Video is hot right now, here’s why! | Articles

This is it… The end of summer! Kids (and parents) might be happy to get back to school but most of us wrinkle on the thought of an upcoming winter. To perpetuate the feeling of summer we are going to talk about the hottest kid on the block: video.

Video has become an increasingly popular and familiar communication medium in recent years. From a personal angle, last year, I joined a large international media agency with an experienced TV department , Omnicom Media Group. The digital agency I co-founded more than 7 years ago, Semetis, became part of the Omnicom Media Group in Belgium since 2015. More recently I was promoted Managing Director of their largest media agency brand, OMD. Together with two of my OMD colleagues, Remi & Livy we decided to co-organize a first event on a very hot topic. Guess what? “Video in 2020, from Innovation to impact”.


The event takes place on 22 September 2016 in YouTube offices in Brussels. We will be covering topics ranging from consumer insights, research, content strategy, video creativity, evolutions in online programmatic buying and finally we will be showcasing the above innovations through an OMD-Belgium-Pepsico case.

Beyond this OMD-YouTube special event; in order to show just how much video has become important, I am going to highlight 4 contexts in which leveraging video as a medium was a success. And here there are:

Social Platforms & Mobile

Social platforms are continuously innovating on the way people communicate and interact. In order to achieve this, every social platform must find the right combination between messaging, images and videos. The leading social platforms (Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram) have in common that they are all based on visuals. Yet, in recent years, all leading social platforms have heavily invested in the integration of rich visuals and video. Indeed, video has truly become one of their highest focus to address 1. mobile penetration and 2. the rise of Generation Z.

In 2015, mobile represented 25% of time spent in media (arriving just second after TV at 36% of time spent in media, and before Internet at “only” 22% of time spend and radio at 13% - source KPCB 2016). With mobile growing so fast and people being on-the-go all the time, video has shown to be the best way to offer the relevant content social platforms aim to deliver.

As far as Generation Z is concerned (aged 1 to 20), social platforms leaders have successfully evolved knowing that millennials are giving their place to the Generation Z who mostly communicate with visuals. On Facebook, video consumption has grown from 1 video view per day in Q3 2014 to more than 8 video views per day in Q3 2015, while the average user on Snapchat views more than 10 videos per day (source KPCB internet trends 2016).

Product-wise, Facebook has led the way with their auto-play video in the feed, Snapchat with Stories and Discover and Instagram with Videos and Stories. In other words social = mostly mobile & video is the hot and growing feature in all leading social platforms.


The 20th century started with the apparition of linear content (traditional live TV) and ended with on-demand video (Netflix and other streaming platforms). Only in the first years of the 21th century the evolution of video has accelerated with semi-live content (Snapchat stories - tune in in the next 24 hours or miss out) and finally the democratization of real live content.

Live streaming comes with major technical challenges. Indeed on-demand streaming can be tricky especially when it comes to mobile. Despite that, Periscope and Facebook Live brought real-live to the masses. These innovations are massive while professional solutions like Livestream & Ustream are being used by bigger brands and broadcasters enabling them to share experiences through live video streaming.

Another impressive evolution here is the growth in the streaming of live gaming. Thousands of people are prepared to watch “pro” gamers play live instead of, for example, watching a new episode of the Game of Thrones. Indeed bought in 2014 for nearly a Billion dollars, a live streaming platform mainly for Games and watching people play games. This demonstrates the massive shift of media consumptions for the young segment thanks to video innovation.

All of these solutions have shown incredible success at delivering relevant content to targeted audiences in ever-growing innovative formats.

Internet of Things

Internet of Things (IoT) used to be about connecting devices to share data. Increasingly companies have developed their IoT products around cameras and video, sharing not only data but also video. Security surveillance has led the way from Dropcam becoming Nest after its acquisition by Google to the immersion of Intelligent Video Analytics. With Ring, you can answer your doorbell from anywhere in the world with your smartphone. Thanks to the development of Intelligent Video Analytics, IoT devices can now lead to a desired action based on video footage analysis.

Interactivity & Virtual Reality

Some of the most innovative startups in advertising have focused their product on video advertising. Zentrick, one of these startups with belgian roots, offer solutions for full interactivity within video ads. This innovative startup aims at making video ads smarter thanks to a lightweight, customizable interactivity layer that sits atop your video ad’s creative. Zentrick helps video ads do the kinds of things you are used to do with other advertising mediums, like directly drive new sales; generate tons of qualified leads, inspire clickthrough rates in the double digits; and make content sticky, sharable and deeply engaging. Virtual Reality has also become mainstream with new available formats on YouTube and other platforms.

What’s next?

The above trends & evolutions all happened in a relatively short time-frame. Video is clearly an innovative communication medium that will improve exponentially in the coming years. I believe it will be at the center of the innovation and impact on social networks, the way people consume media, live broadcasting, interactivity, virtual reality and especially internet of things ! This innovation will certainly change the way advertisers will leverage the new features of video interactivity through traditional medium.

Therefore, advertisers must leverage this ever-evolving medium in the most creative way taking into account the highly demanding Generations Y & Z. I can see here many opportunities for brands to differentiate themselves from their competition. And I can only encourage those brands to start investing in video now!

Author: Gabriel Goldberg


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