Mobile video: Three things you need to know about the battle for eyeballs

In an age where quality, digital-first content is exploding and the ways you can get that content are evolving at lightning speed, those who can shed light on what might happen next are welcome voices.

Video industry vet and self-proclaimed disruptor Jon Klein – former US president of CNN, and current co-founder/CEO of TAPP TV – is just the person. He joined Bloomberg’s Betty Liu this week to share wisdom from the trenches, where everyone from YouTube and Vimeo to Amazon and Netflix to cable networks are competing for consumers’ attention. Klein’s chat with Bloomberg is a goldmine of information – including three key insights:

1. Jack Dorsey might be the smartest guy in the field right now.

“We’re living in a visual age… millennials especially don’t care nearly as much about words as images,” Klein said. Praising Jack Dorsey’s shakeup in the executive suite at Twitter as the company seeks to focus on Periscope, Klein told Liu that live streaming apps are “an exciting way to gain access to the people [consumers] care most about.” Although Dorsey’s move hit the market like a bomb this week,  Klein’s take is that it shows he has the imagination and authority to reset Twitter to match this interest, better positioning it to compete with the likes of Facebook and Snapchat. 

2. Viewers want to be active participants, not passive recipients.

“Anybody who’s able to introduce interactivity” into a viewing experience will be a winner, Klein said. There’s lots of great content, available in more places – but television is becoming a “two-way, community-oriented” experience, Klein noted. Viewers want to talk about what they’re seeing with their friends, not just watch alone. And there are only a few places audiences go to make that connection – creating opportunity. “How do you invite your viewers in?” is the key question, according to Klein.

3. This new world will be great for brands.

Klein believes that ultimately, there’s a “phenomenal opportunity” on the not-too-distant horizon for advertisers to get involved in new kinds of communities centered around video. While Klein noted there’s currently no measurement around this kind of engagement, he’s enthusiastic about ways brands can join conversations, allowing them to demonstrate how their values and products are in sync with the audiences they want to reach – and creating lasting connections. “If you’re part of a community,” Klein observed, “you’re less likely to leave.”