Interactive Video Explained

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Interactive Video Explained

| Interactive video | March 05, 2015

What is Interactive Video?
Traditional video is linear. It has a beginning, middle and end. It’s a one-way conversation. Whereas, Interactive Video has an extra layer that turns video into a two-way responsive medium and makes the content feel more like the web. It enhances video by adding functions that allow the viewer to decide where they want to go and what they want to do. These interactive functions are many and include: hotspots; pathing; on-screen questions; data gathering…we could go on.

Who uses Interactive Video?
From fashion brands such as Net-a-Porter to singer/songwriter Bob Dylan to media giants such as The Guardian. YouTube already uses a form of Interactive Video called ‘Annotations’ that allows links to be added to the videos that are hosted on its platform. Some digital soothsayers are predicting that one day all video will be interactive. We are rather inclined to agree.

What is Shoppable Video?
The fashion industry is the first to have employed the technology enthusiastically. At its best it allows video to become a new sales channel. The viewer can hover over a product that they fancy and on-screen, information about that product will appear, such as price and size. If you so wish, you can then click on a link that will take you through to a point of purchase. Brands such as Walmart, Gap and Gucci have all commissioned this kind of video.

What is pathing?
This is the ability for the viewer to decide where they want to go. By clicking on a button, they can skip to the area that’s of most interest to them. For our older readers apparently it’s like one of those adventure books where you decide the ending, we don’t but then we are very young and have beards with no grey..

What are the benefits?
This is the really clever bit. Some of the more sophisticated Interactive Video services have the ability to record every keystroke, response and decision that has been made by the viewer. If the viewer answers a question, the data is gathered; if a viewer clicks on a link, it’s recorded. This customer data can then be viewed at a glance on a dashboard and analysed by the brand’s marketing team.

What kind of business is Interactive Video suitable for?
Every film commissioned can benefit from interactive video technology. It measures the engagement of the user and that’s a marketer’s dream. Education and training; marketing; retail; storytelling and CRM style films are where we will see the first moves.

Who are the Interactive Video specialists?
There are new technologies springing up all of the time. The choice is there and some of these specialise e.g. Wire wax for fashion and I-VDO for data. What you need to take care of is how to film interactive video. It requires thought and experience to make it work. This lot seem to be on to something… http://www.thepeloton.tv/interactive-video/

Interactive Video solves the problem with video. Watching this technology develop over the next couple of years could be some of the best fun we’ll see on the net!

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