Is user-generated video a bubble that’s about to burst?
Can user-generated video (UGV)’s popularity last?
Is UGV a passing fad, destined to eventually be seen as nothing more than a good time waster?
These were the questions posed in a recent blog by a Forbes contributor. For obvious reasons it caught my eye - not least because if the bubble did burst, I might be out of a job. But joking aside, not only do I not believe the UGV bubble will burst, but my prediction is that it will just keep on inflating.
It’s no secret that UGV has become the most popular choice for content consumption today. In fact, this year:
- The average person will spend 100 minutes per day watching online videos, which is certainly encroaching on the amount of time they spend viewing conventional television.
- 78% of people will watch online videos every week; 55% will view them every day, and 54% of people want to see even more video content.
- 82% of global internet traffic will come from streaming videos and downloads.
- 6 out of 10 people will prefer watching online video content compared to television, according to Google
Does that sound like a bubble that’s about to burst to you?
Statistics aside, let's dig a little deeper into some of the issues covered by the blog - and dispel some of the myths.
Is UGV unidimensional content?
Absolutely not! UGV is not all crazy dances, cute animals, and slapstick humour. Far from unidimensional, UGV is multi-faceted content capturing life, with all its colour and craziness, sights and sounds, triumphs, and tragedies. It is quite literally the greatest show on earth.
I always say UGV is not just cute cats and people falling over. But sometimes it is that, and that’s ok. However, some of the most important stories of recent years have largely unfolded thanks to UGV, and it’s increasingly become a vehicle through which human rights, gender, and environmental issues are made public. Follow the video and you follow the story.
UGV is an invaluable storytelling tool. Not only is it more authentic and immersive than professionally generated content, but it captures otherwise unseen and untold moments in raw and exciting ways that simply cannot be manufactured.
Is UGV poor quality?
UGC typically conjures up images of wobbly shots and equally wobbly sound… in some cases this is exactly what you do get, but it’s not the norm anymore. Don’t discount UGV as purely low-quality home video; it’s so much more than that – it’s a fantastic way to engage, captivate, inspire, and tell great stories to your audience.
A professional production crew may well produce better-looking content, and let’s be honest in some cases there’s no substitute for the craft of a professionally shot video. UGV is not a replacement, but it does provide another window on great story telling. UGV is diverse, emotionally powerful content - the authentic, the quirky, and even the downright brutal – and offers both quantity and quality. It’s available, it’s cost effective, it’s talent on tap, you can get it straight into production, and most importantly the very nature of UGV means it grabs and holds attention, because its value is not in the quality of its production.
Is UGV unvetted and not rights secured?
Misinformation and disinformation tend to circulate quickly due to the intentional shock value and spread unchecked on social media. UGV has been criticised for not being vetted, and for presenting safety issues. The sheer volume of UGV content can be overwhelming, but it’s a myth that verifying the authenticity and origin of UGV content is hugely time and resource consuming - thanks to Newsflare.
Getting verification and rights clearance right is critical to our mission. We always ensure our buyers can capture the moment and tell powerful stories with total confidence in the authenticity of any clip, and that they can access licensed, ready-to-use content hassle-free with no lengthy contracts.
Video from our members is always verified and licensed for immediate use. Our proprietary technology automates the verification process to an extremely high level of accuracy, authenticates IP ownership, and ensures that all videos are 100% rights cleared.
Is the user-generated video bubble about to burst?
No way! UGV has not reached its zenith and it never will - it will keep evolving and responding to the demands of audiences. UGV is made by audiences for audiences.
Whether you’re looking to raise awareness for a product, reach a new audience, attract and monetise more eyeballs, beat the scroll, produce an original show, improve brand image, or build a loyal fan base, UGV offers something for everyone, because UGV, unlike professionally generated content, captures moments that matter, everywhere, all the time. And the world is still hungry to see them.
So, join us - because our bubble just keeps on inflating.