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Online video is definitely here to stay

herounit-homepage-imgOnline video is a regular part of many of our lives. Whether it’s watching the local weather forecast online, our favourite movies, movie trailers, or personally uploaded videos, it’s something we take for granted. But it wasn’t that long ago when it all started.

Online video really got its start on June 24th, 1993. As part of a proof of live streaming concept trial, a live gig by a band named Severe Tire Damage was successfully broadcast on the Internet.

The first video published to a website designed specifically for videos was by YouTube on April 23, 2005 and lasted only 19 seconds. In 2011, YouTube had more than 1 trillion views or around 40 views for every person on Earth.

To further illustrate just how far online video has come since even 2011, take a look at these most recent YouTube statistics published on

  • There are 1 billion YouTube users
  • Four billion YouTube video views per day
  • Six billion hours of video watched on YouTube alone per month

Another major change over the last few years is that live streaming of online video isn’t only used for major sporting events such as the 2014 Olympic Games in Sochi or news events such as the US presidential debates in 2012.

Anyone can use live video streaming for personal events from a child’s first step to a graduation ceremony. In fact, as specified in the State of Online Video 2012 report from SundaySky, viewers spend over twice as much time watching videos with some sort of personal impact. Here are some additional statistics concerning personal videos:

  • Viewers spend 2.5x more time watching personally relevant short-form videos
  • There is a 40-60% open rate for emails containing personally relevant videos
  • 80-99% of visitors click-to-play personalized videos

These statistics have certainly not gone unnoticed by the advertising industry. Companies like Amazon, eBay, and Sears are quickly adopting the personal relevancy theme. They have gone after personalisation in their advertising and products to gain customer loyalty.

Dr Phil Shelley, CTO, Sears, said, “We all, as consumers, want to be treated like individuals more and more…We want to personalise engagement, including real-time offers and reward.”

With the escalation of online video viewership, any online retailer not using video risks a competitive disadvantage. Here are some additional figures supporting the need for retailers to begin using video if they aren’t already.

  • 48 out of the top 50 Internet retailers have on-site videos which is up 200% from 2011
  • 46% of the top 50 Internet Retailers have more than 1,000 on-site videos

Lewis Broadnax, Executive Director, Web Sales & Marketing, Lenovo, made the following statement. “Five per cent of consumers who get to the configuration stage and view one of these videos makes a purchase, tripling the conversion rate from before we implemented.”

Online video continues to gain in popularity and it will continue to do so. It’s difficult to open any Internet site without being confronted with at least one video.

Where will online video streaming be in another five years? We can’t wait to find out.

Oliver Burt

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