Random Thought: Video on Web Sites

Filed in Miscellaneous by Matt McGee on July 10, 2008 12 Comments

Random Thought: We’re about 1-2 years away from the day that video will be as ubiquitous on web sites as About Us and Contact Us pages.


Comments (12)

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  1. I suspect you may be right… Just about every mobile phone can be used to capture video nowadays, so most people already have the required technology.

    Methods to put the content online certainly *are* becoming ubiquitous.

    The only factor left, then, would be the “desire” or “perceived need” to show video on the web site.

    And if enough sites start doing it, video will quickly become a need-to-have, rather than a nice-to-have: you wouldn’t want your site to look outdated, would you?! πŸ˜‰

  2. dlperry says:

    Ugh – I hope not- but that’s just me. πŸ™‚

    There’s little that irks me more than clicking on an interesting headline and being forced to sit and wait through a video load, then video advertising, THEN maybe finally getting to the info I was interested in to start with.

    If I visit a site that tries to load flash/video/music/etc. automatically, without giving me a clear, easy to locate way to ‘skip it’ – poof – I’m gone.

    Of course I am on a Hill in a Forest in East Texas, and pricey Satellite Internet is all I can get – which may have a lot to do with my aversion.

    just my .02 πŸ™‚

  3. Julie Kosbab says:

    I really hope not. Video is very easy to do badly and can be expensive to create a product with tangible user value.

    If video becomes ubiquitous, it’s likely to be poorly done video on the whole. At which point, the distinction isn’t IF you have video, but if you have professionally produced video with any merit, versus something awful done with a hand-held camera because ‘you have to have video!!1!!omg!!!’

  4. @Julie: I agree that much of the video content will likely be “bad” –especially if, as I wrote half in jest, it is created using mobile phones… πŸ™‚

    Yet I suspect that many sites *will* contain video, “just because you can” and “just because everybody is doing it”.

    Perhaps there’s a market for a new course, “How to Produce Professional Video for Your Web Site”… πŸ˜‰


  5. Julie Kosbab says:

    @Marcel: Video is going to go the route of web sites in the sense that a lot of people decided “I need a web site! Everyone is doing it!”

    In the corporate world, that started with IT people and the blink tag on G1 corporate sites.

    In the small business world, that has been (and still remains, sometimes) someone’s cousin/friend/son building them something using basic HTML skills and non-existent aesthetics.

    Given that we all still see the novice HTML web sites featuring lime green text on black backgrounds, I fear the brave new video age!

  6. JustinM says:

    I agree with Marcel and Julie. So it is up to the first adopters to set a good example.

    I think as streaming video quality gets better and video production for small businesses gets less expensive you will start to see a lot more small business with videos on their about us and customer testimonials pages.

    But like dlperry says, it needs to be an option not a default. No different than a youtube video embedded on a website. Click to play.

    I think it’ll be exciting. There’s a lot of fun/creative/cute/unique/motivated small businesses out there that will really benefit from being able to showcase their companies on video instead of static text and images.

  7. Disagree. Video has its uses, but when my time is at stake (when is it not) I prefer reading 100x over sitting through a video. I can skim, speed read, glance, or what not. With a video I just wait and the video determines the rate at which I take it in.

    Contact/About us pages are ubiquitous because they are a form of meta data, video is promotional, informational, or entertaining, and not everyone needs that.

  8. Aaron Weiche says:

    COMPLETELY agree. As some of the comments point out, there will be bad video .. but so what, there are levels/values to everything we produce or take in (print, web, video).

    I guess I don’t see it having to replace information in another format (HTML, PDFs, images), just another way to communicate. I welcome seeing it in all kinds of places and making my own decisions on use and value as I come across it. If video wasn’t valuable and engaging, we’d still only be sitting in front of the radio.

    We did a company overview video for our website to add some human element and personality (warmth) to our website and service. Let people see the people they will work with when choosing a web firm. We’ve had very favorable feedback so far.

  9. Laura Alter says:

    Did you see this, Matt?


    “…consumers typically visit an average of almost 5 websites (4.8) before they end up making a decision as to which attorney to choose. When video is added to the lawyer’s website, this number decreases to 1.8. This indicates that consumers are more apt to choose an attorney that offers an online video on their website. Perhaps this is because the clients feel more comfortable dealing with an attorney that they can put a face to…”

    I think this demonstrates a key point. In *specific verticals*, I think it will be on every website for reasons that vary by industry. If it works, it will be there, but I don’t think it has the same effect everywhere.

    Laura Alter

  10. Matt McGee says:

    I did see that, Laura. πŸ™‚

    And just to clarify for future readers, I’m not asking if you like video on the web — I’m asking what you think is the future of video on the web.

    I’m also not a fan, and rarely spend the time watching video, but I don’t think that’s going to have any impact on it’s growing popularity. πŸ™‚

  11. Will Scott says:

    Hi Matt,

    Like everything else it will come down to return on investment.

    I know there’s a lot of excitement from the likes of the Kelsey group and other print media watchers over the recent estimated number.


    When a small business has such difficulties parting with their hard earned money for online marketing (studies indicate a threshold of 100-400 USD / mo as a comfort level) it’s hard to justify the current costs of video.

    And, it’s the costs which are so exciting to those with a massive distribution network and sales force (like yellow pages).

    As some of the commenters here have noted quality becomes an issue at the lower costs. And when the low-cost solution is a template by industry the differentiation offered in the stats noted in the FindLaw study will likely change.

    In other words, in industries where there is a significant return on any media and a high degree of ego based buying (both by the advertiser and the consumer) I think it will become near ubiquitous and when it does it will no longer be a differentiator and will eventually lose value.

    For the mom & pop the solution with a low enough cost may get some traction but only among low-hanging fruit and, in my opinion will be short lived.


  12. Frank Reed says:


    Good point on having an opinion about video v. whether it will be ubiquitous. Nice job using such a $50 word on your blog, BTW.

    Despite my dislike of it as well (I think it’s my age because my young employees live and breathe the stuff)I suspect that video will be de rigeur in the near future. Doesn’t mean it’s going to be good though. I can only imagine the junk that will be produced and passed off as content.

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