Last week, I had one of those moments that all parents have when they feel stupidly behind the times. One of my daughters asked me if she could watch the new Lindsay Lohan video from the Herbie: Fully Loaded movie. I gave her one of those standard I-don't-have-time-to-discuss-this-now answers and said, "Well, maybe we can get the DVD the next time we're out shopping." She stared at me as if I had three heads. "Why do we need to get a DVD when we can watch it on the Web?" The fact is, she wasn't asking me to get her the video, just some help finding it on Disney.com. It was a moment for feeling incredibly naive, yet I'm a person who carries a video camera and editing software everywhere I go so that I can create segments for "The News Show"). I'm one of the 4.3 million people who watched the space shuttle launch online and found it a more-exciting experience than what I would expect on TV. I watched the Live 8 concert on AOL instead of on MTV.
But that Herbie moment made me realize just how fast the market is growing, how Web users' appetite for video is increasing, and how quickly they will come to expect video on Web sites. And while the quality isn't always top notch, it's good enough, and the user experience and convenience of watching whenever you want is very appealing. It isn't just fun and cool stuff that's showing up in videocasts or streams but also informative and strategic business content.
Now, let's remember one thing: Long ago, when MTV first launched, some people said that video would kill the radio star and that VHS and DVD would kill the theater industry, and Web sites would kill print magazines and newspapers, and Webcasts would kill live events, and PDAs would kill personal computers, etc. But the fact is, consumers today expect content in many different forms. They expect to view that content via different media. They will turn to trusted brands for a mix of content. Their changing desires have forced entire industries to transform themselves to stay relevant. So is it time for your company to get into the mix?
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