Top 4 online video predictions for 2018

As I sat back at my desk having welcomed in 2018, I started to wonder what the year may hold for video and for the briefs and work I will create this year. Video certainly continued its charge in 2017, with the Internet Advertising Bureau reporting a video ad spend of £699m – a 46% rise from its 2016 spend levels.

With this rise expected year on year, here are my top 4 predictions for video and, more specifically, the video work we will be asked to deliver in 2018.

Continued rise of vertical video formats

My first prediction is that our work in 2018 will continue to see the rise of vertical, or portrait, video formats. With over half of UK internet time now being spent on smartphones and with Facebook, Youtube, Instagram and Snapchat all now embracing vertical video formats, optimising video for mobile, I think, is only going to get bigger.

Phones have better screens, faster processors, and more video options than ever before. And In 2017, Snapchat and Facebook both reported heightened video engagement figures for vertical video formats. Snapchat stated that “vertical video ads had up to nine times more completed views than horizontal video ads.” This was demonstrated in a vertical video campaign run by Audi on Snapchat to promote their involvement in the Le Mans race.  The campaign delivered a 36% video completion rate which was 80% higher than the automotive video benchmark.

With more people watching more video on their phones, I think 2018 will see more brands and companies briefing us to create vertical video formats as part of their standard media deliverables, with it overtaking more traditional landscape formats for some sectors.

We started to see the signs of this shift in 2017. Here is an example of a tasty recipe video we created in vertical format for one of our clients. This was briefed specifically to strengthen viewer engagement on Facebook.

Growth of Video series

My second prediction is that we will start to see a growth in briefs received for productions of video series. This is where businesses or brands create individual videos and group them together as part of a bigger series. Each video sits within the same concept, but tells a different story – so the series is visual storytelling through video.

This can best be demonstrated through Visa’s Solo Traveller video series. The series followed the travels of three women through Japan, Korea, Philippines, Taiwan, and Singapore. These videos were seeded through Visa’s social channels as well as the women’s social networks. Each journey was released as a three-part video and each video was no more than 3mins long. Visa created this series after research showed more and more women were increasingly travelling solo. Visa could be their partner throughout these travels, being accepted worldwide. The series has been a huge success for them.

With Facebook Watch, and Instagram’s new Story highlights shaping people’s viewing habits, I think this will only fuel the growth of video storytelling.

We started to see the signs of this growth in 2017, when we started filming our first video series for a well-known skin brand. The series follows 3 people living with skin conditions – but I can’t say anymore as the videos have yet to be released!

Increase in automated metadata

My third prediction is a techy one and is that we could start to see a rise in automated metadata, using video publishing tools, particularly amongst our clients that produce video frequently or video in multiple languages.

Metadata is essential to any video’s distribution as without it, it is unlikely to be found. However, for companies with huge video libraries, and multiple languages, the creation of the metadata can be an arduous and costly process.  Often generated by a person, either in the Digital Team or agency in each country of operation, its generation is ultimately limited by each individual’s capability as well as the constraints of the tags available on the various platforms.

Automating metadata, via a video publishing tool, can help businesses describe and define their video libraries in a more consistent and cost effective way. The result is that viewers will be able to better find the video content in their searches and that, using analytics, businesses will be able to deliver more targeted content recommendations.

We work with several companies who have large video libraries, across multiple languages, so it will be interesting to see the decisions they take this year regarding video publishing to best suit their business objectives.

More 360 video

My fourth and final prediction is that 360 video will feature more and more in our briefs in 2018. With its immersive and interactive qualities, it allows businesses and brands, across sectors, to share stories, experiences and locations that evoke feeling and aspiration that simply transcends standard video.

This can be demonstrated in the 360 video created by North Face. The video tracks a North Face climber in Nepal. It’s a great fit for the brand as it places their equipment and clothing in a remote and arduous location, but it does so by showcasing the beauty that is Nepal – its mountains and villages – that evokes feelings of wonder and aspiration. The video was played across stores throughout the US.

With Youtube and Facebook embracing 360 video, and with cameras, VR tools and VR headsets improving, I think 360 video will become more accessible and demanded.

In 2017, we shot 360 video in support of a well-known skincare brands attendance at an Expo. The 360 video will be used to share stories of people living with skin conditions in a truly immersive, heartfelt way.

If you’d like to talk more about any of these trends, please contact us on 0844 375 8876 and we can chat more. Let’s see if I’m right in 12 months!

What’s your view? Do you agree with my predictions? We’d love to hear.


This blog was written by Dan Neatherway, Founder of From the Hip Video.

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