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Videos Are Taking Over the World in 2015 -- Here's Why

02/02/2015 06:08 pm ET | Updated Apr 04, 2015

Videos are everywhere. More than 100 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute, you can't visit your Facebook page without seeing a video every other post, news agencies have them all over their websites, and businesses feature them front and center on their webpages.

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Photo credit: Tablet-News.com

In 2015, consumers are watching more videos than ever, a fact that is not lost on businesses, marketers, and other streaming video providers. In fact, while YouTube is still king as far as video content goes, other premium video-sharing platforms are finding ways to get in on its market share.

Here are some ways video is taking over the role of traditional online media, and some interesting statistics about how others are getting their piece of the pie.

Videos rule content marketing

The number of hours consumers spend watching online video is skyrocketing. In fact, Cisco predicts that online video users will double by 2016. Businesses are starting to realize that it's also the primary way users spend their time on their mobile devices, the hottest advertising frontier.

Statistics show that video is an international cultural phenomenon that marketers can't ignore.

Fifty percent of mobile traffic comes from videos

  • Fifty-two percent of consumers say that watching product videos makes them more confident in their purchasing decisions. (Invodo)
  • Online video will account for one third of online advertising dollars within five years. (Borrell Associates)
  • Ninety-two percent of mobile video viewers share videos with others. (Invodo)

Facebook, a new video hub

By the end of 2014, Facebook page owners officially edged out YouTube by posting more videos directly to Facebook than they shared from the video-streaming website. Why?

Facebook gives users enough incentive to post video directly to the social network over sharing it via a YouTube link.

  1. It's natural: Facebook videos appear in a large preview box (versus YouTube's small one), they show up in your News Feed, and the comments and discussions are more likely to be between friends as opposed to strangers on YouTube.
  2. It's easy to use: Facebook videos automatically play when you scroll past them, something that draws the attention of the consumer without them having to go through the extra work of clicking.
  3. It's engaging: All those features encourage engagement, meaning more "likes" and shares. For example, the UK department store John Lewis launched a Christmas ad that attracted 77 percent of its views from Facebook and only 23 percent from YouTube, according to Business Insider.

Businesses discovered the premium-video-streaming jackpot

Since video is in such high demand, businesses are discovering that customers are even willing to pay for some premium video content.

This opens up the market for several video-streaming platforms that offer things that YouTube doesn't. For example, YouTube only pays video distributors by selling ad space on their content.

Many businesses are realizing they can eliminate the annoying ads at the beginning of videos and sell their videos directly to consumers via subscription or a pay-per-view method by using premium streaming platforms like Amazon, Vimeo, iTunes, and Uscreen.

Here are some features that these premium platforms offer that YouTube doesn't:

  1. Payment options: On YouTube, users have to watch an ad until they can click through to what they actually want to watch. Premium streaming platforms offer consumers options for how they want to pay for their video. Do they want to pay for one video or pay a monthly subscription fee?
  2. Downloading: Most premium streaming platforms offer a way to download video in addition to streaming it. This gives consumers the ability to watch the video at a time when they don't have Wi-Fi or mobile data.
  3. Optional storefront: While many of the larger platforms above don't offer this, some of the smaller, specialized platforms (like Uscreen) do. You can have your own branded storefront, without the logos and information of the hosting platform (YouTube, Amazon, etc.) clogging up the view.
  4. Website integration: Once again, this is something the specialized platforms offer. This means that the platform can seamlessly integrate their streaming platform with your website, so it looks like something that you're offering, not the platform.

Let's have a look at the following at each platform:

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Comparison of premium video distributions

Businesses and consumers are both taking advantage of this brave new world of video and its numerous options.

In 2015, we'll see new ways marketers use video, businesses make money with video, and users consume (and monetize through) video. What remains to be seen is who will be the biggest winner in this revolution -- YouTube, Facebook, or premium streaming.

What advancements in video use do you expect to see in 2015? Who do you think will benefit the most from this transformation? Share your thoughts in the comments below!