Think about a stack of books; we see they are of various shapes and size. All of them have varying lengths and amounts of content but presumably they also each contain (more or less) a full story. Each book is free to have its form completely dictated by the content it contains.
So, for most of us, all the video we know is digested into set lengths. We have internet videos (1-10 minutes), tv shows (30 minutes - 1 hour), seasons (10-20 episodes), movies (~2 hours) and trilogies (3 movies). Of course this was all designed with the idea of distrubtion and television programming. With the internet quickly becoming the prominent delivery network for video and users becoming the self guided programming guide, I'm starting to notice this amazing blend that is making how we consume video similar to how we consume books.
Ultimately this all comes down to storytelling. Both books and video are created to tell a story, whether its fiction, historical, scientific or educational. With the internet we are now able to finally choose the pace to which we travel through stories. It's completely up to us and I think the content producers are starting to understand that. The cliffhangers at the end of episodes for instance are probably going to become like the cliffhangers in between chapters of a book.
Over the next couple years we'll see a pretty dramatic change up of the format of video we are used to. There will be all kinds of video with different lengths, chapters (episodes) and duration. Hopefully the content will be more fulfilling because the creative minds behind them won't be constrained to certain time lengths. There absolutely will evolve some sort of programming (video playlists) but overall the experience will hopefully feel a lot more natural and fulfilling as time constraints are removed and the producers gain the ability to add breakpoints (chapters, episodes) when the story demands.
We're going to enter a pretty amazing revolution for mass consumption video storytelling. The internet is truly breaking video free from the nasty time constraints of the past. I'm hopeful that as a society this means a completely untapped wealth of creativity to unleash and explore. It will be exciting, the platforms are already there, we just need to adapt to them. We're finally creating a way to consume video the way we want to consume it, similar to books.
Tony Scherba is a President | Founding Partner at Yeti. Tony has been developing software since high school and has worked on digital products for global brands such as Google, MIT, Qualcomm, Hershey’s, Britney Spears and Harmon/Kardon. Tony’s writing about innovation and technology has been featured in Forbes, Huffington Post and Inc. At Yeti, Tony works on strategy, product design and day to day operations, hopping in and working with the development teams when needed. Follow Tony on Twitter.