When I look at what can truly drive good user experiences as well as massive revenue growth, and I’m looking at Facebook, Instagram and Snap in the past year - I believe the answer is video. Just imagine news sites or entertainment websites and destinations serving a huge amount of quality video, solving the scarcity issue we have today with the lack of premium video inventory.
We know that digital video will become a $20B+ industry by 2020, and we’ve seen from Facebook and Instagram that if you create a good video user experience - you can create the one of the largest video businesses in the world (after YouTube).
As Behavior Changes In Scale, Revenue Always Follows
That promised land of video at scale requires more than pixel optimisation - we need to change user behavior, we need people to experience the web differently. To integrate video so fluidly and organically that it would be consumed in big, satisfying, profitable gulps. Online Video Dollars are More Plentiful than Digital Pennies, so this will bring a massive new revenue stream - it’s something that sales teams can sell directly; that programmatic companies can leverage for even more revenue; and brands would cherish - because they can get a video ad played in a safe environment, adjacent to quality editorial content they feel proud to be associated with.
There are a few ways video is going to change the open web as we know it:
Video is the Consumption Medium of the Future. Less Clutter, Richer Experience.
I believe we are in a new – and exciting – era of video storytelling. It’s the way that Millennials are consuming content, and even the boomer generation is raising its hand and asking for information to be communicated in ways that transcend the written form. From long-form to now 6-second moments, marketers and other content creators are building their brands and developing narratives through video. I anticipate that we will be seeing an explosion of creativity that pushes the boundaries and finds new ways of message expression.
Imagine - The Open Web Supersedes YouTube
There’s nothing more powerful than the integration of text and video. That’s the full and rich experience of the future. Currently, YouTube viewers watch 1 billion hours of video a day. But people are spending an increased amount of time online - over 10 hours a day according to Nielsen. And YouTube only owns a part of that. So imagine a fluid, supple publisher experience where users are inspired, nudged and encouraged to watch a few videos per article. This powerful (and monetisable) new behavior will have them spending minutes versus seconds on a publisher’s site - delaying the costly “back to social” behavior we see now.
I believe it won’t be long before users have an option to consume great video content, organic and branded on their favorite sites, and we’re doing our part to make that possible. This is a new and seductive environment where they will enjoy spending time, be entertained and become informed.