Mobile Video, NetFlix, and Mass Transit

Apple iPad

Apple iPad

As I was riding the bus to work this week, I observed at least two people streaming Netflix to iPads.

The lower-end iPads include WiFi, but the upgraded models offer 3G wireless service. That makes it easy to stream Netflix wherever you are. Like, for instance, the bus.

This may seem like a minor point, but for content creators and content strategists, it is a significant development worth considering. For example, as you develop your content strategy, you’re probably thinking primarily about the website and mobile experience. This means a robust website that scales appropriately for mobile users.

If you create transmedia assets, you may also be thinking about familiar channels like YouTube and Vimeo for video. Maybe Slideshare for presentations. Perhaps an eBook on Amazonor at Again, this all makes sense.

Have you considered the bus? I mean, you know that mobile users are accessing your website on mobile device, and they may be on a bus. But when you think about long-form streaming video, you probably aren’t thinking about an iPad 2 streaming video on a bus.

Buses are bumpy and loud. There’s often someone sitting next to you. The lighting may not be something the user can control. This isn’t exactly what we think about when we’re developing a marketing video, but maybe someday we will.

Content channels are evolving rapidly. The opportunities to connect with people increases with every new device and channel, so it’s important to consider the way people will consume your marketing message. Develop a content strategy that scales and adapts to new devices and channels.

The videos I saw were streaming Netflix, which is probably just pure entertainment. But these very same channels can quickly evolve to include marketing videos for people who want to know about your product or service. Someone shopping for a car may use this bus-time to watch a few video reviews or even a video of your vehicle.

More importantly, your target audience may be taking your message with them, sharing it with the guy on the bus, and then hopping off at the next stop.


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