SXSW and the Video Myths

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Mentioning that I go to SXSW usually generates one of two responses. The first is a desire to go and the second is “what for?”. On my first visit, five years ago, I thought I would discover the ‘next big thing’. Last year, for example, Meerkat launched. I imagined bringing the news to a wide-eyed audience back in Blighty, but given the nature of communications everyone was aware at the same time I was (who knew social media was instant and global?). Not only that, but the launch of Periscope shortly afterwards eclipsed Meerkat’s moment in  the Texas sun.

So why do I go? Well it’s fun, interesting and sunny in March. There’s free food and drink to be had and great live music. What’s not to like?

The real value though is in the depth of insight. You can go from panel session to keynote speech on to a meetup and learn little, but then a nugget will emerge from a session that you went to just to bridge a gap in the day. So what did I take away from SXSW 2016? The current gold rush in communications and technology this year is largely around video and like many hype cycles there is a lot of bluff and bluster. Here are a few myths that were busted for me in Austin.

#Myth 1 – It’s about the view count

OK, the view count matters but we need to be careful about what that means.  Views are not the same for different platforms. View counts on YouTube, Facebook and Snapchat are all calculated differently. No-one knows for sure, but YouTube counts a view after about video for 30 seconds. and Facebook after just three seconds. In three seconds you could see several videos on Snapchat. So when a major annual UK tennis event says it had more than 600 million video views on Snapchat that could equal to 55,000 views for a full three hour match on another platform.

#Myth 2 – It’s all about 360 VR 

With the consumer roll out of 360 VR headsets this year there’s a lot invested in telling us that it’s the next big thing. That might be right but for now there’s very little compelling content and a small amount of very boring content.  A far more immersive experience was available in an 8K 3D cinema with 22.2 surround sound from Japanese broadcaster NHK.  Not a headset in sight.

#Myth 3 – It’s all about Snapchat

The user stats are incredible, the video view are mind boggling (if you ignore Myth 1) and big media brands are piling in.  Snapchat is huge but it’s not the future for brands or broadcasters. People make their own content and then share it with their own audience. That’s the point. It’s also for a young demographic, people in the main grow out of wearing virtual bunny ears.

We all want to know what the next big thing is, but a step towards that goal is discovering what’s not.

Four Nominations In PRmoment Awards

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We’re thrilled to have made the shortlist of this year’s PRmoment Awards with nominations in four categories.

The awards recognise outstanding campaigns and exceptional talent and this year attracted over 650 entries.

Rule 5 is shortlisted for Social Media Agency of the Year and Consumer PR Agency of the Year. The agency is also nominated for Best Use of Video for its work on the UCI Track Cycling World Cup London and Social Media Campaign of the Year for its work with Royal Albert, a category Rule 5 won at last year’s Big Chip Awards.

The PRmoment Awards will be announced on March 11 at the Hilton Manchester Deansgate.

Five Nominations For Rule 5 In The Northern Digital Awards

Picture4Rule 5 has been shortlisted five times in the Northern Digital Awards.

The awards recognise the very best in digital marketing campaigns and talent in the North and will be staged at the Royal Armouries in Leeds in January 2015.

Rule 5 has received nominations in each of the five categories entered, including the Best Digital Marketing Campaign – Entertainment/Sports, Best Use of Social Media, Best Use of Video and Small Digital Agency of the Year.

Recognised campaigns include the agency’s work for the UCI Track Cycling World Cup, for which Rule 5 receives three nominations, and the launch of Royal Albert’s Miranda Kerr range.

Both campaigns are nominated for Best Use of Social Media, a category the agency won at this year’s Big Chip Awards.