By November 20, 2008 4 Comments Read More →

Video is more obvious for site visitors

Just over a week ago I wrote about a video experiment I’m involved in.  The experiment amounted to publishing a video version of an audio program published on the Just One More Book!! podcast website to see how an un-promoted video fared against its audio counterpart — a mainstay on the site.

Basically, I took about forty minutes to throw some still images into a thirteen-minute audio program and created a Quicktime movie which I uploaded to Viddler.  I then embedded the flash player for the video into the post.

The video was watched about three times more often than the audio was downloaded on the first day of the post.  Now, ten days later, the video has been viewed 2,100 times, slightly more than four times as often as the audio played/downloaded.  Aside from a mention in the post, we didn’t use any form of promotional campaign to raise awareness of the video.

We’ve received some feedback that there should be more visuals and more regular transitions in the video to keep the audience’s attention.  I completely understand that, particularly since I rushed the video together merely as a test.  The results are significant, though.  They prove that video players are far more obvious than their audio counterparts and that the general public understands video first and audio second — likely due to the success of services like YouTube.  As a result, we’ve moved the player for our audio programs (Podpress) to the top of each post and we have plans to do more with video.

I don’t believe in gratuitous use of video.  For example, exclusive use of video for a talking head seems to me to be a waste of bandwidth and offers little value to the viewer.  My intent is to use video to offer visuals that support and enhance the experience for the audience.  It’s more work for the content creator though it makes more sense to use audio for things to be heard and video for things to be seen.

There will be a discussion about this on next week’s episode (#121) of the Canadian Podcast Buffet.

PS. did you click on the image to see if a video or audio program would play???

avatar

About the Author:

Mark Blevis is a digital public affairs strategist and President of FullDuplex.ca, an integrated digital communications, public affairs and research company. His work focuses on the role of digital tools and culture on issues and reputation management. He also leads research into how Canadian opinions are shaped through online content and interactions.
  • http://www.bookoflifepodcast.com Heidi Estrin

    Video intrigues people when they encounter it online, but I still vote for audio. While watching the video of A Bear in War, I found it distracting to look at the pictures while listening to the audio – it made me focus less on what the interviewees were saying, and I didn’t feel like the visuals added any real benefit to the story. This is, perhaps, a testament to your good audio editing – the story was well-told via audio and did not need visual support. As in a good picture book’s combo of text & illo, audio and video can be combined so that each is helping the other – that’s just not the case in this individual video (not a criticism, you told us up front that the video was a quickie job). Anyway, I personally enjoy the portability of audio and the very personalized feeling of having someone talk directly to me while I”m driving the car or walking the dog. Just my 2 cents.

  • http://www.markblevis.com Mark

    Andrea and I also find the video to be distracting when compared to how we use audio to promote children’s books, the people that create them and an overall love of reading. The real purpose of the video is to serve as an on-ramp for people who are unfamiliar with the Just One More Book!! community and podcasts in general.

    Video will not replace our audio and we don’t expect we’ll do much with video as a rule. We also have no plans to include video in our RSS feed, only as an on-site view. However, we have plans to use the video we collected during our 6-day road trip and there’s lots of it.

  • http://www.markblevis.com Mark

    By the way, we posted a second on-ramp video on Just One More Book!! today. The video supports our review of the book “Bird” and includes photographs of sketches as well as images from the book and pictures of the book launch — all provided by the author and illustrator.

  • http://www.markblevis.com/ Mark

    By the way, we posted a second on-ramp video on Just One More Book!! today. The video supports our review of the book “Bird” and includes photographs of sketches as well as images from the book and pictures of the book launch — all provided by the author and illustrator.