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2016 Predictions: 5 Online Video Marketing Trends to Watch

It's been an incredible year for online video. Between new production tools and platform features for online video distribution, 2015 did not disappoint. Cisco predicts that globally, video traffic will be 80 percent of all consumer internet traffic by 2019. That number is up from 64 percent in 2014.

That means 2016 is sure to piggyback off this year's online video growth. With that in mind, here are 5 trends and topics that all online video publishers and marketers should keep an eye out for in the New Year.

2016 Predictions: Where Will 4K Go?

The hype around 4K resolution viewing technology was a hot topic in many broadcast conversations in 2015. The online video world seems to be moving faster than television when it comes to actual 4K video delivery, which is 4 times the resolution of 1080 high definition. This article discusses how platforms like YouTube, Netflix, and Amazon are leading the way in delivering 4K online video content.

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The big concern is that many of your audience members' connections and screens are most likely not up to speed with 4K. Typically, there are additional equipment and accessories required to experience 4K viewing on both television and online video. Even with those accessories, several of the big platforms mentioned above have had issues and bugs when delivering true 4K.

So where does this leave us? Well, it took several years for consumers to catch on to high-definition in the first place. My guess is that 4K will grow at an accelerated pace when compared to the first wave of HD because of its monumental growth in online video production and distribution.

On the production side, consumers are armed with 4K capable recording smartphones and cameras at fair prices. The new batch of iPhones, GoPros, Samsung Galaxies, and DSLR cameras can all record video in 4K. The more these get out there, the more demand there will be from viewers wanting to watch and share 4K content from their favorite publishers and online video channels.

This will fuel the need for 4K delivery across platforms like YouTube, Facebook, and Vimeo.

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According to 4k.com, "YouTube is currently the internet's biggest repository of 4K videos. This doesn't mean that its selection is huge yet, but it's definitely the best out there and it's growing on a daily basis as new users keep posting their clips."

Marketers and publishers should definitely make note of 4K in 2016, but they should take all of the hype with a grain of salt. While YouTube allows for 4K uploads, it will take some time before the majority of viewers have the right technology and bandwidth to view 4K videos. With that mind, I'd recommend that 4K production and delivery be added to your long-term list of "wants" for your online video strategy.

2016 Predictions: The Future of Drone Video

Aerial and drone video really soared in 2015…no pun intended. Consumer demand was so high that the government was forced to introduce new regulations when it came to commercial drones.

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One of the most recent announcements in late 2015 was the assembly of an FAA task force designed to create guidelines for commercial drone operation. This task force includes representatives from Google, Amazon, and Walmart.

I predict that drone video will continue to grow, as it becomes more consumer-orientated. Online video creators should expect to see much more drone video content released in 2016 as regulations become more familiar and the price of drones goes down. More importantly, your customers and audience may expect to see drone footage in your productions. Take note and start to think about how you can use these aerial perspectives to showcase your company.

2016 Predictions: The Rise of 360-Degree Video

Back in June, I wrote an article on 360-degree video and what marketers needed to know. One big thing that has changed since that article was published is that viewers can now watch 360-degree video on Facebook. These videos even allow viewers to pan and rotate the video within the Facebook newsfeed player!

One of the main points I discussed in that article was how this technology was going to change video storytelling. Big brands like Star Wars have already begun experimenting with 360-degree video. In September, it released a 360-degree video to promote the Star Wars movie release.

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Marketers can expect to see other companies experiment with this style of online video in 2016. The combination of 360-degree video and drones is also something that will take off in the new year as the ability to join an aerial perspective with a 360-degree immersive video experience is really unique. This video from 360-degree labs is an example of the combination.

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I expect the major platforms to continue battling it out for 360-degree video content in 2016. Look for both YouTube and Facebook to continue investing in their 360-degree video playback technology and user experience.

2016 Predictions: Video Will Be Essential for Every Content Marketer

"In 2015, content marketing was the skill that every marketer needed to be familiar with, along with mobile marketing and lead generation. In 2016, marketers will need to add video marketing to their skillset in order to be competitive with future employees and clients." says Brad Jefferson, the CEO of Animoto.

Most brands have already experimented with adding video to their website or social media channels. In 2016, you can expect marketers to make video a bigger piece of their content strategy by publishing regular video content.

According to Zentrick CEO and founder Pieter Mees, "Video will become smarter in various degrees, noticeable to the consumer or not, marketers will tie data to videos so they dynamically adapt and change themselves to align with your interests and behavior, similar to your Facebook feed."

Gone are the days of creating a one-off video. We'll see online videos that address narrower niche topics for audiences, rather than broad messaging.

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2016 Predictions: Expect Big Things in Live Streaming

Live streaming exploded in 2015 thanks to platforms like Periscope and Meerkat. In addition to these user-generated content platforms we saw large deals between big players, such as Yahoo and the NFL live-streaming a game from Wembley Stadium in London.

"As Netflix begins to hint at doing live events, expect to see more digital platforms like the Yahoos or Facebooks of the world, the folks with global audiences and video-ready capabilities, to put their stake into live event streaming as well," says Caitlin Spaan, senior vice president of marketing at Ooyala.

Online video publishers should plan to incorporate live streaming into their marketing strategies in 2016. Think about broadcasting important industry announcements, keynotes, or tradeshows where live content is the most valuable to your audience. Check out this article for ideas on improving your live broadcasts.

The next year is sure to be a huge one for online video. Check back with OnlineVideo.net regularly to stay in the know with all things online video-related.

Stjepan Alaupovic's article first appeared on OnlineVideo.net

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