Video and Interactivity. Why the Fuss?

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If you thought interactive video technology was just a passing fad, you’d be wise to think again.  Whilst the statistics on audience viewing of video as distinct from other mediums are well [understood],it is the opportunity to significantly boost engagement and amass valuable content intelligence that is driving the advancement of interactive video as a means of enhancing the value of content produced by businesses.  

At its essence, the advancement interactive video technology is driven by the desire of the end user, audience or consumer for immediate access to relevant and related content to the primary video which could take the form of information, links, additional videos, products, education etc.  This is self evident in a broader application in the use of second and third screens by audiences when viewing content, whether it’s interacting on a social platform while watching television, searching online, watching a separate video or shopping.  

The act of viewing content is no longer linear and single dimensional in its nature and as such, traditional standalone video is becoming a dated model.  The video content itself and the interface that is supporting it need to move with the expectations and attention spans of its audience.  The introduction of interactivity is taking what is considered high value content ie video, to the next level and supporting it being a non-linear experience.  It’s well demonstrated in gaming where the user experience is largely interactive and in the way that children and teens interact with content more broadly – When they’re viewing something their natural reaction is to engage with what they’re viewing – move things around on screen, click on elements, zoom and expand and so on.  It stands to reason then that when it comes to video content in particular, everything should be activated or a pathway to more data, more access, more content and more knowledge.  The audience expectation has shifted and we need to be responsive to this. 

The shift to interactivity in video is also driving improved content utilisation for brands and businesses, given the ability to deploy, recycle, upscale and leverage a wide combination of long and short form content.  In the case of longer form content pieces, these can be broken down and repurposed to feed back to the audience for them to view on their own terms, increasing engagement and leaving them looking at content for longer.  Within the data that we see through the use of [HitON], it’s not uncommon for viewing durations to far exceed the duration of the video when including these additional content elements through the interactivity capability of the video.

What we’re seeing is that interactivity within video provides a whole new level of more meaningful data that for the first time gives insights beyond eyeballs and drop off and bounce rates.  It’s delving into what elements within content and what forms of content the audience genuinely are motivated to interact with. This in turn is giving a whole new layer of insights into what audiences want.  It becomes a two way street where you have the UX and the access, but if brands are using it powerfully and insightfully, then they should be applying this data to position their brand message, content and products more effectively and also respond to their audience desires. This is made even more powerful if it is combined with incentives, gamification and social engagement strategies.