Video Consumption Skyrockets during Covid-19

Written by Michael Maximillian Moss
Co-founder & CEO at Nova A.I.

London, UK, (20 May 2021)

Within this article, I will provide an introductory discussion to the mass growth of video consumption and in effect, production, during the Covid-19 pandemic, with a brief exploration of which platforms this growth is most prevalent on, and why we are spending more time on our screens than ever.

There has been a noticeable growth in new forms of video content audiences are choosing to consume, with a preference for DIY/’household-friendly’ and ‘feel good’ video content (Grenik, 2020). Related to these themes, user-generated content is also on the rise, as growing numbers of people are opting to share their opinions and sentiments online through their own self-produced video content (Wright, 2020).

How companies, brands and marketers need to react to this trend is something I will therefore touch upon to be expanded within further, related articles.

Introduction

The Covid-19 pandemic has thrown society as we have always known it into flummox. Perplexed companies across the board have been sent into fight or flight mode — adapt to the times and create environments in which employees can WFH, or crash and burn. With so much time spent at home twiddling our thumbs, other big changes can be seen — one being video consumption.

More time at home has meant more time glued to our screens, resulting in video consumption figures skyrocketing.

When Forbes interviewed Athur Maemdov, COO of ‘TheSoul Publishing’, Arthur backs this claim, voicing their independent digital studio producing content for global audiences has experienced ‘weekend numbers’ every day of the week since mid-March in 2020, and that there had been significant increase in consumption of ‘positive, household-friendly content, as consumer desire to watch content that replicates situations at home has increased (Grenik, 2020). 

video consumption

But video growth hasn’t just been seen on streamlining platforms like Disney, HBO, and of course Netflix, but astronomically through the overall rise of social media — particularly on TikTok, Pinterest and Instagram, with YouTube seeing over 100 million viewers streaming content through their TVs on a monthly basis (Grenik, 2020). 

There is no doubt that video consumption and demand is on the rise in big ways, but is digital still overtaking traditional TV?

Yes, you guessed right.

Online learning platform and publisher Smart Insights states that online video is growing ‘exponentially faster than TV’, and that this is partly due to the platform’s multichannel nature, with the ability of audiences to now consume video on-the-go using mobile.

video pandemic

In fact, the average person will spend half as much time viewing online video as they spend viewing conventional TV this year (SmartInsights,2020). That’s a huge increase from figures we have seen in previous years, marking a real change in recent consumer behaviour and habits.

So the Covid-19 pandemic can be pointed as partly responsible for this increase in video demand. But why else?

Ariel Shemesh in his online article ‘Why User-generated Video Content Ups your Credibility’ (Shemesh, 2021) argues that this rise in consumption of online video on the go is a reflection of widespread longing for instant access to opportunities in which we can express ourselves.

Tweeting, commenting, and posting across social media platforms facilitate this desire to be heard with our opinions (narcissistic as this may seem), but video actually acts as the most powerful medium, in its ‘all encompassing’ nature (Shemesh, 2021).

It succeeds in allowing consumers to view, hear and feel the content on a far deeper emotional level then just commenting or posting. High engagement figures with video also point to the ease in which video content can be consumed. You can be lying in bed after work half asleep and happily watch a 3 minute reel on Instagram, rather than draw the energy to focus your brain on some long-form, wordy copy accompanying an Instagram post.

Videos are also eye-catching, appealing to our curious natures to stop scrolling and simply watch.

Filmmakers are also experiencing the privilege of such online content sufficing as it is far less expensive to use to produce films than huge-scale, fancy shoots, as they are now able to shoot major movies on their mobiles. A real game changer for creatives who want to keep up with increased on-the-go demand for such video content (Diniak, 2020)

Video still of TikTok stars Charli and Dixie D’Amelio

What does this mean for businesses and marketers?

Well, put quite simply, if you want to keep up with the demands of your consumers, you need to incorporate video content into your marketing strategies sooner rather than later.

In fact, studies show that 54% of consumers want to see more video content from a brand or business they support (Wright, 2020). And the results of using video within marketing strategies can be clearly seen, with 90% of video marketers voicing video has directly helped increase sales, 83% stating video has helped them generate leads, and 89% expressing video in general provides them with a good return on their investment (Wright, 2020).

These aren’t figures to be messed with, and prove the validity of incorporating video content within your marketing strategy.

What will be interesting to explore in further detail is what the exact consumption trends are that we are seeing across the video content industry, including both an increase in demand and production of user-generated content by consumers themselves, and this increasing fascination with DIY videos and ‘feel-good content that has been resonating so well with audiences throughout the pandemic (Grenik, 2020).

How exactly businesses and brands can jump on these new-wave trends is something I therefore look forward to exploring in further detail in upcoming articles.

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