VidMob headed out to Anaheim to attend VidCon, the world’s largest video conference. It’s a pretty spectacular event that brings together creators, industry leaders, and communities (thousands of screaming teens) to celebrate…video! For the over-30 set, it can be a daunting experience with mobs of fans, the likes of which hasn’t been seen since N’Sync’s No Strings Attached tour.
VidCon is officially the start of summer for hundreds of thousands of these teens, replete with Ferris wheels, food trucks, and pop-up concerts.
VidMob, and most fully grown adults, stuck to the industry panels and keynotes. Here are some highlights from the team:
WHAT TEENS WATCH: From Tubular
The ah-ha and oh-wow moments from Tubular’s presentation:
Teens Don’t “Watch TV” Anymore—They Just “Watch”
What happens when a panel of teens share their views on television? Well, for those younger than 15, the TV-as-device simply isn’t considered when it comes to consuming video. YouTube and Netflix on the other hand? Major players, with teens subscribing to an average of 23 channels on YouTube alone.
Every Moment Is a Video Moment
What happens when a Gen Xer asks a millennial how many hours a day they spend online vs. offline? You get a confused look and a shoulder shrug. What is offline? These teens wouldn’t know because they’re never offline—it’s not a state of being. It’s not a thing. The proof? Over 1 trillion video views per month are now consumed online.
YOUTUBE’S VIDCON KEYNOTE
YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki delivered an unconventional keynote as a Q&A with comedians Rhett & Link (of Good Mythical Morning). Here’s what stood out:
Tube Shots & Big Views
In between test tube shots of “gross things,” they grilled Susan about VR, YouTube TV, and new original series. Not sure which was more impressive, the stat that “1.5 billion logged-in viewers visit YouTube every month” or that Susan actually drank beetle juice.
The Future of VR Is Here
VR was, not surprisingly, the main highlight from the discussion. Susan announced that YouTube and Daydream have worked together on a new format, VR180. That, and new cameras from LG, Lenovo, and Yi will be on the market soon to let the everyday consumer capture 3D and 180-degree footage. Get ready, because VR is making strides.
YouTube also announced an algorithm update for video. The new algorithm will dynamically modify video to optimize presentation across desktop and mobile, enhancing the consumption experience no matter where you prefer to view.
A Dozen New Series for YouTube Red Originals
Last, Susan let everyone know that YouTube TV is expanding markets and growing the YouTube Red Originals slate with 12 exciting new series. Woohoo! Another great excuse to indulge in binge-watching.
FUTURE OF FACEBOOK VIDEO
Video is all the rage on social, and product director Daniel Danker came to VidCon to share his point of view on how Facebook will lead the way. These are the noteworthy takeaways:
The Facebook Video Trifecta
Daniel explained Facebook’s approach to video as a three-pronged framework: Foundation, Community, Storytelling. Plus, the tools to go with it:
1) Foundation – These new tools will include the monetization of ads and branded content, DRM, and data insights—all important features for advertisers trying to gain a deeper understanding of their video fundamentals.
2) Community – Community sits in the center and is the ultimate priority and end goal of Facebook video. As such, these new tools will broadly include chatting with friends, creating pages for groups, and viewing video together (virtually speaking, of course).
3) Storytelling – Storytelling is all about enhancing the experience of photos and video through better cameras and tools that transport and connect—like their new Creator App, which gives users the simple tools to create videos about your everyday. There are stickers, frames, and pre-canned intro/outro options to stylize your video, too.
Evolving the News Feed: VR & New Series
Fidji Simo, Facebook’s Head of Video, also gave a great talk about how they are pairing video with social functions. The News Feed is becoming more immersive as it has evolved from text to photos to videos. How will Facebook keep that evolution moving? Next up will be VR and Facebook’s move into new originals. They are financing new shows to understand how Facebook can bring communities together through original series.
INNOVATION SHOWCASE FROM DIGITAL CONTENT STUDIOS
VidMob visited with top new digital-first studios including Vice, Full Screen, New Form, First Look, Jaunt, Mythical, RYOT. The common underlying video theme is a move away from “view count” toward quality and depth of engagement—which poses an exciting opportunity for video creatives to really flex their artistic muscles. Coupled with the bulk of content out there and the challenge these companies now face (i.e. how to help consumers find the best stuff to watch), the goal now is to simply start creating worthwhile content.