How to Engage Millennials With New Video Technology

Executive Producer Brian Bowen and Video Creative Nar Williams offer their 2 cents on the way millennials will continue to engage with video technology beyond YouTube, Vine and Snapchat.

Virtual Reality

Brian: Forget the ’90s. Virtual Reality is here to stay! The brands that immerse themselves in VR now will reap the benefits with audiences down the road.

We’re now seeing legit entry points for consumers into VR. Mobile-first headsets like Google Cardboard allow you to experience VR from any smartphone by downloading an app with the content and a $10 headset; Samsung steps up the offering with a partnership with Oculus that allows for a richer, more immersive experience that drives off their Note 4 and S6 mobile devices.

Facebook’s Oculus Rift, Sony’s Morpheus/4S4 and HTC’s Vive powered by SteamVR are all rushing to launch consumer-facing platforms that run off existing computers and gaming systems, giving millennial audiences the ultimate immersive gaming and entertainment experiences.

Nar: Audiences like to be immersed, and Virtual Reality immerses the viewer like nothing else. Millennial audiences expect to engage with content on their terms—from anywhere, at any time. Which is why the tipping point for VR will arrive via mobile. Samsung’s Gear VR and Google Cardboard are just the first wave of devices that can turn a smartphone into a VR headset. Why be tethered to a VR computer or console when we all have smartphones in our pockets?

Live Streaming

Brian: Look around you… a lot of the young people staring down at their mobile devices are actually watching live streaming video. Everyone is mobile streaming: You Tube, Periscope, Merrkat, AOL, everyone interested in reaching millennial audiences is using live streaming to convey information. Millennial audiences are constantly receiving updates from the celebrities and influencers they follow and the live events they love to attend—the personal and private moments that make us all human and connected. Everywhere we’re live streaming, and this is only the beginning.

Nar: Shared cultural moments are increasingly more important to millennial audiences. Mobile live streaming allows consumers to engage with events as they happen—from anywhere. The agility of real-time video content will only grow as communities on mobile-based video platforms (like Periscope) evolve. Expect to see a whole new generation of influential ‘broadcasters’ emerge.

Augmented Reality

Brian: Let’s just jump right past 3D. The future is 4D. Augmented reality invites the participant to be part of the experience. Millennials expect to be immersed in the experience. Coming soon: Microsoft Holocene. This video link is all I need to say.

Nar: No generation has ever been more engaged with video games than millennials. Now companies like Magic Leap are pulling those types of graphics out of our screens and integrating them into real-world environments. The lines between what’s real and what’s computer-generated are about to blur, big time—and millennials are ready for it.

By Brian Bowen and Nar Williams