Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Online video: Amateur supply fuels professional demand

It might just be because I'm the guy within my company that is most frequently using video services, but I'm predicting that over the next five years the need for professional video services will grow sharply.

Here's how I have arrived at this prediction . . .

Without a doubt increasing bandwidth capacity is seeing the phenomenal growth of videos online which in-turn is fuelling more demand for video delivery of content, from news and sports to entertainment and education.

From my own personal experience, the demand for access to conference sessions via streaming video increases with each event. With conference producers like TED leading the way, all other conference producers are recognising that the potential numbers of conference attendees don't end when the bums on the seats are filled - there's a world of other potential virtual-attendees out there.

Online video interviews included in advertising and marketing industry blog, Mumbrella, shows another example where the need for video services is expanding. The delivery of content online is seeing new and old media sources (even Fairfax is included here!) use a mix of written and video news, whichever is most appropriate for the story.

Now, some might say that the You Tube phenomenon means that this increased demand for online video content is being supplied by amateur producers and that traditional video services will wither against the rise of the professional amateur. I think this argument is short-sighted. Yes, amateur video is a factor in the growth of online video, but at the same time as supplying the sector with content it is also creating a larger demand than it can supply.

Case in point are the events that I work on. Up until now we have filmed, in-house, a small number of sessions to be delivered live and on-demand to expand the reach of our conferences. But this type of amateur filming is un-scalable. I can only ever film in the one place at a time, and editing in-house takes time. To meet the increased demand that the initial videos created I need to be able to scale the filming of events to a national and international level. This is where the initial amateur supply has created an out-sized demand for educational video and has in-turn fuelled demand for professional video services that are scalable.

And this is what I predict will be the next five years for online video and its associated services: a small supply of amateur producers creating a larger demand for scalable professional producers.

(image credit: tjmiller)

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