Subway Video and the Next Big Marketing Thing

For some time, I've been writing about how video is going to change the Web experience, even more than it has already. I sometimes gauge the infiltration of new technology by using my "New York Subway Test" – based on what I see people doing while they are on the train. It was of interest to me today that no fewer than three people in my subway car (including me) were watching videos on their cell phones or portable devices.

In my case, I was "time-delaying" watching an episode of "Charlie Rose" from last week, and while I have no way of knowing this, my guess is that the others may have been watching something that they otherwise would have seen live on TV. I have no grand statement for what this means, except that it's not that hard to connect the dots. Folks in the arts have lots of video content to share – rehearsals, interviews, audience reactions — and all of this stuff can motivate participation in a way that no other marketing medium can. Someone could be watching last night's pre-show interview with the playwright during their morning commute!

And backing up this point, yesterday’s eMarketer reports that over half of people over 61 years old say that "their computer has become more of an entertainment device then their TV." Furthermore, research from Solutions Research Group says that in the next five years, video-based entertainment will grow by a third, to an average of eight hours per day — with most of the gain going to online video, not TV.

So, as more and more people access videos in the subway and elsewhere on their cell phones and computers, doesn't this scream out as a big marketing opportunity for our industry?

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