Coming to a mobile device very near you…

Filed in Internet, Multimedia by on August 9, 2011 3 Comments
[ismember] I remember my first statistics class, when on the first day the professor boldly claimed, “Statistics don't lie. But, they can't be trusted.” And, while he wasn't undermining his own profession and existence, his point was clear: statistics can easily be manipulated to be misleading or even contradictory. I mention that first as a caveat to what I'm about to tell you, because I'm about to hurl some statistics on you for this discussion. Take what you will. Interpret what you will. Any way you want to look at these numbers though, the proverbial 30,000-foot view will give you the intended takeaway from this article. And that is...

The consumption of mobile video is growing rapidly.

Let's just start there. What it means to you and your business is, of course, as subjective as with any other communications tool out there. And, I'll discuss what that means for you in later articles. But, if you're thinking that mobile video shouldn't impact your strategic communications mix... or shouldn't impact it just yet, remember that staring down at the hole in the sand is pretty much the same view as the one you had with your head buried in it. Earlier this year, a fairly reputable IT company by the name of Cisco released its “Global Mobile Data Traffic Forecast” through the year 2015. Here are some tidbits worth absorbing:
  • Global mobile data traffic grew 2.6 times in 2010, nearly tripling for the third year in a row. (Let me read that again. “...nearly tripling for the third year in a row.”)
  • Mobile video traffic was 49.8% of total mobile data traffic at YE 2010 (and has since surpassed 50% in 2011).
  • From the previous year, average smartphone usage doubled in 2010, to approximately 79 MB per month.
Okay, some of this may sound obvious to you. Casual observation of the habits of our friends, colleagues and our own would suggest the same. I can name on one hand my friends who do NOT have some device running iOS or Android. Hell, my 11-year old has two such devices. So, let's just say that the statistics in this case seem reasonable to me. Yes, there are some nuances that go to explain the growth (i.e. - video quality improvements, increased network connections, etc.), but again, the statistics don't lie. Do I trust them? Close enough, in my book. I get the idea. Let's go on. Here's what the Cisco report had to say about 2015:
  • Global mobile data traffic will increase 26 times between 2010 and 2015.
  • There will be nearly one mobile device per freakin' person on the planet by 2015. (Yes, I added the “freakin'” for effect.)
  • Two-thirds of all global mobile data traffic will be video by 2015.
Take a second. Re-read those. Then continue below.... A recent and tired buzzword flying around these days is that “Aha! Moment” catchphrase, referring to some epiphany or revelation. When it comes to video, though, most of you haven't adopted video strategies via the web or mobile distribution, which I am arguing (if you cannot tell by now) is essential to any and every communications mix. And, if you haven't yet experienced that “Aha! Moment,” can you still? Well, quite frankly no. Those are sold out.... Discontinued.... What we have available at this point, however, is the new model. We call it the “Holy Shit! Moment,” as in, “Holy shit! How much do I have to catch up?” The good news is that you still can catch up, even if you aren't using video at all at this point. And, there's further good news: first movers tend to make all the costly mistakes, so you don't have to. The bad news is, they've also enjoyed the rewards of success through innovation, so you've got some chasing to do. But, not every industry has courted video the same and replicated the same success seen in other industries and markets. And, the increased quality is a highly subjective matter that is constantly demanded by the consumer. Those of you currently utilizing the power of video for traditional TV and web distribution should already understand how each medium affects the design, production, and execution of your message. And, mobile video is even more demanding of carefully designed, multi-dimensional elements that work across multiple platforms and for a myriad of users. It's not enough to just provide video content... or, to simply re-purpose other videos for mobile viewing. These challenges present opportunity. Those who do it right can save money, time, and copious amounts of pain-killers, while achieving your communications goals through video. Add mobile to the mix now. And, if you don't have a video mix still, I'll throw in a re-conditioned “Aha!” with your “Holy Shit!” Free of charge, of course. [/ismember] [nonmember] I remember my first statistics class, when on the first day the professor boldly claimed, “Statistics don't lie. But, they can't be trusted.” And, while he wasn't undermining his own profession and existence, his point was clear: statistics can easily be manipulated to be misleading or even contradictory. I mention that first as a caveat to what I'm about to tell you, because I'm about to hurl some statistics on you for this discussion. Take what you will. Interpret what you will. Any way you want to look at these numbers though, the proverbial 30,000-foot view will give you the intended takeaway from this article. And that is...

The consumption of mobile video is growing rapidly.

Let's just start there. What it means to you and your business is, of course, as subjective as with any other communications tool out there. And, I'll discuss what that means for you in later articles. But, if you're thinking that mobile video shouldn't impact your strategic communications mix... or shouldn't impact it just yet, remember that staring down at the hole in the sand is pretty much the same view as the one you had with your head buried in it. Earlier this year, a fairly reputable IT company by the name of Cisco released its “Global Mobile Data Traffic Forecast” through the year 2015. Here are some tidbits worth absorbing:
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[/nonmember]

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About the Author ()

Mike’s broad span of experience in television, film, and video provide a unique understanding of visual communications and its production and execution. As founder of Studious One, Mike has helped companies and organizations, from Fortune 500 to local NPO’s, leverage the power of video to tell their stories. For more information on how you can design and produce multi-platform video communications campaigns, visit http://studiousone.com.

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  1. The Ideahaus Community Calendar – August 2011 | Ideahaus® | August 24, 2011
  1. Mike, I think you cite some great data and derive some very valid opportunities: with so many mobile video users consuming so much video most businesses can leverage something to their prospects, customers and / or target audiences. If I was advising these businesses I would recommend, at the very least, a good look at what we could do.

    Admittedly, in a bad economy, businesses are looking to save not spend. To the end I’ll recommend that business starts looking at video that already exists (previous investments) that can be “re-purposed”, or user-generated content from customers, suppliers, business partners, etc. We’re also seeing businesses share investments to produce video they can both use. Agree that no video is a poor choice.

    • Mike Lee says:

      Actually, Kevin, while re-purposing existing video can be cheap, I can’t always say that it’s cost-effective. Key being “effective.” Video that has been produced for other media (i.e.-broadcast, DVD, etc.) just doesn’t jive all the time with the needs of mobile distribution. Ever buy a spring/fall sweater because it’s a “good deal” but never wear it? It’s only a good deal if it gets used.
      Now, if you could buy a sweater winter/spring/fall sweater at a good price that you wear all the time, wouldn’t that be more effective (and cost-effective)? Well, you can. Well-strategized video campaigns work the same way. And, they don’t shrink in the wash.

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