ADOTAS — Though Interactive Video (IV) isn’t totally new, projects like Philips’ “Designed to Play,” Maybelline’s “Glamour Eye,” and Bob Dylan’s interactive music video helped spread the gospel of IV in 2013, leading us to believe that 2014 will be a breakout year for IV. As technology exponentially evolves each year, it’ll soon be difficult to remember a time when we did our online shopping through something other than an Interactive Video, or when we just watched static YouTube videos online. No, we don’t think Interactive Video is going to take over the world, but here’s what we do think is in store for online video in 2014.
1. There will be a push to replicate the “TV experience” on the web. As the number of cord cutters grows thanks to the continual product release cycle of set-top boxes like Roku, connected TVs and Blu-ray players, and devices like the Chromecast, consumers are going to start seeing more of the television traits they know and love – such as channels (and channel surfing), and auto-advancing between related or unrelated clips and segments – in their Web content.
2. Interactive video is going to redefine traditional broadcasting. Video microsites will become indispensable complements to cable channels and programs, providing the additional content and interaction that fans demand. Thus, we will see the launch and rise of more online properties that provide interrelated, immersive content on multiple screens linked through characters, themes, and events.
3. Video will be the GIF of 2014. We’ll start to see video used as a media asset intertwined with the rest of the web storytelling experience as opposed to a standalone story in a box. Video clips will replace still images across the web and be linked together, providing each viewer with a personalized experience.
4. Web video series will use PWYW pricing model. We’ll see a Radiohead “In Rainbows” style “pay what you want” (PWYW) strategy for an established property like a season of “Mad Men,” or a property from someone established like Joss Whedon.
5. Online content producers will create more original series. After the successes of Netflix’s original series (“House of Cards,” “Orange is the New Black,” “Arrested Development Season 4”), there will be more original content from the big players in the online space. Though Netflix is currently leading the way, Amazon will continue with its all-at-once series of compelling web content (“Alpha House”), and Hulu, YouTube, and the others will ramp up their original content plan.
6. We’ll see at least one high-profile crowd-funded season of television. The year 2014 will bring a crowd-funded TV show that’ll make the major TV networks sweat. Think about it; if Joss Whedon asked his followers and fans to contribute funds to bring back “Firefly,” you can bet he’d have that money in no time at all.
7. Videos will become the primary shopping vehicles for tablet users around the world. Shoppable videos, similar to the one we created with Kara Ross, will be used more frequently for mobile sales – especially on tablets. If the trend from Cyber Monday’s mobile sales has anything to say about it (17 percent of which came from mobile devices), we’ll be seeing more and more mobile shopping n 2014 – and forward-thinking companies will use shoppable video to increase sales.
8. A few innovative companies will start leveraging Interactive Video to replace costly in-person training. Higher education and corporate training will see a huge disruption as animated avatars and Interactive Video pair up to present personalized online training to hundreds of thousands of users without anyone ever leaving the comfort of their home or office.
9. Video with choice is going to revolutionize customer service. Whether it’s understanding the service schedule for a new car, baking a first pecan pie, or setting up a new phone – customers are going to expect a personalized video walkthrough, and progressive companies are going to start delivering. Think Amazon’s new “Mayday” video-based customer service feedback feature on Kindle, but with a full knowledge base of recorded video questions and answers that respond to the viewer’s interactions – and that can be published and updated at scale.