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Five trends for online video in 2016

Online video is getting ever more popular. The server farms will be running at full throttle: Cisco predicts that in the coming year 69 percent of all web traffic will be folks watching video, and that’s not just from the Netflix’s of the world. What will be the most important trends for webvideo in 2016? Here’s a look at five fresh insights.

Video on Facebook will be even more important.

It’s not all that long ago that messages with accompanying photos scored the best on social media. This role however, has now been taken over by video. Since Facebook began putting videos directly in your newsfeed, and especially since they began playing them automatically, Facebook as a video platform has been able to seriously catch up with dominant YouTube. On average 8 billion videos a day are watched on the social network. What’s more, when you place videos on Facebook directly you get prioritised in the newsfeeds of users.

So, adding videos on Facebook is about to get a whole lot more important in the coming year. The site already offered good interaction and advertising possibilities, but now people have got used to quickly sharing videos with their friends too. That kind of sharing comes much more naturally on Facebook than on YouTube and so makes Facebook the platform to make your videos go viral in 2016. What’s more: parties like Vice, Fox and Buzzfeed have chosen to keep the sharing of their content unique to Facebook.

Vertical video becomes acceptable

Sorry. We know it’s like swearing in church for traditional and expert video makers but shooting video vertically is get crazy popular. Apps like Snapchat, Instagram and WhatsApp are the main wrongdoers but if you can’t beat them…well, exactly. Because, facts: stats from Snapchat show that vertical videos are nine (!) times more likely to be watched than horizontal ones. Live Streaming apps Periscope and Meerkat add to this: the hobby filmmaker doesn’t even think about it any more, vertical filming is always the first choice. Yeah, what you gonna do? No one’s saying that you film producers need to turn your vision on its head but you shouldn’t call the doctor just because of a little ‘vertical video syndrome’.

Pre-rolls and Mid-Rolls replace the banner

The Adobe Digital Index (ADI) is predicting that mobile devices will replace desktop devices this year when it comes to watching online videos. We’re talking about dizzying numbers here – 100 billion stream starts in one year. This doesn’t just provide opportunities for the providers of video content but also for advertisers. Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook…they’re all thinking about how to translate this  into revenue. That’s why since Q3-2015, Instagram made it possible to show a pre-roll commercial before a video starts and YouTube is experimenting with Mid-Roll ads, which show up at intervals during longer videos.

For Marketers and Creatives it’s going to be a great challenge, especially when it comes to producing SHORT commercials. You could write 10 blogs just about this (over the use of short voice overs for instance), but we reckon that for the time being the focus will mainly be on Pre-rolls; these are generally shorter than the videos they precede. At the end of the day the harsh reality is that no one is waiting for Pre-rolls of the same length as traditional tv commercials.

Drone videos by default

Here come the Drones! Ready to take over the world! Drone videos sprung up out of nowhere. We’ve now seen them from every angle and in all types of weather. Still, there are no signs of their popularity lessening off in 2016. Drone videos are going to become the standard when it comes to filming live events. Atmospheric shots or football stadia? A grey business warehouse? Sneak Week? Lowlands? Check, check, check and check.

If you’re looking to use drones to let your footage (or that of your clients) really shine, then go all out. Choose that one spectacular image, set to that really rousing music or sign up for a course in stunt flying first.

Virtual Reality breaks through

And we end with the zinger of them all, because in 2016 it is really going to arrive: virtual reality. Oculus Rift, Sony, Samsung, HTC and Microsoft: this year they are all coming out with headsets that allow you to experience full 360 virtual reality. The new Oculus is already available. The emphasis is on games because, for the first time, they really let you be in the game.

With video too the possibilities are enormous. Thanks to recording with 3D cameras you can, more than ever, take viewers along with you and from whatever perspective they’re watching. Facebook already offers support for watching 360 videos in your newsfeed. Have a look at this YouTube clip from Fort Minor with a headset or the accelerometer of your smartphone. It gives just a little taste, because 2016 is the year when Virtual Reality really gets real. has guest bloggers from the industry at large. Many thanks to Sebastiaan Lindenhof (PitchParrot) for this one and also to Max van Gorkum (Make ‘em Say), Jeroen Woudenberg (Woudgraaf-AV), Bas van Maanen, Toby Fortuin (De Zaak Fortuin), John de Zwart (Brandviews) en Niels Bovendeur (Alion).

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