Mobile Video - Hit me in the visuals!

News Labs ran an event focussing on how the world is using and consuming Mobile Video, what happened next will blow your mind!

Video that works well on mobile devices is one of the key areas for experimentation for most news organisations at the moment.

So on July 21st 75 people, mostly from BBC News including Newsgathering, Current Affairs, World Service and some students from City, Westminster and Goldsmith’s Universities gathered to explore the world of mobile video.

The event featured a morning of speakers and brainstorming, followed by an afternoon’s practical application. The morning speakers were Debbie Sherringham BBC Social Media Trainer, Esra Doğramacı BBC World Youtube channels, Mukul Devichand BBC Trending, Alex Pettitt a Twitter Periscope pro and Andrew Webb from BBC Shorts.

The audience were then divided up into teams where they brainstormed on their experiences and knowledge of the best mobile video techniques.

getting stuck in

The afternoon session was a hands on opportunity to make some short punchy 15 second editorial pieces for submission to a specially created instagram account. The winners went on to receive fame and glory within the room and receive prizes that they could take away to further their mobile video skills.

points mean prizes

And what became of it?

Out of the range of experiences from the participants, some interesting thoughts emerged.

Audiences want to share our reporter’s journeys. They want punchy content, quickly and they don’t want to be patronised. They want ancillary content, the stuff that we have that other broadcasters do not have, stuff that extends the life of the story.

They want to live vicariously through our investigative attitudes and the access that they permit. They want the content where they are, not just on the BBC’s mothership site, and we need to count them where they are viewing it, it’s our brand and it’s on their screen.

They know the brand, but that’s not necessarily why they are looking at the content - they are looking at it because it is in front of them. They want to feed back and see the changes that happen when someone on Periscope actually listens to them, and asks the question that they want answered.

They want quick facts, snappy facts, visual facts. Their volume may not be up or audible, so it must be punchy, right in the visuals.

points mean prizes

Another strong emergent theme is that what works for one audience may not work so well for others. Publishers must endeavour not only to put content in the way of the audience, but to tailor it for the demographic they want to hit. Youtube ratings have increased vastly since the introduction of more controlled and directed content output with an empathetic face presenting them.

Now the hard work of live experimentation continues, as participants try to apply those shared insights into their output and we can get more feedback from the people who really count - the audience.