Trends & Insights

16 Digital Video Predictions for 2016 You Need to Hear

By Alexandra Nicholson | Feb 11, 2016


What will capture the attention of digital audiences in this unprecedented age of video innovation? In December of 2015, Oxford University’s Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism conducted an exclusive survey of top editors, CEOs, and Directors of Video to prophesize the near future of video (find it here). Based on research reports by Reuters Institute, Forbes, and other video marketing experts, here are the ultimate predictions for digital video in 2016.

digital_video_predictions_2016.jpg1. Mobile video will dominate the video market. Mobile accounted for 20% of all video views in the beginning of 2015, but in 2016 it’s predicted that this number will rise above 50%.

2. Animated GIFs and short-form videos will become increasingly popular as brands adopt them into their core strategies. The average person’s attention span in 2015 was 8.25 seconds, reflecting the fact that most consumers don’t read an entire article…but brief videos can catch their attention.

3. Digital video ad revenue will rise significantly. In 2015 video ad spend was $7.7 billion, and in 2016 spend will grow by 25% to $9.59 billion.

4. 79% of leading editors, CEOs, and digital leaders said they would be investing more in online news video this year.

5. Competition between the cyberspace Holy Trinity of Facebook, Google, and Apple will intensify over the future development of video content.

6. 360° video, autoplay video and vertical video will be EVERYWHERE, thanks to their compatibility with the social and mobile experience.

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7. Producing compelling, high quality video will become more accessible and less expensive for newsrooms of all sizes. Reuters names Wibbitz as an option to ‘scale video production on a shoe string’ without expending more resources. 

8. Real-time storytelling via live-streaming video platforms will explode. Meerkat and Periscope were pioneers of live-streaming last year, and captured attention with news coverage of events such as the 2015 Paris tragedy. This year we’ll see even more live-streaming of breaking news events, Q&A sessions, product presentations, behind-the-scenes footage, contests, and more.

9. New viewability metrics and standards will emerge around VOD (Video On Demand) to allow comparability between online and television.

10. In Reuters’ survey of 130 digital leaders, the vast majority said video would be a key area of focus in 2016.

11. Time spent watching broadcast television will continue to decline as streaming services such as HBO Go become increasingly popular. 

12. Cross-device advertising will mean more video in a wider range of places. Video ads will creatively reach more viewers with growing frequency across platforms.

13. Prominent media and publishing companies will prioritize video. The Washington Post has reinvented its newsroom with four live-shot locations. Buzzfeed is investing in a 250-people L.A.-based video production unit called Buzzfeed Motion Pictures. The BBC is establishing a new mobile video initiative known internally as Newstream…just to name a few.

14. Mobile video traffic is expected to grow 14x within the next 5 years and account for 70% of mobile traffic. In 2015, video already accounted for 50% of mobile data used.

15. Facebook will launch a new tab solely for video content. This video-specific platform will allow users to multitask, save videos for later, and will suggest videos for the user (including ads).

16. Speed and quality of video will continue to improve, especially on mobile devices. 

Video pervades modern culture, so to keep up with high consumer demand and ever-evolving trends, it’s essential to look ahead at what’s to come. Thinking about implementing a video player on your site for the first time?

Alexandra Nicholson