How Bite-Sized Content Is Changing The Way We Consume Media
VideoBlocks is a stock VR media company working to navigate the new media climate
As our portals to the digital world grow increasingly dynamic, it’s evident that the ways we interact with our devices are changing. At the epicenter of this saturated space, stock media companies are expected to innovate on their respective user experience if they are to remain viable in this highly contested market. In the face of the ‘what do we do next?’ phenomena peppered between hasty cycles of innovation, stock giant VideoBlocks has stepped up to the plate to quantify behaviors as a means of determining intent among its user base. After crunching the numbers and penning a roadmap for 2017, the company is confident in its strategy for the near-future despite the quick-to-change nature of the media landscape.
We caught up with CEO TJ Leonard to congratulate him on hitting the 100 million global stock download milestone and make sense of what’s to come.
“During our last study, we surveyed some 4,000 members across our video, photo and audio communities. There, we had an interesting insight, which was that although the stock industry was built to supply content to the TV and film industry, the majority of our digital storyteller member base (63 percent) were content creators publishing their work on YouTube and Vimeo, with Facebook and Instagram channels at 50 percent, blogging platforms at 38 percent and TV and film in dead last at just 37 percent,” says Leonard.
It’s no secret that video has become a democratized medium, nor that social channels require obsessive commitment to generating new content, but the statistics presented by VideoBlocks point to something deeper. Consider the fact that the average attention span has now dropped to less than that of a ‘notoriously ill-focused goldfish,’ or that television advertisement runs in the hundreds of thousands, yet reaches less people than a free posting on social media. The more we make sense of media consumption on a macroscopic level, the better the social and content creation develops.
“There’s a lot more short form content being created—which is again the inverse of what used to be the case. This forces content creators to be more concise and get to the point faster. On our end, we must feed that attention-grabbing moment; it needs to not just be high quality, but impactful in the moment,” adds Leonard.
From infomercials to elevator pitches, the birth of ‘micro-content’ is an evolutionary response to our need for diverse and engaging spurts of content. As the golden standard for content creators, ‘bite-sized portions’ translate to an easier time reformatting content for different channels, more room for exploring new formats, and of course, more overall engagement. For stock companies such as VideoBlocks, that means that the value of an individual stock image/video/GIF/audio has increased due to the increasing demand for its content.
“Online videos, web design, digital advertising, interactive presentations; in all instances, you only have a short window of opportunity to capture attention and deliver an entire narrative. To do so, content need not simply be short, but immersive. Over the past year, we’ve seen a 287 percent increase in search terms such as ‘4K,’ ‘VR/360,’ ‘POV footage,’ which is all to say that the type of content being created is becoming more interactive.”
With new technologies coming to the fore, the ability to have input within an experience (ultimately altering its narrative based on the viewer’s actions) reimagines the ways we tell stories across various mediums. In VR, creators will have to figure out how to afford a certain level of autonomy and room for exploration within a virtual world while still weaving together a cohesive plot that’s easy to follow and subject to change. Demonstrating this philosophy in the mobile space, creative agency Narrative_ released a series of videos whose context change when turned from portrait to landscape as a means of changing perception and building empathy with respect to highly polarizing topics.
With a sharp focus on what’s next in the media landscape, VideoBlocks’ constant dialogue with its user base to identify trends with upwards momentum grants the company exceptional predictive power. In turn, the growing Videoblocks audience stays informed, more capable of contributing relevant materials, and has access to content better suited for converting viewers into fans or even customers. The number one reason the company is successful is because it not only supplies content, but empowers a ‘global village’ of creators to craft high-quality content and monetize on their production.
“Central to our mission is democratizing content that we find through conducting our internal analysis,” says Leonard.
“We like to communicate with our community on a regular basis to pass on new learnings and the type of content that is generating the most sales on our site with the hopes that they will then take it and make something completely new.”