Mobile Video: The Next Digital Transformation Challenge

By Ben Coffinberger

Mobile video consumption continues to increase year over year with no signs of slowing down. According to Cisco, video consumption on mobile devices will make up 80 percent of all internet traffic by the end of 2019. Likewise, according to eMarketer, the number of U.S. based smartphone video viewers is forecasted to reach 187.7 million in 2019, and expected to grow to 205 million by 2022.

Because of this, it is essential for enterprise organizations to stay up to date with current mobile video trends to engage customers and internal staff with interactive content. As businesses continue to make the shift toward Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) initiatives, Information Technology (IT) departments are facing the challenge of ensuring that internal and external content is ready and available across a wide range of potential devices.

What Makes Video Different

It is imperative to recognize that videos are unlike any other file type that is shared within or outside the enterprise. Video files are typically massive in size compared to documents, spreadsheets, PowerPoint presentations, and the other forms of content you find on your internal network. For example, documents typically range from one to five megabytes, while video files are measured in gigabytes — and most corporate town hall meetings and training videos normally run from thirty to sixty minutes or more.

Videos also need to be delivered differently than other file types, both within and outside of your network. While other files are downloaded and opened directly from a file share or internal portal, videos will typically need to be streamed from the server because of their size. Instead, videos are sent to the user’s device bit by bit in small packages, which are then played and discarded. This approach is particularly important for mobile devices, which likely will not have the hard disk capacity to download a multi-gigabyte video file, nor need the same quality as a PC.

Streaming on Mobile

When it comes to streaming video on mobile devices, you need to ensure your enterprise is offering an ideal video format. For example, Apple’s mobile devices famously cannot play flash video. There are also issues that arise with increasingly popular BYOD programs, such as the increased surface area for security risk. Personal devices used for work can unintentionally compromise security policies. For example, sensitive business videos might get uploaded to YouTube rather than the appropriate secure video library.

As your employees begin to access your business video across a wider variety of devices, you will also run into the challenge of tracking and reporting all that user behavior. Especially for organizations or teams charged with compliance, training, and human resources, the need to know whether a specific user watched a specific video (and whether or not they watched it all the way through) is paramount.

Video CMS: Essential For Mobile Success

To support the unique requirements of video, video content management systems (video CMS) have rapidly grown in popularity as a video-ready complement to existing Learning Management Systems (LMS) and Content Management Systems (CMS) software. Video Content Management Systems (such as Rev) provide a secure, company-wide destination for posting, sharing and discovering mobile video content. Additionally, they will automatically optimize streaming your recordings for playback across mobile devices. Platforms typically include video transcoding features that accept a range of video and audio file types and then automatically convert them to formats optimized for HTML5 viewers.

Many video platforms also offer developer APIs to allow you to perform custom authentication and integration and automate user management. This allows employees to access and stream video to their mobile devices without significant administration burden. A fully functional platform will also be essential for mobile-friendly video analytics to identify what users watched and if they completed the video.

As mobile video consumption continues to rise, and continues to remain ahead of the curve, enterprise organizations will have to stay on top of mobile video consumption trends more now than ever before. With new technologies emerging every day, the options for creating compelling video that creates a two-way conversation with the viewers are growing exponentially. Content publishers will need to incorporate video into their mobile video consumption strategy to connect with their audience and build relationships like never before.