Triangle of Power Chapter One: “Video is the new HTML’’
In the first chapter of the Triangle of Power series, CMTV explores the future of video and news consumption. Traditional TV viewing cannot compete with online consumption: now consumers can watch on multiple devices, in numerous locations, whenever they are ready to hit play, without adverts and without having to wait a week for the next episode, with limitless choices. Supply and demand is met with effortless ease in cyberspace. Websites are becoming online tv channels and social media sites becoming news outlets. If companies don’t innovate – disruptors prevail.
Broadcast Television is a dying breed. The internet is where people want to watch and by the year 2020, online TV will just become ‘TV’. The evolving landscape of technology has made for very fertile ground for disruptors to cut the cable-chord.
Traditional TV viewing simply cannot compete with the flexibility and overwhelming array of choice that the World Wide Web can offer. There is no need to desperately rush home to catch the opening credits of your favourite show anymore – programming schedules start when you decide to hit play. Audiences can zone in during their lunch break or on their commute home; the internet has made watching television a much more fluid concept.
Consumers are not constricted to one singular piece of hardware any longer – viewers can easily flit from their phone, to tablet, to laptop, to smart TV and back again. Multiple people in households can watch numerous shows simultaneously – the centrepiece television slowly edging towards becoming nothing more than a glorified projector stuffed with a HDMI cable.
The tedious string of relentless adverts are obliterated with a delicate tap of the finger and platforms are embedded with algorithms hard at work analysing personal programming tastes – poised to suggest a multitude of brand new shows at the first sign of credits.
Silenced are the exasperated sighs of those in the maddening knowledge they will have to wait another week until the next instalment of House of Cards. The internet is a feeding frenzy of consumers binging on entire box sets and devouring complete film series within 24 hours. Supply and demand is met with effortless ease in cyberspace, spoon-fed to consumers through sites such as Netflix and Hulu.
Millennials are growing up on a diet of technology; it is a matter of time before the TV remote becomes about as cool as an MP3 Player. Why bother to get a TV licence when every show on earth is available in the palm of your hand? Time spent online overtook television consumption for the first time globally last year; a red flag for all those reluctant to invest in online programming.
The smartphone is at the centre of our universe; an extension of our hand, a digitised summation of who we are as individuals. Mobile is one of the king trends of the 21st Century; now primed to serve as a vessel for the next mega movement: video.
The natural gravitation of society towards digital video is thanks in large part to the sheer power and unimaginable influence of the social media sites. Dynamic content delivers 10 times the response rate than that of static text and imagery. Facebook Live, Twitter, Periscope, Instagram Live and Snapchat are all suitably wired into the supremacy of video; with the VP of Facebook predicting the site will be all video within the next five years.
Cisco predicts by 2020, 82% of internet traffic will be purely video and digital viewing has grown 146% year on year since 2014. Sport played a large part in the migration from TV to internet viewing. Households would stream games that traditional channels did not have the bandwidth to support, whetting the appetite of consumers who then branched out online to tap into other shows.
Apps are the most popular formats of watching programming, – an early warning sign for the humble website. The web is about to undergo its biggest disruption since its inception; just as cloud has revolutionised technology, video is about to do the same for websites.
However, those able to ride the wave of technological innovation will easily keep their head above water. The antiquated corpses of former businesses are a stark reminder of what can happen if companies bury their heads in the sand.
Blockbuster actually had the opportunity to buy Netflix in 2000 for $51 Million. They declined and happily plodded along, ignoring the digital whirlwind revolution swirling around them. They filed for bankruptcy ten years later. Netflix is now worth a cool $41 Billion. – That is a sour pill to swallow.
Technology has brought companies of varying ilk to their knees. Blackberry was crippled by inaction over refusing to adopt touchscreen technology. Once at the vanguard of the industry, it now owns just 0.8% of the market.
Myspace didn’t allow people to connect on multiple levels – it was all about the music. Facebook is the Godfather of social media sites, enabling users to connect over every imaginable commonality; squeezing Myspace to a pulp. And who could forget poor old Yahoo? Not even golden girl Marissa Mayer could stop the inevitable. They turned down the chance to buy Google in 2005 for $5 Billion and failed to recognise the merit in becoming a ‘search engine’. Google is now worth $527 Billion and Yahoo has a big fat ‘For Sale’ sign protruding from its forehead. Technology is spawning disruptors across every sector; Why call a taxi when you can get an Uber? Why book a hotel when you can AirBnB? Why buy the paper when you have your iPad? Why read an article when you can watch the video? (The irony of this last point – I am sure is not lost on you; feel welcome to view the condensed version of this article in video format).
No one wants to power up their Blackberry to surf Yahoo to login to their Myspace page to read pages of text. It’s all about the iPhone, Google, Facebook and video. In world of information-overload, video can hold the attention of the laziest of consumers. Put it this way; one minute of video is equal to 1.8 million words. Video also spreads like wildfire because 92% of mobile video consumers share video with others. Engaging video content is contagious and companies can hit the jackpot if a video goes viral.
Take Motor Neurone Disease, undoubtedly an incredibly serious medical problem, but not an ailment that receives the level of publicity as cancer does. However, in 2014, professional golfer Chris Kennedy challenged his cousin Jeanette Senerchia on Facebook to pour a bucket of ice-cold water over her head. Jeanette did so and dedicated the post to her husband, who suffered from ALS – a form of Motor Neurone Disease.
This gimmick became the world’s largest global social phenomenon, coined as ‘The Ice Bucket Challenge’. To date, more than 17 million people have uploaded their videos to social media. 440 million people have watched these videos a total of 10 billion times. The ALS Association have received over $115M in donations. Show me an article that can do that.
Video and Social Media go together like username and password; this winning combination is a carefully calculated code to success. No piece of text can amass the publicity and international recognition as quickly or effectively as video content can. In 2016, Silicon Valley VC Tech Firm Andreessen Horowitz coined the term ‘’Video is the new HTML’’. One year on, this phrase encapsulates the essence of the next impending technological revolution. Sit back and watch.