It’s probably not surprising that in the last couple weeks, we’ve seen our video usage rates skyrocketing. With Coronavirus trapping so many of us inside and sending so many workers and students to work remotely, people are creating and watching videos at a rate literally never seen before. While this is very much a story still in progress, we thought we’d report a bit on what we’re seeing in terms of video usage, and a couple things we can learn.
Tracking the Progress of Coronavirus and Social Distancing Via Video Usage
These are some of our internal analytics from last week (so this data is already a week old). It features a couple specific countries, so there aren’t too many lines to read, but otherwise is unmanipulated. These are specifically the number of plays of videos created through Kaltura Personal Capture. So no live video, nothing uploaded, just how much people are watching simple videos created by their fellow employees and students.
The first thing you’re going to notice is that you can pretty much track the point at which COVID-19 really hits each country. (These are absolute numbers, not relative, so where we’ve had less penetration of Personal Capture as a product you also see less presence. Hence the relatively light usage in Asia, where many of our customers favor a more top-down approach to video creation.) Italy, in light blue, barely had enough to be noticed on the chart. Then all of the sudden, usage bounces up. (You can also very distinctly see the influence of the weekends as usage drops and then comes back on Monday.) A couple of weeks later, U.S. usage shoots up.
Lessons to Learn – Not Just Live Video
What’s also interesting here is that this is on-demand video. We’ve obviously been hearing a lot about the dramatic increase in video calls and conferences, both serious and in meme form. (I know I feel like my headphones are surgically attached to my head, and today’s duel of a company town hall, a problem solving session, and a first grade virtual class around my kitchen table all at the same time was a bit much.) But Personal Capture is generally used for more informal on demand video capture, and we’re seeing enormous demand for that as well. Why?
One reason may be that people crave personal interaction right now. Information that could have been captured in an email feels a lot friendlier when delivered by a face. And we’re all desperate for a little friendliness at the moment.
Another could be that attention spans are frayed. It’s easier to just say information instead of writing it. It’s easier to watch and listen to information than read it. Making a video feels faster and more urgent, and less of a demand.
A third consideration is time. A lot of our schedules right now are, to use a very technical term, super weird. When we’re working at home, trying to go to the grocery store at odd hours, and balancing care-giving responsibilities, 9-5 working hours seem to be completely irrelevant. Maybe your weekly catch up is supposed to be at 2pm on Thursdays. Only now, that’s when virtual gym class is, and if you’re not helping your kid get out the yoga mat and troubleshooting the video link, whining will ensue and no exercise will be had, and bedtime will be that much harder. It’s a lot easier to record your updates when you have a moment, and watch everyone else’s updates at…some time o’clock. After the kids’ bedtime?
What’s the lesson here?
Video on demand is absolutely crucial. Use it. It’s a lifeline. Make sure your employees can create videos easily, and share them. Every bit of flexibility and human contact helps right now.
What Help with Video Are People Looking for?
Here are another interesting couple of graphs. To the left, you’ll find the traffic to our Knowledge Center. Some of the most popular searches? Download, Kaltura Capture, Analytics, Captions and Newrow. (Newrow being the company we recently acquired, behind our new Kaltura Meeting and Kaltura Virtual Classroom solutions.)
Below is a chart of the increase in the number of player impressions on our Video Learning site .
Traffic to the Knowledge Center more than doubled over two weeks; traffic to the Video Learning Center, which features our tutorial videos, tripled. (The most-viewed video, by the way, is “How to Install the Kaltura Capture Application”. See the point above.)
What conclusions can you draw from this, besides the fact that people really, really need to create (and caption and analyze) video?
Taking a step back, here’s a lesson for companies in general, not just ones experiencing high demand because of the COVID-19 pandemic. In a crisis, people need easily-accessible help. They’ll try to solve things on their own if they can, and if you don’t want to be crushed under a flood of frantic queries, making sure they have access to information is critical. Even more critical? Making sure a lot of it’s video. It’s not surprising that our video tutorial demand is growing even faster than the text-based knowledge center.
Conclusions About Video in the Age of Coronavirus
Let’s be honest. It’s too early for conclusions. But a couple key themes are emerging.
- People really need video right now.
- People need a lot of different kinds of video, both live and on demand.
- It’s a good idea to try to help them get the video tools they need.
- It’s also a good idea to help them help themselves.
We’ll keep you posted as things continue to update. Stay safe!
Looking for a way for your staff or learners to capture their own video?