In a recent meeting I was asked “where do you see the video industry heading in the next few years?”
As someone who has been working in my corporate video production company for over 20 years, it got me thinking. I’ve certainly noticed highs and lows in the industry during this time. About 15 years ago I thought the industry could dry up when a lot of businesses stopped making videos because the new thing was websites. Everyone needed a website to market their business.
As I reflected on this question I recalled that initial excitement of the web design era. Anyone who played in the creative visual space was expected to be able to build websites. And many did. I even did. I delved into the technology, got my head around it and built websites for myself and others.
But it wasn’t my core business. While I kept my focus on videos, others were investing their time and energy into creating web design companies. They sprouted up like weeds in the driveway. They were everywhere. They were learning on the fly. Some lasted, many dried up and disappeared.
I can see a new frenzy happening now around video. It seems like it’s taken me twenty years to be in the right place at the right time. I can see businesses jumping onto this wave of excitement around video. Companies are buying their own video cameras that they don’t know how to use. The same old mistakes are being made by every new player. Junior staff are being called editors and many are again learning on the fly.
While technically even a school kid can make a video, it doesn’t mean it will engage and connect with the audience in the way intended. A good video should enhance a brand, not detract from it. Although I can say this, many will not understand it until they have wrought damage to their brand through the release of a poorly produced video which undermines their status.
So where do I see the video industry heading in the next few years? I see many companies doing it themselves. Spending many hours learning a skill that they might only use a couple of times a year. I see entrepreneurs investing in the skills required to actively engage with their community and making full use of this medium. I see the smart businesses adopting video as an essential part of their regular communication strategy.
I see many new video businesses spring up enthusiastically, only to completely underestimate the time and experience needed to truly satisfy a client. They will learn along the way that systems need to be followed and expectations need to be managed. I see consumers lose out by trusting inexperienced players in the market, get burnt and shy away from video for years to come.
I see innovative productions being created as different players in the market try to set themselves apart. I see new technology creating new ways to film and capture stories that have never been possible before. I see mobile phones becoming the video camera of many small business owners as technology gaps close in regards to better audio for phone cameras. There will no longer be a “video” section to a website – every page will be a video section.
I also see a place for solid players in the industry to ride the wave and provide quality productions for the businesses who simply want the experts to look after them.
It’s never been easier to create video content to promote a business, a product, a service or explain something. The challenge however will be do it in a compelling manner that builds trust and respect.
It’s interesting times. It’s certainly a great space to be in and I’m loving it.
And then when the industry settles down the next big thing will come along – smellavision. and hover boards and jet packs.Geoff Anderson is the owner of Sonic Sight, a video production facility in Sydney.
He is an author, presenter and a video producer.