On a plane flight home from TN yesterday I was walking from the Lav at the back of the plane to my seat. On the way I got to spy on all the passengers â€“ to see what occupies their time when theyâ€™re stuck on a plane. What were people doing? Watching videos.
Of particular interest to me was what the passengers were using to view their media. It used to be laptops â€“ smashed into the little space available. Now itâ€™s mobile devices of some sort â€“ Ipads, Kindle Fireâ€™s, smart phones, etc.
I remember reading recently that by 2013 itâ€™s estimated that more than 90 percent of Internet traffic will be video based, and that by the end of the decade at least 1 billion people will access the internet solely from their â€˜smart phoneâ€™ or tablet.
Thatâ€™s great news for people in the video production business like I am.
It also means that the content I create needs to be accessible to mobile users. Last year, this wasnâ€™t an issue. This year, Iâ€™m running into this issue over and over. When I got back in town I had a message from a client who was trying to watch, from his Iphone, a video we produced. Because of a host of reasons, the video wasnâ€™t playing â€“ constant buffering, starting and stopping etcâ€¦ By the time I reached my customer this morning, he was pretty wound up, even though technically it has nothing to do with us, and everything to do with the player and how the video is embedded in his website.
But this is my issue to solve. Period. In the end, how my product is viewed and experienced reflects back on my company. The client or viewer does not know who is really to blame for their bad experience. A yucky environment and bad customer service can ruin a movie and leave a bad taste in my mouth, even if the films producers have nothing to do with the environment.
I have to admit up front that I am to blame as much as anyone. At the writing of this, my website still uses only flash to show videos, which means that apple fans, including myself are out of luck when using mobile devices. Iâ€™m currently working on a new site, but itâ€™s no excuse in the light of such heavy mobile device traffic.
So here was the big take away for me, and an important step for my company; donâ€™t produce fabulous work and then dump it on your client to figure out how to use it. I donâ€™t get paid to take this extra step, but really I do, because if I can shepherd my client through all the details so that their video is maximized and used at itâ€™s greatest potential, I know I will see the return, both in customer satisfaction and potential new sales through increased viewership.
Take some time to understand the available technology, and how your production can harness these tools to deliver the best user experience across the widest platform possible. What are you doing now? Are viewers able to access your content easily from their mobile devices? What steps to you need to take to accomplish this?