How Video Consumption is Changing in 2024 [New Research]

Video has become an essential part of our daily lives and digital experiences. As we move through 2024, the ways people discover, watch and engage with video content are rapidly evolving. For marketers, keeping up with these changes is crucial for reaching and resonating with audiences.

One of the most significant shifts in recent years has been the explosive growth of short-form video content, led by the rise of platforms like TikTok. According to recent data from Sensor Tower, TikTok was the most downloaded app globally in Q1 2024, with over 400 million installs. The app now boasts over 1.3 billion monthly active users who watch an average of 180 million hours of content per day.

Platform Monthly Active Users (Millions) Average Daily Video Hours (Millions)
TikTok 1,300 180
YouTube 2,500 700
Instagram 1,400 130
Facebook 2,900 250

Source: Company reports and analyst estimates, Q1 2024

The popularity of short-form video has prompted other major social networks to prioritize their own competing formats. Instagram Reels, YouTube Shorts, and Snapchat Spotlight have all seen significant growth and investment. As a marketer, having a presence in these short-form video feeds is becoming table stakes.

However, succeeding with short-form video is not as simple as repurposing existing content. The informal, fast-paced, and trend-driven nature of TikTok and similar apps requires a distinct creative approach. Brands need to focus on showcasing their personality, participating in meme-worthy moments, and providing value in a highly engaging way.

For example, Chipotle has been widely praised for its TikTok marketing strategy. The brand creates humorous skits using its food items as characters, taps into trending songs and dances, and collaborates with influencers for viral "challenges." As a result, Chipotle has amassed over 2.5 million TikTok followers and regularly receives tens of millions of views on its videos.

@chipotle The peppers got what they deserved 🌶😱 #chipotle #burrito #funny ♬ original sound – Chipotle

While short-form is surging, long-form video remains a vital part of the digital landscape. YouTube is still the world‘s second largest search engine and top video destination, with over 2.5 billion monthly active users consuming over 700 million hours of content per day.

For marketers, YouTube offers an ideal platform for in-depth storytelling, product education, and thought leadership. Brands that can build a loyal subscriber base on YouTube have an ongoing opportunity to shape their narrative and engage viewers for extended periods of time.

However, competition for attention on YouTube is fierce, with over 700,000 hours of new content uploaded every day. To stand out, brands need to focus on creating high-value, well-targeted videos optimized for search and shareability. Consistency is also key, with the most successful YouTube channels posting fresh content on a regular schedule to keep subscribers coming back.

One brand that has mastered the art of YouTube marketing is Lego. The iconic toymaker‘s YouTube channel has over 18 million subscribers and features a mix of product videos, animations, and user-generated content. By tapping into the passion of its fan community and providing endless inspiration for creativity, Lego has built a massive library of engaging videos that generate millions of views.

Live streaming is another video trend that has gained major traction in recent years. Platforms like Twitch, YouTube Live, Facebook Live, and TikTok LIVE have made it easier than ever for brands to broadcast in real-time to their audiences.

The appeal of live video lies in its authenticity and interactivity. Viewers can engage directly with hosts through comments and reactions, creating a sense of shared experience and community. For brands, live streaming provides opportunities to showcase products, provide customer service, host events, and drive instant conversions.

One of the most impressive examples of live stream marketing comes from beauty brand Glossier. In 2020, the company shifted its focus to online experiences and launched a series of live shopping streams on YouTube. Hosts showcased new products, answered questions from viewers, and offered limited-time promos. The streams generated over 100,000 views and drove a 30% sales lift.

As video consumption habits evolve, authenticity has emerged as a key factor in how viewers perceive and engage with brand videos. A study by Stackla found that 90% of consumers say authenticity is important when deciding which brands to support, and 73% are willing to pay more for products that guarantee authenticity.

For video marketers, this means that overly polished, inauthentic content is likely to be tuned out in favor of genuine voices and perspectives. Brands should focus on showcasing real people, sharing meaningful stories, and building trust through transparency. Creator partnerships and user-generated content can be powerful tools for demonstrating authenticity.

Skincare brand CeraVe has built its video marketing strategy around authenticity and education. The brand partners with dermatologists and skinfluencers to create informative content that addresses common skincare concerns. By featuring real experts and focusing on solutions rather than promotion, CeraVe has established itself as a trusted resource in a crowded market.

Video is also becoming increasingly shoppable, with platforms like Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube all launching integrated e-commerce features. Shoppable videos allow viewers to click through to purchase featured products without leaving the app, creating a seamless path to conversion.

According to research from Brightcove, 53% of consumers have purchased a product as a result of watching a shoppable video. For marketers, this means that videos should be created with clear calls-to-action and optimized for e-commerce. Product demonstrations, tutorials, and limited-time offers can be especially effective tactics for driving sales through shoppable video.

One brand that has embraced shoppable video is fashion retailer ASOS. The company‘s #AsSeenOnMe campaign encourages customers to share videos of themselves wearing ASOS products, which are then made shoppable on the brand‘s website and social channels. By leveraging user-generated content and making it easy to buy, ASOS has driven significant engagement and revenue through video.

Looking to the future, emerging technologies like artificial intelligence, virtual reality, and augmented reality are poised to revolutionize video marketing in the coming years. AI can be used to personalize video content, optimize ad targeting, and automate production tasks. VR and AR can create immersive, interactive experiences that bring products and brand stories to life in new ways.

While adoption of these technologies is still in the early stages, forward-thinking brands are starting to experiment and lay the groundwork for the future of video. For example, furniture retailer Ikea has launched an AR app that allows customers to visualize how products would look in their homes before making a purchase. By bridging the gap between online and offline shopping, Ikea is using video technology to create a more convenient and confident buying experience.

As 5G networks continue to roll out globally, the possibilities for video marketing will only expand. 5G offers faster speeds, lower latency, and greater capacity than previous generations of mobile networks. This means that marketers will be able to deliver higher-quality, more interactive video experiences to viewers on the go.

For example, a 5G-enabled augmented reality video could allow a car shopper to take a virtual test drive of a new model from their driveway. Or a live stream shopping event could feature multiple camera angles and real-time product demonstrations without buffering or lag. As 5G becomes more widely available, brands that are ready to take advantage of its capabilities will have a significant competitive advantage.

Of course, with great power comes great responsibility. As brands race to produce more video content across more channels, it can be tempting to prioritize speed and volume over quality and relevance. However, bombarding viewers with subpar videos is a surefire way to damage brand perception and erode trust.

Marketers need to find the right balance between meeting the demand for fresh video content and maintaining high standards of creativity, authenticity, and value. This requires a strategic approach that aligns video production with overall brand goals and customer needs. It also means being willing to experiment and iterate based on data and feedback.

One emerging trend that offers a promising solution is interactive, choose-your-own-adventure style video content. Using branching technology, brands can create videos that allow viewers to make choices and shape their own viewing experience. This not only makes the content more engaging and personalized, but also provides valuable insights into viewer preferences and behaviors.

For example, Deloitte created an interactive recruitment video that lets potential job candidates explore different career paths and learn more about the company culture. By putting the viewer in control, Deloitte was able to create a more memorable and informative experience that stood out from traditional recruitment videos.

As video becomes an increasingly dominant medium for communication and entertainment, accessibility and inclusivity are also becoming critical considerations for marketers. Not all viewers can access or enjoy video content in the same way, due to factors like language, hearing, vision, or cognitive abilities.

To reach and resonate with diverse audiences, brands need to prioritize accessibility features like closed captioning, audio description, and translation. They also need to showcase diverse voices and perspectives in their video content, both in front of and behind the camera. Inclusive video marketing is not only the right thing to do, but also makes good business sense in a globalized, multicultural world.

Finally, as consumers become more socially conscious and politically active, they are looking to brands to take a stand on important issues through their marketing. Video can be a powerful medium for storytelling and advocacy when used authentically and responsibly.

For example, in 2021, Airbnb created a series of short films called "Made Possible By Hosts" that highlighted the economic and cultural impact of home sharing on local communities. By focusing on real stories of hosts and guests from diverse backgrounds, Airbnb was able to promote its brand values of belonging and inclusivity while also driving business results.

Other brands like Nike, Dove, and Patagonia have also used video content to address social issues like racial justice, body positivity, and environmental sustainability. The key is to approach these topics with sensitivity, humility, and a genuine commitment to making a positive impact. Brands that get it right can build deeper connections with their customers and stand out in a crowded marketplace.

In conclusion, video consumption habits are rapidly evolving, presenting both challenges and opportunities for marketers. To succeed in this dynamic landscape, brands need to develop comprehensive video strategies that address the full customer journey across multiple channels and formats. This means investing in the skills, tools, and partnerships needed to create high-quality, authentic, and interactive video content at scale.

As emerging technologies like AI, VR, AR, and 5G continue to advance, the possibilities for video marketing will only expand. Brands that are able to balance innovation with accessibility, speed with quality, and entertainment with social impact will be well-positioned to build lasting relationships with their audiences through the power of video.