Frustrating Web Video Practices: Make It Stop!
As a consumer ofweb video, there are certain things I despise. And if I feel that way…chances are others do too. Here are some things that irritate me when I try to watch something online. Hopefully this feedback can help you better tune your video content to satisfy your audience.
1. Long Pre-Roll ads.
I hate it when I click on a video and a :30 second TV spot appears! I understand you need to monetize your content. Bandwidth ain't cheap. But there's a certain threshold that people will put up with before they tune out (or click 'back' on their browser). Rule of thumb should be between :05-:15 seconds max! That's been the expectation of the audience up until recently. The worst offender I've found is Comcast.net. Not only do you have to sit thru an ad before viewing a promoted video. But when to move on to the next video, the same ad pops up again! In my mind, I've already "paid the price of admission" to view your content. Who does it right? YouTube of course! They allow you to skip a pre-roll ad after the first :05. Also, utilizing lower-third ads still gives your clients the impressions, without getting in the way of the audience consuming the content.
2. Promoted videos not paying off the audience's expectations.
Again I point to Comcast.net since I subscribe to their internet and use if for my homepage. They will promote a video with an eye-catching headline, but when you click on it, you're suddenly downloading a whole episode of Jimmy Kimmel Live. Wait a minute! I just wanted to see the 2-minute bit…not the whole forty-three minute show. That did not live up to the expectation of the audience. YouTube has created shorter attention spans. People expect to see short, to-the-point content with :90 seconds being the sweet spot.
3. Content that's promoted on-air or thru social media that can't be found on the station website, no matter where you look.
A lot of radio companies are delving into the digital realm with a "smash-and-grab" mentality on sales and page views/unique visitors. The thought is, let’s put up a bunch of content so our sites look like they're fresh & full of entertainment and get as much revenue and as many hits as we can. That's great. But when people come to your site looking for something specific and can't find it, they'll never come back again. Combined websites where several stations in the cluster are lumped in with, say, an O&O TV outlet are content monsters. But, they sacrifice the individuality of each station and make it nearly impossible to the audience to find specific content from a specific station or specific talent. Case in point, the sports station does a fun video on their morning show and promotes that you can see it online. Listeners go to the group site to find it. When they go to the 'sports' section, they have to sift thru all the content from the TV station, the newspaper partner and other sports sources before they find what they came for. If it's promoted, it should be easy to find or at least intuitive. Which brings me to my next pet peeve…
4. Promoted content that just isn't there.
I've had this happen on many an occasion. Talent does a video during their show. They hand it off to the web team. Excited air talent promotes like crazy on air and on social media to go to the station site to see their video masterpiece. Web team gets busy with other stuff, never posts. Or worse yet, another example from my default home page, Comcast.net. They had a video promoted in the main "flipper" with an enticing headline and thumbnail. I clicked on it and, bam… black screen with white text that reads: "This Video Is Unavailable". Then why the eff are you promoting it in your main flipper?
Bottomline, think about how the end user is going to consume your video content. The audience has expectations and if you don't meet those expectations, you will lose them.