The keynote panel at the Digital Entertainment World conference in LA on Tuesday gave a great view of the divergent interests of 20th and 21st century media. Mobile video was very much on the mind of web natives, while mainstream media still seems more interested in extending the reach of its traditional television fare.
Jim Underwood, Head of Entertainment, Global Vertical Strategy at Facebook, threw down the data gauntlet stating that 75% (or 11 hours) of our waking hours are now consumed with the consumption of media. It could be argued that Facebook is a prime mover in this extraordinary statistic. The company has rocketed to the number 2 spot in the delivery of online video, second only to YouTube. In particular, the company has tripled the amount of video it delivers in just 6 months. This is largely on the back of the introduction of autoplay for videos. Mr. Underwood said that, though videos do not play when they are out of the field of view, the mere act of automatically starting the video results in many more people sticking around to watch.
Not to be outdone, Ezra Cooperstein, President and COO of Fullscreen, said that over the last 4 years the amount of mobile video starts the company sees has grown from 20% to 60%. He added some color to this, saying that girls between 13 and 17 years don’t’ even think about a television anymore. Their phone is their TV. Even though much of Fullscreen content is consumed on a phone doesn’t mean it’s cheap to produce. He said that content businesses are capital intensive. To emphasize the point he said a good deal of the cash Fullscreen received when the Chenin Group and AT&T bought the company is going straight into creating great content.