed a video page from U.K.-based retailer Pink, which—when shared on Facebook—is carried entirely into the Facebook environment, not merely the video window. “This is a way to bring that contextual viewing into a highly viewed source without losing any of the experience,” he said.
“Online video platforms have emerged as a critical partner to help publishers navigate the new landscape of devices and runtimes so they can maximize the return on their online video investments,” Allaire closed. “For businesses, it’s less about the technology—which should be invisible—but about the business value.”
Brightcove introduced version 5 of its platform yesterday.