Research: Users seek quick access to credible video content
February 8, 2023
Sony has undertaken analysis of the most engaged Twitter video content linked to 2022’s top news stories across Europe, which amounted to over 201 million views and over 8.6 million points of engagement (total of shares, likes, and comments) on the platform. Stories analysed included the war in Ukraine, the Amber Heard vs Johnny Depp defamation trial, and various European elections. The study sought to show what is driving engagement from today’s socially driven but often news-fatigued audience.
Most prominent among the findings is a clear emphasis on users seeking quick access to credible video content, with a significant proportion coming from User Generated Content (UGC), comparatively higher to those from official news sources.
The research, looking at a significant sample of online news videos across Europe, provides some important hypotheses as to how content makers can learn from video engagement and how they can incorporate the growing suite of cloud technologies into their offering, which underpins the need for the most efficient and agile ways of working.
Sony has distilled the analysis into four major categories, each charting the characteristics of modern-day video footage consumption:
- UGC (user generated content) accounted for a greater share of results than content produced by traditional news outlets (39 per cent versus 30 per cent respectively), showing UGC to be a critical engagement driver companies cannot afford to ignore.
- Where content shared was from ‘official’ sources, ‘traditional’ media outlets e.g., news and broadcast, represented half (48 per cent), suggesting people are still looking to these sources for quick access to credible and high-quality content but media are having to share the spotlight with other sources, such as governments, which consumers have more direct access to thanks to social media.
- The follower count of those sharing high engagement stories ranged from 95 to 51.4 million, showing engagement can come from unlikely places once a video gets momentum.
- Broadcasters should therefore not be afraid to share content from Twitter accounts with relatively low followings, using for example through Cloud-based technology to allow multi platforms distribution, still be sure to verify the credentials of the content.
- 37 per cent videos were ‘un-augmented’, meaning there was no editing of the video or audio footage before sharing.
- Another popular genre was ‘unoriginal’ content in the form of old videos being resurfaced due to them capturing the mood of the moment.
- Almost half (47 per cent) of videos with high engagement had one or more of the following criteria in common: letting us relive tear-jerking moments, dig more critically into specific news event in terms of what was said and by who, or making sense of events through singular and relatable perspectives from people.
- Cloud production and multi-format delivery allows broadcasters to bring added value and quick turnaround to content in the same way, with improved touch points and innovative video experiences to acquire new audiences.
“We’ve seen news broadcasters work increasingly with local freelance journalists to access authentic, in-the-moment footage,” advises Clothilde Redfern, Chairwoman of the Rory Peck Trust. “This research shows this is a clear driver of online engagement and there is an appetite to feel and experience news as it’s unfolding in its raw form. However, to maintain credibility and audience trust editors will need tools designed to support instant processing of videos.”
To help put this insight into action, Sony has outlined three strategic recommendations to help broadcast and production businesses recalibrate content to meet changing demand.
- Businesses should critically assess the value they are bringing to the content ecosystem. Whether it’s the access, the ability to provide quality of live or archival footage, or being able to aggregate human stories from multiple sources.
- Invest in a workflow that speeds up acquisition and re-imbursement of UGC and on-the-ground news sources. This enables broadcasters and production companies to tell stories from multiple perspectives with maximum agility.
- Maximise the lifecycle of content once it is published. Broadcasters and production companies should make sure they are easily allowing audiences to reuse and repurpose material whilst it is related to a popular and newsworthy topic.
“Twitter’s past, present and probably future are full of twists and controversies, but it remains the go-to social media platform for news and broadcast and media brands still play a critical role as guardians of high-quality, credentialled content,” notes Olivier Bovis, Head of Media Solutions, Sony Europe. “What is most important is that this is sourced and delivered in a flexible, agile, and seamless way to give audiences the range and depth they’re looking for, at the same time keeping efficiency and commerciality top of mind.”
According to Sony, cloud-based offerings for production workflows allow this to become a reality for a range of scaled productions. End-to-end or hybrid cloud solutions improve and help maximise the potential of production workflows in a number of ways.