The demand for online video content continues to grow. While we image-makers debate the merits of camera forms and functions, editing programs, and accessories among other things, viewers want content, and they are not particular about which camera it is shot with. They watch video for entertainment, and boy oh boy, do they watch.
During June 2011, 178 million U.S. Internet users watched an average of 16.8 hours of on-line video each (up from 177 million users who watched 14.5 hours in June 2010.)
• Google Sites, primarily led by YouTube, continues to be the most watched video property.

During June, 149 million viewers engaged in 2.2 trillion viewing session of videos on Google Sites (primarily YouTube) versus 144 million viewers engaged in 1.89 trillion viewing sessions in June 2010.

• VEVO, the music video site owned jointly by Universal Records, Sony Music Entertainment, Universal Music Group, and Abu Dhabi Media Co., moves to the position of second most viewed on-line video property. Sixty-three million viewers engaged in nearly 400 million viewing sessions of video up from 43.7 million viewers engaging in 192 million viewing sessions in June 2010.

• The top five on-line video properties for June 2011 are: Google Sites, VEVO. Yahoo Sites, Microsoft Sites, and Viacom Digital versus the June 2010 lineup of Google Properties, Yahoo Sites, VEVO, Facebook, and Fox Interactive Media.

• Video ads continue to grow in importance: Video ads reached 49 percent of the total U.S. population at an average of 35.6 times during June.

• The average duration of online video and advertising was 5.4 and 0.4 minutes respectively. Source: Comscore Inc.

The statistics above are only for the US. The growth in the popularity of video content grows worldwide. When you consider that video ads only reached 49 percent of the US population, there is real opportunity for growth.
Interestingly, the demand for content is not being driven by tablets, but by attractively priced, large-screen, smart phones and the growing number of attractively priced data plan packages. Smart phones are now in the hands of approximately 77 million Americans up from 49 million users a year earlier. More and more people are using them to access the Internet for personal business, communicating with friends, and entertainment.
Here is a snapshot (as of May 2011) of US mobile phone subscriber usage according to Comscore INC., a leading digital marketing intelligence provider:
• Nearly 70 percent of mobile subscribers used sent text messages to another phone
• Approximately 40 percent browsed the Internet
• 39 percent downloaded an app
• 27 percent played games
• 19 percent listened to music
As many of the nearly 234 million US mobile users 13 and older upgrade their phones, the appetite for content will continue.
The question is what does all this mean for still images? Does it spell the death of the still? Are we rapidly coming to a point where still images will be grabbed or pulled from motion footage? Still grabs just happen. You may or may not get what you are looking for. A dedicated or “deliberate” still image on the other hand has a degree of thought and intention. Personally, I believe that the “deliberate” still will continue to flourish. For starters, stills and motion have co-existed for some time…and that is likely to continue. Second, the experience of looking at stills and video is different: Still images generally tend to be more evocative, as they stop a moment, and leave what happens, immediately before or after, to the viewer to remember or imagine. Motion, on the other hand, while it can be evocative, tends to be more explicit, with scenes chronicling a complete set of actions. A still image of a person leaving the house might leave one wondering where the person is going; a movie or movie clips of the same person would ultimately tell us where the person is going. It is also important to remember that not every project—or subject matter—lends itself to motion.

In the world we live in, whether it is personal remembrance/projects or commercial works, the different experiences that viewers get from stills and motion are both important and I don’t see that changing.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>