“Video is how everyone sees the world’, says YouTube UK MD, Kevin Mathers, speaking at London Social Media Week.
It’s our natural affinity with the medium – ease of use and comprehension – combined with rapidly improving download speeds, that has been behind the phenomenal growth of online video platforms, such as YouTube, in the past few years.
UK online video consumption now exceeds one billion visits a month and accounts for at least five per cent of all UK internet usage.
Kevin sees two trends driving video growth in the immediate future:
1. Freedom – the freedom to consume, and the freedom to produce.
2. Passion – we are seeing an abundance in video production: the more there is, the more we have to decide what we want to watch. For this reason, we only consume the things we’re really passionate about.
“4G is going to change the way we view video”, says Kevin. “3G is a bit like dial-up used to be. Commuters in Seoul today don’t wonder if they’re going to be able to watch a video on their way to work – they know they can. Soon, we [the UK] will be in that space too.
“We can all upload video today. That lowers the bar to entry – creativity can explode – there is complete freedom, and huge amounts of video online. YouTube is growing by 100% yearly in terms of minutes watched. There’s just too much out there.
“YouTube’s a big city like London: tens of small villages grouped round different interests. People are much more engaged with the video they’re watching. They’re in an alpha state not beta state: the fact that you’re choosing to watch [a video], means the power is with you. And also with the producers – it’s all encased in an all-consuming passion, driven by real fans. That’s different from the way video has been consumed in the past.”
YouTube rolled out its first original content channels in the UK last year – Fashtag (pictured above) is one of my favourites. Slickly produced, highly targeted and relevant, it represents the shape of things to come.
For Kevin’s full talk, watch The Future of Video livestream, produced by The Social Partners for London Social Media Week. (He’s the fourth speaker in).