Online videos have become part of our everyday culture. Within the past two weeks, the latest viral video, which features a 5 year old Japanese boy, playing the ukulele while attempting to sing Jason Mraz’s “I’m Yours”, has had more than 9 million views. While we will never get tired of watching videos like that, watching live events on our computer’s is becoming increasingly popular.
Over 10 million people tuned in to watch U2’s live YouTube concert in October, the first ever concert to be broadcast live on video site. President Obama’s inauguration in January was one of the largest live online viewing events in history. According to NewTeeVee, 69.8 million people watched the President’s inauguration streamed live online, while only 37.8 million watched on television.
With those staggering numbers it should be no surprise live video is becoming the next big thing. What’s great about it, is that it’s not just CNN and other mainstream media that can broadcast and produce live video to millions worldwide. Anyone with an internet connection is able to broadcast events happening around them, and this is changing the way the social media game runs.
In April of 2007 the broadcasting site, Justin.tv, opened their doors and to give visitors an inside look into the life of Justin Kan, the founder of the website. Kan took a webcam, attached it to his hat and let the world see the world from his eyes, literally. Later that summer, the site allowed anyone with a web camera to broadcast their lives, creating the term: lifecasting. As a former lifecaster myself, websites like Justin.tv & uStream are totally changing, not just social media but everyday entertainment. I often compared Justin.tv to reality television with audience participation.
Ashton Kutcher is no stranger to social media, in fact, many consider him the King of Social Media for his constant use of Twitter and broadcasts on uStream. On December 16, Kutcher produced an hour live “talk show” type broadcast on his uStream channel, talking with the cast of Jersey Shore, Kim Kardashian, and announced the return of Kutcher’s CW produced show, The Beautiful Life, which will run exclusively on YouTube. The show was canceled after the second episode, however some (including myself), blame the cancellation on the time slot it was in, as it ran during the same time as Fox’s hit show Glee.
While “everyday people” take to videos sites, it can be a bit difficult for many to broadcast while they are out and about if they wanted or needed to. If you were going to use your computer, you would need a wireless card, but now with the help of the iPhone, there’s an app for that! Qik is a broadcasting service, which just has just officially debuted in the iTunes store. iPhone users who have been able to jailbreak their phones have been able to use the app for a quite some time. The service lets users broadcast anything they want right from their iPhone. The video would them be streamed live on Qik’s website, so anyone can watch.
Videos are definitely a great way of communication and it’s changing what social media actually is. You can use it for just about anything. Whether you want to promote yourself, like Kutcher, or your company and brand, like iePlexus’ Week in Social Media videos.
So where will online video go in 2010? Many businesses are taking advantage of online videos. Realtors have been using YouTube since the beginning to showcase homes they are selling, which has been helpful and very cost-efficient since it’s free advertising. You don’t have to be a realtor to take advantage of YouTube or other video services.
Many companies post videos on a regular basics. Whether it’s daily, weekly, or monthly, consumers really enjoy videos from companies. iePlexus for example, posts at least one video a week talking about the latest news in social media. We post our videos on a wide platform, from YouTube, Vimeo, Facebook along with many other video sites. One of the newest video platforms, is known as i2TV (Internet to television). After submitting your video, if approved your video will play on several of i2TV’s channels nationwide. The concept of i2TV is a great one, and I think will catch on with in the next decade.
Other companies, like Visage Hair Salon in San Marino, CA use Justin.tv to stream live video from their store, answering questions, offering tips, and just an inside look into the salon world. Since joining in October, the company has had over 20,000 views. Best of all services like that are free. Justin.tv just announced last week that starting sometimes in 2010, they will allow broadcasters to charge viewers either by visit or per minute. This will be beneficial for those who are offering simple quick advice or are even going to teach an online class, the possibilities are endless.
Videos are bringing the social in social media to whole new level. You no longer just have to sit behind a computer keeping your comments in under 140 characters. You can just verberalize them on video. And some of the sites actually pay you for using their services if you get enough views. While it most likely won’t bring you enough to retire off of, any money is good money.