In this age of smartphones, came the dawn of a new type of content: short-form media and with it, we began to see video changing from it’s standard 16:9 horizontal ratio to something new and bizarre – vertical video.
It All Started in Edison’s Lab (4:3)
Depending on your age, you may not even remember the first aspect ratio however it was BIG; for a whole generation in fact. Created in Thomas Edison’s own laboratory by William Kennedy Dickson; a staff photographer. In the 1890s, Edison creates the Kinetoscope – the first movie projector and it’s up to Dickson to create the film-strips to accompany it.
The Eastman Kodak Company (who would later just be known as Kodak) began mass-producing film and Dickson decided that their 35mm film would be the best fit, he devised four permutations in the film and hence 4:3 was born. Once the Motion Picture Patent Company (a trust of major American film companies) made it the standard for U.S. cinema, Dickson’s legacy was set.
The Widescreen Wars (16:9)
As technology improved, U.S. cinema sales were declining and widescreen was being developed by multiple companies to save the film industry (which it perhaps did ultimately). Many to be fair, could be considered fads they were impressive but were too costly to mass-produce; from the Academy Ratio (1.37:1) to Cinerama (2.59:1 to 2.65:1) to CinemaScope (2.35:1 to 2.66:1).
TVs, for the most part, stayed with the tried-and-tested 4:3 ratio but in the ’90s this divide between the TV and film industry needed to be addressed and HDTV’s 16:9 was hailed the solution It was the geometric mean between 4:3 (standard TV) and 2:35 (an average of movie ratios), so that an HDTV set could display both kinds of video without much “masking” by pesky, black letterbox bars. It was a massive success and soon DVDs, Blu-ray, even 4K all inherited this shape as advanced computers entered the mainstream consumer market.
Your Smartphone’s Best Friend (9:16)
If 4:3 was made for Cinema and 16:9 was created for Computing, then what’s vertical videos all about? The answer: our current media revolution: Smartphones. Advertising companies caught on fairly quickly the power that vertical video could provide for their ads. With social media being predominantly utilized vertically, by placing content in the same manner, statistics showed that 78% more real-estate is taken by the viewer, and numerous positive statistics showed an increase on user retention and brand engagement.
As good as those statistics are, the world is perhaps not ready for a full overhaul to vertical video. Most video-on-demand sites (including our own, here’s a link) embrace horizontal video above all. You may still be able to upload vertical video to those sites however it just looks like an amateur error with those large black bars that we were discussing earlier.
Some may argue, that it also limits the filmmaker’s ability to tell their narrative as intended if they consider vertical video a limitation. Vertical video is indeed new and innovative, but will it end up like the early Widescreen Cinema formats as just a mere fad or will it inspire the next innovation to aspect ratio with the continued development of Augmented reality and 360-degree video. Time will tell.
What Aspect Ratio Should I Use?
The time of content you decide to create in the 21st century may seem like a daunting task, however, we have you covered! Why not check out Adobe’s “Make Impactful Video for Social Media“, produced by Makematic.
Within this series, you’ll learn from industry experts the essentials needed to creating slick, effortless video in the best parameters for accessibility and sustainability in this ever-changing digital space.
This the first Makematic Employee Spotlight where each month a member of the team will be featured. This month we caught up with Assistant Producer, Ryan Lee who has been working at Makematic for two years. We chatted to him to find out more about his role in the company.
How did you get your job at Makematic?
I have a background in photography and video, after finishing my degree I took part in a six-month Post-Graduate Certificate in Professional Practice. Alongside the theory, at Ulster University it involved working full-time and luckily Makematic was one of the companies that took part in the programme. After my six months of internship as a production assistant ended, I stayed on and moved to the role of an Assistant Producer.
On a day to day basis, what are your responsibilities and priorities?
My job involves being a jack of all trades which I really enjoy, it ranges from conducting interviews on set, video editing (lots of editing!), visual development meetings, liaising with our clients, sourcing material such as footage or music, budgeting, creating captions. I’m involved in every stage of the production process from scripting up to delivery, trying to keep all aspects of the process running smoothly.
How do producers collaborate with other teams within the company?
That is the primary role of a producer, ensuring the smooth collaboration between the different facets of production. This is mainly achieved through video calls and emails, even more so in the era of Covid. The producer also keeps track of production schedules and roles through spreadsheets and using the application Asana. Frame.io is another awesome tool which enables us to have clients feed into the production process at each stage with targeted feedback. Giving all teams involved the information that helps us deliver the best product for our client.
Are you working on any big projects?
I’m just about to embark on the third phase of a major project with Adobe, as part of their Education Exchange for both lower and higher education. Primarily focusing on how to integrate creativity into all aspects and subjects within education. To change the misconception that creativity is just something that you utilise in Art subjects, we need creative mindsets and ways of working moving forward in all our endeavours.
What’s an important lesson you’ve learned while working at Makematic?
I think the most important thing I’ve realised in the last few years is how vital networking in business is, the old adage ‘it’s not what you know, it’s who you know’ is still so true. Having a network of contacts you can reach out to really helps if you are starting on a project and need a certain skillset or film crew in a far off location you can trust, those things are what takes a production to the next level.
You may be the best at what you do, but if no one knows you exist then you’ll never get the call. You always have to have your hat in the ring, get yourself out there, Linkedin might not be as riveting as Instagram but it’s great for meeting people in the industry. For myself working at Makematic for the past few years, producing work for some of the biggest companies in the world, I have had the opportunity to travel and meet the most amazing people and that has been invaluable.
Recently, Ryan has produced a new Adobe Creative Course for teachers. On this project, he worked alongside Claire Bethell, Dan McGarrigle, Kevin Gillen and Joe Allen.
These videos were created to support the free ‘Creativity for All’ course on the Adobe Education Exchange. It aims to help educators foster creativity in every student across every subject and grade level. Sign up here.
It can be quite challenging to gain work experience as a young person, and especially during this pandemic.
In this episode, I organised another Zoom call that I did not prepare for. You’d think after one screen recorded Zoom chat in episode 4, I would have it all figured out by now. This episode is also a lengthy one, so I recommend getting comfy.
This Zoom call features our work experience student Amelia, who worked at Makematic during the month of July. I asked her about her time at Makematic, including questions about the benefits of work experience, the skills she has learned and if she enjoyed her time. I don’t mean to spoil it for you, but she did, in fact, enjoy her experience and has been re-acquainted with spreadsheets this month.
Even though Amelia only worked at Makematic for a month, she did, in fact, make a huge difference. From being featured in the vlog to helping Tara and I get organised, and even writing a fantastic blog – Amelia has definitely been an amazing work experience student, who – hopefully – has gained some valuable experience that will help her future career.
Here is what Amelia had to say about her experience at Makematic:
“Honestly, this has been a really interesting and insightful experience. It was great being able to have hands-on experience in the media field and let me truly know that I want to pursue this sector of work. I have been able to hone many skills and I don’t feel as worried about working in a team anymore, or communicating in general (it’s a process). Being able to do real work like spreadsheets and researching curated content really made me feel part of the team! I feel like this whole experience has made me grow more as an aspiring adult and I really encourage any fellow teenager wanting to dip their feet in work experience, to just do it! It really is a lot more insightful than just listening to your teacher talk about it or searching it up on Google, and it really does open a lot of doors for you. Take your step into the working world and figure out what you want to do!“Amelia Knopik
As mentioned above, it is quite challenging to find valuable work experience. Luckily for you, this vlog will provide you with 3 tips on how to secure work experience. However, I should point out that I am not a careers teacher or leader. Nor am I qualified to tell you that these tips will work because I cannot guarantee that they will. I am an individual who has received an abundance of rejections and, “I regret to inform you” emails but has still managed to gain valuable experience over the years.
If these tips and Amelia’s experience are not enough, you can always check out our careers resource Skillsumo, where you can find free bite-sized careers videos to better understand the world of work and the key 21st-century skills that are relevant to the workplace.
The drivers for digital disruption are a complex set of parameters. We all know the names of the technology providers ubiquitous in our everyday life and their influence continues to grow and spread.
I have worked in and around the educational content sector for almost 30 years and it has been a period of profound change. The obviously driver – technology is easy to talk about, but it is only since having children that I have realised the very profound effect that technology is having on the way that human beings learn and develop.
Always a good starting point for any argument about the differences in age groups are generational divisions, as there are fluctuations dependent on where the figures are researched. Generational divisions give us a good clue as to where the products of the future will hook their consumers and bring commercial success.
My sons belong to the post-millennial generation. They are hugely different to me I am beginning to see. They process information incredibly quickly and work out what the important stuff is to know and, surprisingly, how to use it. As an example, a friend of my eldest who is five fell in the park recently and hurt himself quite badly. My son has never had any first aid training but has watched a few videos targeting children on Youtube (and I am sure, practised on his little brother!) Instantly when his friend fell, he knew what to do. Not only did he watch the video, but he also processed the information and was able to convert that into a real-world situation. Facts are also all-important to him, and if I can’t answer one of the many questions that he wants answering each day, he instantly talks to Google who gives him the correct response as well as a multitude of others straightaway.
Living in a fully multimedia world both born after the advent of social networking, and although they are not allowed anywhere near Tiktok, Facebook and Instagram, the eldest has worked out that people put videos of themselves ‘doing things’ on Youtube. We can’t go out without the question popping up “Daddy, video me doing this and put it on Youtube”.
Pew Research reported recently that we have reached a point where Millennials have overtaken Baby Boomers as the largest demographic, and this is having great consequences on the way that consumers of education consume. This is backed up by various demographic studies the United Nations have undertaken.
Looking at the broad-brush strokes of technological influence, TV was key for Baby Boomers, as it was for Generation X who were part influenced by the internet in terms of the way they prefer to consume content. But Millennials and Post-Millennials have lived their lives surrounded by the internet, the mobile internet, and the networked economy. This has had a drastic effect in the way they consume any type of media, be it mass-market or in the educational niche, and it is transforming the way they expect products to be structured, built and commercially modelled for them, taking into account that many parents are Millennials with children who are post-Millennials.
All the indicators right now show the smart money is being invested in video and VR technology for education, with all predictions pointing to the explosive growth of video content occurring in the mass-market, now spilling over into and consuming the education “niche”.
Anecdotally, a Youtube subscription has been the must-have during the Covid crisis amongst us and all the other parents of my sons’ peer groups. Youtube with its Youtube Kids version is the current front runner when it comes to teaching children just about anything whilst keeping them amused in an environment which is safe. I have noticed more and more that Youtube has become first choice for us all.
My eldest’s teacher at our local primary school is in her first year of teaching. It is requested by the school that parents spend as much as we can afford on apps, so we and many others do. The school makes recommendations, and this is added to our tally for Youtube and other direct-to-parent subscriptions each month. My son’s teacher understands the frustration that he and many of his friends are feeling in their first year of school. Although most have had access to books before starting school, many find the change down from a blended multimedia learning pathway at home/nursery to a predominantly analogue one in the classroom exceedingly difficult. This only compounds to the teacher’s overall stress.
During the period of lockdown when we were homeschooling, we had flat refusals on much of the work which was sent home for our eldest to complete. I personally agreed with him. I think I would have flatly refused a lot of it! When talking to others this seemed to be par for the course with his age group, and we found different ways for our son to learn the same things in a ‘more multimedia way’. Unguided, untested, untracked, and undeniably ticking all the learning objectives for the exercise and more.
The relationship between parents/schools/children is changing rapidly, that is for sure. Parents have far more power within the supply chain for learning products and services and video is playing a central part in the learning pathways of a new generation of learners because video content is ubiquitous in everyday life and most globally have access to technology that can access it seemingly for free. For any educational content provider, video must form a central pillar of current and future strategy.
How is Youtube going to educate you?
Artifacts bring history to life because they help develop key historical skills.
“Artifacts engage students physically, emotionally and intellectually. [They] require the application and practice of twenty-first century skills. […] Transcend the limitation of language, age, gender and discipline [and] tell stories. Discovering and telling the stories of objects helps students assimilate data into an orderly pattern. Our minds recognize and remember patterns. Artifacts engage students in effective learning. In other words…Artifacts Teach.”William Virden, University of Northern Colorado
The Museum Of Artifacts That Made America
As a former secondary history teacher, I regularly used replicated and real artifacts in my history class. I used artifact boxes from museums, recreated archaeological dig on campus and even mummified a chicken. To tell you the truth, I took the study of material culture, real and fake a bit further than most of my colleagues. And, I blame my background in archaeology for this. It paved the way for a love of artifacts and a desire to use material objects in my history classes as much as I could.
Unfortunately, we don’t have collections of artifacts to send to schools. But we’ve created the next best thing: a growing collection of bite-sized videos called the Museum of Artifacts That Made America. This series tells the untold stories of artifacts that have played a significant role in American history. It explains the historical relevance and detail of the object and provides its significance and context.
From the first video game to a chapstick spying device to the cotton gin. Series 1 titles include: The A7L Space, Suit, the Negro Baseball League, DJ Kool Herc’s Turntables, Hamilton’s Writing Desk, the Chapstick spying device, The Stature of Liberty, The Skidi Star Chart, the Cotton Gin and the Harvard Printing Press, Five-Shot Colt Patterson, The First Video Game (Tennis for Two), Keds, Windshield Wiper, The Ruby Laser and Abraham Lincoln’s Top Hat.
Let’s Hear From The Production Team
Our production team enjoyed creating this series so much! The team included: Producer, Zoe Lack, Script Writer, Lee Henry, Lead Animator, Dan McGarrigle and Sound Engineer, Kevin Gillen.
“I’m really proud to have worked on the American artifacts series. It was a fun and rewarding challenge to try and visualize and bring humor to these stories of American ingenuity. I even learned a few things that surprised me, like using a chap stick as a spy device during the Watergate scandal or how the first tennis video game was created on an oscilloscope. I hope viewers get as much enjoyment watching them as I did in creating them.”Dan McGarrigle, Lead Animator
Using Artifacts Videos In The Classroom
Understanding the origins and significance of artifacts is so very very important. We take material objects for granted. But when we delve deeper it can be surprising what can be discovered. In fact, one of the most interesting class discussions I’ve ever had, was one we had about toilets. Yep, I said it, toilets. The discussion started in ancient Rome, moved to the development of the modern toilet, toilet habits, hygiene, social norms, disease and finally toilet humor. The students were engaged and interested and learnt so much that day.
But enough about me, here are three activities for you to use when using the Artifacts That Made America in your classroom.
Activity 1: Things You Didn’t Know
Use this activity before watching the video.
- Divide the students into 5 or 6 groups. Assign the group themes or topics. Either provide groups with a series of images, videos, still and articles about their topic, or give them some classroom research time to do some research. For example: if you were using the Chapstick spying device video, your five themes could be: The Cold War, President Nixon’s presidency, Watergate, Cold War Espionage, Key events in the 1970s.
- Using their assigned resources, each group will develop a list of five ‘things they didn’t know’ about their assigned topic. To create their lists, students can use large sheets of paper and markers or post it notes.
- When groups finish creating their lists, ask each group to share their five facts. Ask groups to provide evidence as to why the facts they chose are important to know.
- Combine each group’s list of five ‘things you didn’t know’ to create a collaborative list of Things You Didn’t Know. These can be displayed somewhere in the classroom, on post-it notes or digitally using a tool like Trello.
- This activity can be extended to incorporate less or more groups. But make sure that each group shares 5 things to the class.
Activity 2: A-E-I-O-U
Use this activity during and after watching the video.
- Explain the activity to the students before watching the video. They will watch the video, without taking notes and will be required to fill in an A-E-I-O-U chart afterwards. Tell the students that they’ll watch the video twice.
- Show the students the A-E-I-O-U chart and answer questions they may have about it.
- Watch the video, but do not let students take notes.
- Once the video has finished, ask the students to fill in their A-E-I-O-U charts individually, in partners or groups.
- Watch the video one more time, and allow students to further add to their chart.
- Get students to share what they learned, and discuss the questions that have been posed as a class.
Activity 3: A History Of [Your Town/City] In 30 Artifacts
This one has been inspired by a New York Historical Society teen project in 2012, which was in turn inspired A History of the World in 100 Objects. Get each student to choose an artifact that reveals a piece of your town or city’s history and write a story about it. When pieced together, the artifacts tell the story of the town/city’s history and demonstrate the important role artifacts have in telling that story.
Over To You
Now it’s time for you to explore the first season of Artifacts That Changed America. from our series Untold. A free collection of short, compelling history videos and animations designed to shine a light on the stories that don’t make it into the classroom.
For more information about Untold visit the website at untoldhistory.org
The Battle of Hastings. Henry VIII. Rationing and the Blitz.
These are the subjects I remember learning about in history class.
Subjects that held my interest for a time but invariably left myself and my classmates scratching our heads and questioning, even then, the rationale behind an outdated syllabus.
Why, when the world outside our classroom window was experiencing such tumultuous change, were we being taught about an 11th-century tapestry?
Wouldn’t learning about recent history prepare us better to unpick the present and ultimately to help shape the future?
When Black Lives Matter demonstrators toppled a statue of 17th-century slave trader Edward Colston in Bristol earlier this month, it added impetus to a growing debate around the nature of history.
More and more people are starting to ask questions like What is history? Who writes it? Why do we celebrate some people with statues and not others?
In an open letter to education secretary Gavin Williamson, members of a group known as Black Curriculum questioned the current syllabi’s chronic lack of diversity and demanded change.
“Learning black history should not be a choice,” they argued “but should be mandatory.”
Finally, the call to rethink what our young people are being taught in history classrooms up and down the country has gone mainstream.
And not before time.
It was only by rummaging through the well-worn offerings in our local library and secondhand bookshops that I was able to expand my knowledge of the world.
I gorged on potted histories, hoovered up biographies and autobiographies (Michael Collins, Emmeline Pankhurst, Malcolm X, Gandhi), and became a lifelong fan of historical fiction.
What I would have done for the Internet and a bite-sized video series like Untold!
In writing these videos, which delve into the lesser-known aspects of American history, I’ve learned about the Founding Fathers and the makeup of the US Constitution, about the laws that govern modern America, about artifacts that shed light on the American experience and, crucially, about the individuals that America has tragically dined to forget and the injustices they lived with and fought against.
People like African American Civil Rights leader Bayard Rustin, the man who organised the March on Washington, whose impact on the movement is overshadowed by the legacy of his friend and mentor, Martin Luther King Jr, because Bayard was gay and his colleagues were ashamed.
People like Jovita Idar, a Mexican American educator turned journalist, who used her pen to expose the violence and discrimination that generations of her people had been subjected to in a country that ostensibly prides itself on being a nation of immigrants.
People like Jim Thorpe, arguably America’s greatest ever sportsman – a double Olympic gold medalist turned professional baseball, football and basketball player – whose name is not as well known today as the likes of Babe Ruth because America was, and perhaps still is, not prepared to idolise a Native American.
The videos that make up the Untold collection are tools that any teacher can use in their classroom and every student can learn from.
It was a privilege to script them and it’s a joy to see them now, going out into the world, after so many of the Makematic team – our producers, animators and sound designer – brought their talents to bear to make these videos the best they can be.
Because the time that I spent researching and writing these videos taught me much – and perhaps more importantly, reinforced some of the beliefs that I already have.
That history should be accessible to everyone. That it should not be tainted by ideology. And that it should speak truth to power.
I hope that the young people who watch the Untold videos come to agree –because only when we truly understand where we’ve come from can we hope to pave the way to a better future.
We challenged 11 – 14 years around the world to create a video that reported on good news or inspirational stories.
We had entries from the United States, United Kingdom, Ireland, India and Australia.
The truth is, it was very hard to choose a winner. But we managed to nail it down to the following videos.
We recommend you have the volume up so you hear all of the great things they have to say!
First Prize – Beau Starkey
Beau from will be donating his $250 cash prize to Greenpeace, and receive a Clickview licence for his entire school, as well as a number of additional prizes from SchoolRubric and Makematic.
Second Prize – Andrejs Monako
Andrejs will be donating his $150 prize to Little Heartbeats.
Third Prize – Ruby Vennemeyer
Ruby will be donating her $50 prize to the Dyslexia Association .
We will definitely be organising competitions like these again in future, so watch this space!
In the Northern hemisphere the Summer holidays are upon us, although with travel somewhat restricted and summer camps and other activities closed, it may not feel that different from the previous months of ‘homeschooling’. It looks like in many countries schools will open again in September as close to how they opened for the new school year in 2019, we’re all too aware that education and how we learn is going through a big change at the moment.
This article argues that now more than ever is the right time to make changes to the education system, especially when it comes to exams and inspections.
AI is one of those terms that’s being used in every sector at the moment and some say it’s just a marketing term. This article looks at how AI could have supported learning during the Corona crisis and whether these systems actually improve learning. It also touches on how AI could help those being on the wrong side of the digital divide.
Finally, an article that’s from May, but I still found valuable to share. How can educators increase engagement during remote learning with students as well as parents? At Makematic, we’ve been working hard with some of our partners and experts on a Teaching Online Masterclass. It will be technology agnostic and will give educators all the insights they need to know about teaching and engaging with students via a computer screen. We can’t wait to share it with you as we know it will be such a useful practical resource for everyone.
Stories you won’t learn about in a textbook
Perhaps now, more than ever, our history is a vital and very present part of the world around us. So it’s hugely important that young people feel a part of that conversation and can see themselves reflected in our shared past.
Untold is a free collection of short, compelling, history videos and animations designed to engage new audiences in a new conversation and
- shine a light on the stories that don’t always make it into the classroom
- and question what we think we know about those that do.
Not everything worth knowing exists inside the cover of our history textbooks. Untold is here to fill in the gaps and bring new stories to life.
Untold will feature three series which is broken down below.
Easy-to-understand, descriptive videos that will break down complex topics and events from throughout America’s history from both sides and offer a present parallel for your students to extrapolate on. Topics will range from Impeachment to the NRA to Global Warming to even How Prostitution Built The Wild West and much, much more!
The Significance of 1619 is now live and it delves into the three significant & infamous events that forever defined America as we know it. These include the establishment of the Virginia General Assembly, the arrival of Englishwomen, and the first officially documented trading of African slaves from Angola.
Pulitzer Prize-winning author, Nikole Hannah-Jones who wrote the New York Times’ 1619 Project examines the impact of 1619 in further detail and relates it back to America’s own historical and cultural development. You can watch this now in 1619: The Legacy of Slavery in America.
The Museum of Artifacts That Made America
This series takes place in a fully, virtual reality, fantasy museum of real historical American objects! Each film explains the historical relevance and detail of the object, whilst providing an informative context.
Did you know? Hip hop was born in the Bronx of New York City back in the 1970s? Now a staple of mainstream music but back then, this pioneering work was thanks to DJ Kool Herc’s Turntable. You can find out more about how they came to be as the first video to be released for our Artifacts That Made America series.
A series of full-frame animations that tell the stories of important historical Americans whose stories are not widely known. The viewer will learn about each icon’s life and major achievements and the impact they had on American society.
One example is Jovita Idar, the story of a Mexican-American teacher turned journalist who used her voice to speak out about oppression and discrimination facing her people. We hope you’ll watch this fascinating tale of bravery and freedom of speech!
For more information about Untold visit the website at untoldhistory.org
We’ve got some new educational videos that have been released on the Makematic VOD!
The Basic Principles of Design course focuses on, unsurprisingly, the basics of design. You’ll understand and learn colour, contrast, proportion, balance and more – complete with punchy explainer videos, practitioner interviews and creative ideas for teachers.
Make Impactful Video for Social Media will help you learn and understand the tools you need to produce effective and engaging video content for social media using Adobe Premier Pro.
17DaystoLearn series: These are self-directed challenges that can at primary or secondary level. Students will learn about the SDGs and take on challenges to help further each of the goals.
The students at Kings Hospital School, located in Dublin, completed the #17DaystoLearn challenge as part of their “Get Up and Goals” project. Read here to find out how they approached this challenge and the impact it had on the students.
Untold: Stories You Won’t Learn About In A Textbook
Untold is a free collection of short, compelling, history videos and animations designed to engage new audiences in a new conversation and
- shine a light on the stories that don’t always make it into the classroom
- and question what we think we know about those that do.
Watch the first two Untold episodes here
We are currently entering a difficult time for the education sector because of the Covid-19 crisis. I hear that universities in some countries are going to find as many as 90% of students deferring entry for a year, many of whom are overseas students and for whom therefore travel is almost impossible.
In our work at Makematic, we are involved in projects which bring a spotlight to historical figures and events which history has forgotten. This is particularly relevant right now in terms of some of the issues that are being highlighted by the Black Lives Matter movement.
As a father of two boys who at 2 and 5 are members of the post-millennial generation, I see lots of differences between them and me. I love being a dad, and one of the things I find the most intriguing is the way that both boys consume content in a totally different way to me. Call me a dinosaur, but it has only really been in the last year or so that I have become a daily Youtube user after my eldest introduced me to the wonders within. I had seen it before as a place where people who had ego issues put videos of themselves doing zany things alongside adverts for brands that I had already seen. How wrong I was and corrected I stand…Youtube is today an essential part of my everyday consumption of media alongside all the other user suspects- social networks, online news sites, streaming 24/7 hour news broadcasts, Netflix…oh, I forgot…and live tv.
In the case of my two sons, Youtube has been a lifesaver over the past few months of home-schooling, supplementing (for that read ‘largely replacing’!) work set by school with action and fact-packed 2-8 minute shorts designed exactly to catch the short attention span of an under-10 and hold it until the job has been done.
Particular favourites in our household include Horrible Histories (the title says it all), Homeschool Pop (a channel packed with lots of short videos on different aspects of history and lots of other things) and Freeschool (short videos on subjects ranging from the top 10 fastest runners in the animal kingdom to the planets of our solar system and everything in between).
I have presented at conferences as well as written before that it is crucially important in the networked economy to target customers using a language, style and media output which your audience are going to identify with and understand. This is exactly what the channels targeting my sons are doing and from this connection with their audiences, huge international brands such as Blippi are appearing. And at the moment, more than ever, millions of millennials and post-millennials are the leading voices for change across the world, examining the history that they’ve been taught more closely and deciding that it’s time to change it and create a more transparent truth of their own. That change is being led both in the home with the click of a mouse, as well as in the street.
GlobalWebIndex identified as far back as 2017 that amongst 16-64-year olds, 92% watch video clips regularly online and in the case of live tv, this was largely becoming redundant in the majority of peoples’ lives. According to Deloitte, binge-watching of online content is favourite amongst millennials whilst if it is post-millennials who are the primary concern, then the continuous connection to video content services are a must. Coincidentally, (?) the actor who plays Blippi made $7 million dollars last year.
Because of the pandemic, we are witnessing a forced and faster drive to greater dependence on online content and services. Video, which has historically been prevalent since the early days of VHS, has now become a key and central part of everyone’s lives and the length of time that a human being has to consume each ‘morsel’ of content has become considerably smaller.
History usually does repeat itself, and, dependent on which philosophy you follow, cycles usually speed up and shorten. When looking back at this period, a time when many things changed, what will your history reveal for you?