Franklin McMahon /
12.06.2011
Originally featured on BroadcastEngineering.com
Mobile video-sharing market rapidly expanding

The next wave of video is about to hit big and will involve the sharing of videos. Already the impact on the photography industry is clear: Point-and-shoot cameras have fallen by the wayside because so many consumers have a high-end point-and-shoot camera right on their phone these days. Between Facebook, Instagram and numerous other ways and apps to share pics, there is no shortage of ways to get your images out there for the world to see. Many companies — including Vlix, Tout, Viddy, Socialcam and others — are betting big that the next wave of capture and sharing will center on video. Online video advertising is slated to jump up 50 percent by year’s end to more than 2 billion in revenue, and companies are sitting up and taking notice on what could be a game-changing 2012.

YouTube has seen its numbers grow larger than ever before, and there are more mobile TV devices than ever that record HD clips. But there has always been somewhat of a disconnect between mobile and online video. Although almost everyone uploads pics to the Web via their smartphones, it’s rarer for consumers to do the same with videos they have shot. Several factors come into play as reasons why. First of all, video on the phone has gotten better and better, from low-res to 1080p. But with quality comes larger file sizes and longer upload times. The instant gratification of seeing your creation pop up online in seconds, like a photo, can sometimes grind to a halt when uploading even a short video clip. And video clips are seldom short — with lots of storage on the phone, clips can get quite lengthy.

So why are start-ups betting on the video-sharing industry booming? Several factors are helping things move along. The first is speed, as newer networks such as 4G expand, the ability to upload clips at a fast pace is suddenly within reach. Although it may not be as fast as uploading a pic, video uploading could get dramatically more speedy in the next year or two for everyone.

Also, while almost every phone now has the capability of shooting video, seldom will you see any real built-in tools for editing. And often that is what is needed most. Unlike a single still, video often needs some prep work, trimming off what is not needed so the meat of the clip can shine through. Most of the new breed of apps offer basic editing so clips can be trimmed down to manageable size and content, making uploads speedier, which then encourages more use.

And because video advertising on smart devices continues to ramp up, companies are becoming increasingly interested in apps and services that offer pre- and post-rolls. Mobile video is a large outlet for advertisers now, and it could be huge in the future. We’ve already seen a huge wave of new photographers emerge, ones that are taking full advantage of their iPhones for image storytelling. The next logical step is to use video as a creative outlet.

The main mission for all the new breed of apps and services is to make it easy to capture, edit and upload videos for smart devices. Next year has the potential to be big for the video-sharing industry, both in terms of advertising as well as expanded consumer acceptance and use. As often as we all upload are pictures to the Web, video uploading may be the next digital frontier we all take part in.



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