It’s finally happened. Mainstream companies are beginning to understand what many of us have known for a long time.
Online content is big enough to shape the world. Specifically, video content.
In the UK, like most countries, the Official Charts Company publishes a rank order of music by popularity every week. They’ve just announced that they are changing the way they compile the numbers for the charts. They’re going to include online video.
This is huge. It’s proof that enough people are consuming music video content online that you can’t only go by traditional sales to get an accurate measure of the musical tastes in this country and the popularity of any song or artist.
Actually, online video has been this widely used for a long time, and since incumbent organisations like this have proven themselves pretty slow when it comes to getting onboard with the online revolution I guess you can discount the charts from the last decade or so!
We’ve finally acknowledged the extent of music consumption on YouTube and other video platforms.
To listen to me talk about why I think this is really quite remarkable, and the overall importance of online video content, hit play below and have a listen to episode 46 of The Content 10x Podcast.
Are you happy with your blog or podcast? Are you supposing you don’t need to jump on this whole video thing? Well, maybe that’s true, but I’d take a moment to reconsider if I were you. Why? One reason might be that Spotify doesn’t think they can ignore the opportunity in video anymore!
Both Spotify and Apple Music are about to add video to their content offering. Soon, we’ll have people going to platforms that have been audio-only since forever in order to consume video!
Add that to the waves of people going to YouTube to consume music. It’s no surprise that online video is being taken a lot more seriously now than it ever was before.
The UK music industry charts aren’t going to count a video view as though it were a sale – which would massively favour artists who have a good online presence. Instead - at the time of writing this article - they’re going to treat 600 free views as equivalent to a sale. For music viewed through YouTube’s new subscription service, which removes ads from the experience, 100 views will be classed as a sale.
Don’t skip over this – 80% of content consumed online is going to be video!
I’m not surprised in the least. After what I’ve just told you about how video is impacting what used to be mostly audio industries and apps, we clearly haven’t reached peak video-interest. Presumably we will, some day. You’ll never see all online content consumed as video, but the market obviously has a hunger for video that was not being satiated before.
Why? Perhaps there were bandwidth limitations. Most people would rather download a podcast so they can listen on the go than stream the same thing on YouTube with their phone in the pocket, even if they’re on a generous data plan.
Equally, the platforms may not have been easy enough to use, reliable enough, or the content creators they loved weren’t doing any video!
This is where you need to make a decision. Are you going to finally get behind video? How much of your audience would consume twice as much of your content if you published everything as both video and written word?
Now, if publishing everything in two formats sounds daunting, you’re in the right place. At Content 10X we specialise in repurposing, and I know how to save the maximum amount of time while producing content for all platforms, formats, and tastes.
The easiest way to do that is to start with video.
Once you have recorded a video, you can go on to repurpose it into every format that exists. Why? Because it has more information encoded into it than any other.
There’s language, which can be put into written form as a simple transcript or as a blog post if you want to edit and expand the content of the video (which is easier to do than write one from scratch).
You can extract the audio, edit in an intro and outro, and publish that as a podcast. You can cut up the video into multiple shorter videos, or edit clips together either with other videos you made or even videos other people have made to make a new point. And, of course, you can also make stills, graphics, quotation-visuals.
All the above adds to your arsenal of content and broadens your reach by giving you content that makes sense on YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, Medium, Anchor… almost any platform you can mention.
Let me tell you a funny story about this. I recorded myself talking about this topic for the newest platform for video content – IGTV.
I was going to strip the audio, add a start and an end, and publish that as a podcast episode. But I encountered a problem. You could hear loads of background noise.
There were birds tweeting. There was a raucous train that came barrelling through. All in all, the audio was not great. It wasn't due to anything other than environmental circumstances that I couldn't control unless I kept doing the video again and again and again. I decided not to do that.
Here’s what’s strange. It didn't affect the video too much.
That’s why it’s a mistake you can easily make. Sounds that don’t seem that bad when you’re watching a video and can easily make sense of what’s going on can become a big problem where all you have is audio.
It can depend on your brand and your sensibilities, of course. Some brands might work with “rough-and-ready” content that has no polish. For me, however, the audio just wasn’t good enough.
If you have similar aesthetic tastes and standards, the environment you record your video can easily determine whether or not you can strip out the audio for use as a podcast.
We work with a few clients who begin their content production process with Facebook Live. We help them set up their recording space properly, produce the video, edit it for the future, and then we work with them on podcasting and written content and visuals.
They always have very particular spaces where they do the video because they are aware we will take the audio to repurpose. They'll choose a quiet space where they can control the background noise to some extent. They'll use a good microphone. We make sure they know the sound will be important as well as the visuals.
However, even if you fudge the audio a little bit, there is so much else you can do with video.
It is the most versatile content format around, AND it's apparently the most popular to begin with. There's no question it's having a massive impact across the internet. As technology makes it increasingly easy to both record and disseminate video, it's becoming more and more clear that it is the format that people most want to consume.
If content is king, video is the crown.