Mobile is the future.
Everyone loves video.
Yet, video isn’t the answer on mobile.
Maybe I’m wrong, but I don’t think so.
The problem with video: it’s not easily consumed on a tiny screen, and smartphone users aren’t willing to just sit and stare.
A recent marketing study by Experian shows users spend less than 1% of their time watching video.
And who can blame them? There are so many other tasks smartphone users want to try to fit in while grabbing a cup of coffee, waiting for a bus, or stopped at a traffic light.
Sure, there’s time to consume a 6-second Vine, or even a 15-second Instagram video, but a person rushing to check email, post on social media, and surf the web doesn’t have the inclination to concentrate on something that requires two senses, as watching and listening to a video does.
I contend a well-produced audio feature, is far better content for a smartphone or tablet.
A few months ago, I detailed the Ultimate Tweet, which lets a user simultaneously listen to an audio feature while viewing a photo montage.
My premise – when producing content for mobile, audio is better than video – does have some potential drawbacks:
- It’s more time-consuming to edit, write, voice, mix a longform audio feature than to shoot a Vine or Instagram video.
- Audio production is becoming a lost art, as fewer would-be journalists choose radio, in large part because of low salaries.
- The perception video is a better storytelling method than audio.
Granted, I enjoy consuming video on my iPhone as much as the next person, and there are times ‘moving pictures’ are the best way to tell a story.
My suggestion: consider how users will receive your content, and choose the best tools for telling the story creatively.