The year of 2020 has turned the whole world upside down. Due to the global pandemic, we have seen more businesses and services move online than ever before. From local businesses to large enterprises, companies have turned their focus to online and video marketing in an effort to adapt to the “new normal.”
We have invited 18 leading digital marketing experts to share their thoughts and predictions on how marketing videos will transform and evolve in the following year. Read on to find out what video marketing trends you need to be aware of for 2021!
Premier Facebook Marketing Expert
Live streaming video on Facebook gets the best organic reach and engagement—this has been the case for many years. Most recently, in their Q3 2020 Trends Report, top social media marketing solutions provider, Socialbakers, revealed that Facebook Live was by far the most engaging format on the platform. However, the same report shows that live video is actually the least used content type. This is a huge, untapped opportunity for smart marketers as we head into 2021.
I’ve been a huge advocate of live streaming video for well over a decade, long before Facebook Live launched (in 2015). And, I’ve always said that no amount of sophisticated technology can ever take the place of real, live, in-person events. That’s when you can look into a person’s eyes, read his or her body language, and sense their energy. But, the very next best thing is video, and especially live video.
With our current unprecedented need to maximize virtual meetings and events worldwide, if there’s one area marketers should perfect, it’s live video! Another key aspect of live video is it allows you to demonstrate clear empathy for your audience.
Those businesses that can truly humanize their online presence will win the day.
Facebook is determined to be a major player in the digital streaming industry and will keep investing in better features for creators. Since its launch in 2018, Facebook Watch, which showcases all types of video content, has grown to more than 1.25 billion monthly visitors.
In 2021, we’ll see a surge in live video coupled with real-time shopping on both Facebook and Instagram. The feature is already available to a limited number of creators, but will be rolling out to more users. Instagram alluded that the real-time shopping with live video is not just for online retailers of physical products; the company is also working on ways to help all types of businesses as well.
Plus, Facebook and Instagram will have to keep iterating to keep up with what attracts the younger demographic on apps like TikTok. With the doubling of Instagram Reels length to 30 seconds, the feature seems to be taking off well, so far. And this will keep growing in the coming years. Marketers should keep a close eye on what emerges with rising social media apps, as Facebook will likely be quick to deploy similar features.
Videos on social networks like Facebook, Snapchat, and TikTok are visible for a few hours before they are drowned out by incoming new content. Yet videos on YouTube, Vimeo, and websites can continue to build traffic for years.
And Google isn’t exactly interested in showing video results from the social networks, any more than a Ford dealer would want to promote Toyota.
The challenge we’ve been facing is producing enough content to feed our website, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and the ever-growing list of video-hungry social networks. So rather than having to individually produce video for each one, even with tools that allow us to edit and resize for the format of each network, there is a simpler answer.
To cross-post and boost.
The businesses that prosper in video will record long-form video (10+ minutes) to chop up into smaller chunks that they can distribute across other social networks. The longer-form content will live on their website and YouTube, plus transcribed into articles, which will be key for SEO. And the short-form content will be edited for memes, vertical videos, quote cards, and other formats.
Because social networks are a pay-to-play proposition for distribution, the majority of our reach will come from boosting these posts to custom audiences, local areas (for retail stores and service businesses), and to interest targets (for e-commerce businesses). Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, Snapchat, and even LinkedIn share the same 3 stage funnel structure for their ad system– meaning that boosting posts is the same methodology across all of them.
Businesses who realize that production of content must be done with an eye towards distribution and boosting across multiple networks will invest heavily into workflow – the tools, process, and people to enable content to be quickly chopped up and re-used. The platforms natively do not support this, for obvious reasons, but expect to see more third-party tools and apps that allow for repurposing content quickly, with an integrated ads component to ensure distribution.
Co-Founder and President at SEO PR
More than 428 million videos have been uploaded to Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, and Twitch in the last 365 days. That up from 411 million videos that were uploaded the previous year and 361 million videos that were uploaded the year before that.
So, one of the trends that we can expect to see in 2021 is a surge in video uploads to about 487 million – which is about 1.3 million videos uploaded a day, or 55,594 an hour.
Obviously, no one can watch even a tiny fraction of these videos. So, the most important new trends in the coming year will involve changes to the algorithms that these social media platforms use help to determine which videos get discovered. This goes beyond video SEO.
For example, Facebook’s algorithm uses signals like how many people react to, comment on or share posts to determine how high they appear in News Feed. It also prioritizes posts that spark conversations and meaningful interactions between people.
Instagram’s technology uses different ways, or signals, to determine the order of posts in your feed. These signals are used to help determine how your feed is ordered, and may include:
Likelihood you’ll be interested in the content.
Date the post was shared.
Previous interactions with the person posting.
The goals of YouTube’s search and discovery system are twofold: to help viewers find the videos they want to watch, and to maximize long-term viewer engagement and satisfaction.
So, video SEO may help a new video get discovered, but if it doesn’t get enough watch time in the first three to six weeks, then it won’t be discovered at a later date.
And Twitter scores each tweet using a relevance model. The model’s score predicts how interesting and engaging a Tweet would be specific to a user. A set of highest-scoring Tweets is then shown at the top of his or her timeline, with the remainder shown directly below.
So, you should monitor experiments like YouTube Shorts, which is being beta tested in India. YouTube Shorts is making short, vertical videos “easily discoverable on the YouTube homepage (in the new Shorts shelf), as well as across other parts of the app.”
If the beta is successful, then it would be rolled out worldwide – and other social video platforms are likely to follow suit.
Co-Founder and CMO at Knowlton
The global pandemic is going to have a big impact on how video is produced in 2021. I see there being 3 key trends:
More focus on content that can be produced whilst WFH (Working From Home) e.g. podcast interviews via zoom
More ‘raw’ user-generated content e.g. customer unboxings etc
More focus on producing content that entertains (look at how platforms like Tik Tok are blowing up, users go to the platform to be entertained)
More importantly, what can you do to tap into these trends and produce video in 2021 that blows up? Below are some actionable steps you can tale to gain inspiration and help guide your content strategy in 2021;
Listen to The Business Anchors Podcast (It’s the only business podcast you’ll actually want to listen to at the weekends)
Check out the Unicorn Facebook Ad Creatives Group for inspiration from the top 1% of e-commerce Facebook Ads that have generated $50k-500k profit or have accumulated 1 million + views profitably
Join The Friday Club (A weekly newsletter with the best Marketing content we have consumed & created each week)
Go to your favourite creators’ profiles on LinkedIn, under ‘activity’ click ‘see all’, click on posts and look at their videos for inspiration. What topics are they posting about? How are they formatting their videos? How long are their videos?
Viveka von Rosen
Co-Founder and CVO at Vengreso
You know when LinkedIn finally jumps on board, that social video has REALLY made it.
If Video can make it on LinkedIn, it can make it… anywhere!
My prediction for Video on LinkedIn was going to be the fact that they would probably be adding video conferencing in LinkedIn Messaging, but they went ahead and launched that this year! So there is now: Native Video, LinkedIn Live, LinkedIn Stories with Video, private video messaging on LinkedIn AND LinkedIn video conferencing through messaging.
So what is my prediction? LinkedIn will continue to feed its UI (User interface) with features that make video even better. That might include better video features like:
New filters for native and video messaging (Maybe copying Zoom’s “Touch up my appearance”?)
More and better additions to Stories, better stickers, adding templates, more options to create your own additions
More video conferencing platforms (I mean, Microsoft does own both Skype and LinkedIn, so….)
Opening Live up to everyone, and maybe without the use of third party tools.
And maybe educating its users about its new features? When I share that LinkedIn has all these video features, most folks in my audience are only aware of one or two.
As virtual remote selling becomes more the norm than the exception, people using LinkedIn for Selling are going to have to get over their fears and start adapting to the use of Video for their own benefit. It’s my hope and prediction that LinkedIn will make it easier for users to do just that.
Co-Founder at Be Pro Events
With regards to video advertising, I believe we are going to see more video sequencing in 2021.
Video remarketing capabilities have been available on Facebook and YouTube (Google) advertising networks for years. This past year, LinkedIn became the last major video advertiser to open up this functionality. In other words, if someone watches a certain percentage of your video, they can be added into a specific advertising audience.
This audience tactic allows businesses to create “video ad funnels” where individuals can be served up a series of videos as ads in a specific order. I also believe this also means
we are going to see more story-based content to create a clean consistent brand experience from video to video.
In fact, this is very similar to how network television shows work. There are 3 or 4 segments broken up by commercials. Each segment needs to push ahead the story AND also leave the viewer engaged enough to stick around past the commercials.
With video remarketing, the “commercials” are the social activity your audience takes between your video views.
As a simple example, you could run an educational video that exposes and digs into a specific problem for your target audience. Then, for anyone who watched more than 50% of the video, you can show them another video highlighting your product as the solution for the problem introduced in the previous video.
To maximize effectiveness, you would need to create a clean storyline between videos. The first video can end with a call to action such as, “…and that’s how that problem works. Keep scrolling and in my next video I’ll share one of the best solutions I’ve found for this”. Then the second video can start by picking up from the previous one, “Hey it’s me again! In my last video I talked about PROBLEM and in this one I’m going to show you…”.
Founder of Socially Sorted
A big video content trend we are going to continue to see into 2021 is Stop Motion Video. It’s already popular on Instagram and with TikTok and now Reels gaining in popularity, it’s a great video format for creating engaging content, including branded content. Stop motion videos catch the eye and draw us in and you don’t have to be a movie producer to create fun stop motion videos.
Want to get started? LifeLapse is a great app for both iOS and Android that lets anyone create engaging clips. They also share a lot of handy tutorials to help you learn tips and tricks. A good tip is to think about what you can animate in the real world around you… that we wouldn’t expect. Have some fun with it and get creative!
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Founder and CEO at Voice Your Vibe
Hubspot did a study finding 54% of consumers want to see more video content from brands/businesses they support. Further, it’s been predicted that video will account for 70% of all MOBILE traffic by 2021.
Now more than ever, it’s the heart of it all that matters and I think the growth of live video streaming as part of a brand’s heart-centered content marketing strategy will continue to increase, with a concentration on LinkedIn.
In 2021 LinkedInLIVE will come out of BETA and I predict more and more businesses will find their voices, voice their vibe, and attract their tribes by including live video in their marketing strategies on LinkedIn.
Founder of NOW Marketing Group
I believe in 2021 brands are going to see a rise of the “Unfiltered” conversations. Meaning the veil between brands and their customers will be thinner, providing access and insight into what is at the brand’s core and the impression their customers have as it relates to their relationship with the brand.
The name of the game will be creating a sense of belonging > buying, in our approach to marketing if we want to build a sustainable brand without the constant pay to play model.
Why? Even with buying Ads, aka attention, community and loyalty isn’t something for sale.
Anyone can buy from a brand once but unless the brand is delivering above & beyond their promises, that customer most likely will not be back.
Not to mention, brands will have to work even harder at growing new sales if they don’t have positive social proof and people talking about them via unfiltered reviews & dark social conversations (conversations in the inbox brands can’t see or measure).
So how can we get ahead in 2021 to create a sense of belonging?
Video is one powerful tool that can help build a relationship with your customers, community and prospects a lot faster! Here are a few areas brands should focus on video.
Telling authentic stories via video to give access to your brand, highlight brand personality and use video to build awareness, trust, transparency and community. Brands should focus on using stories on social media to reach three core areas.
Awareness – creating videos that show who you are, your core culture, what you offer and use stories to show up consistently with clarity and conviction with your messages.
Consideration- use stories to share social proof messages, stories from your current customers and overall the support of the community you’ve built. Consider doing collab story videos and letting your audience speak on your behalf
Conversion based stories that focus on offering VIP insider offers and access that rewards a loyal community.
*all of these videos should be used in balance to truly grow the sense of belonging.
Video in email- more video emails to personalize your approach in the inbox to build relationships faster and help in the clarity of your messages.
Video landing pages that build the tone and vibe you’re looking to invoke and reduce overwhelming copy.
Video/ Gifs to stand out in personalized social replies
Product videos for e-commerce that bring products to life vs a photo
We will need to focus less on the tools and more on our technique. Building better #Hxperiences (human experiences) will be the battleground. Our customers want to feel that they have the inside scoop, instant access, on-demand service and VIP treatment when, where, and how they want it.
Let’s face it, 2020 just sped up the rate of customer adaptation to a self-service approach to doing business online. Our customers want speed, accessibility and ease-of-use of doing business with us, not just buying from us. Therefore, this has to be a mindset shift. Everything we do should revolve around building and enhancing our experiences, not just to gain the sale the first time. It will be a huge contributing factor to our customers continuing to buy from us again and again.
Human experience trends we will see skyrocket:
Messenger Marketing | Automation via Chatbots in the inbox for process and accessibility more than marketing broadcasts.
Dark Social | Foster and participate in niche social channels that customers go for real-time conversation & information in a place that is comfortable to them.
SEO via Page Experience Updates | Brands will look at ways of turning their website into an interactive resource hub that gives their visitors a reason to return.
Personalized Content | Brands stepping up their game in providing content specific to their audience- using personalized video emails, audio messages and sharing a means of direct access when communicating with their customers.
User-Generated Content Moments | Brands will focus on ways to create moments, opportunities, and rewards for their audience to share UGC of their brand with photos, videos, affiliate links, etc. Brands want to get their audience to help amplify their story.
Relationship Marketing (YAY!) | Brands will step up their customer-first culture and workflows of how they approach marketing and sales messaging. I believe that they will really focus on stories around their customers.
Personalized Ads | Brands will invest a lot more on improving their ads management skills – developing ads that reach the right people with the right message.
Internally, brand marketing will also shift. Brands will work to reinforce their culture internally and build a strong foundation so their team, customers and community want to support them organically and unfiltered. Brands will realize their most valuable influencers are their current clients, community members and team members. They’ll have to work their marketing by starting from an inside – out, mentality. The stronger the core brand message, the stronger the culture will be and the stronger the attraction to the brand. All aspects of the brand identity will create a growth momentum in a flywheel effect.
In short, the rules are simple. In order to win business now and in the future, we must present our brands in alignment with our core message. Which must resonate with our customers on a personal level and have a service-over-selling approach, FIRST. Then, simply use online tools to amplify that message in a way that is more accessible. In order to build and scale business we must be comfortable with showing up unfiltered and continuously work to out-care the competition.
Founder and CEO at Hubbard Digital
I think video advertising across social platforms, particularly Facebook and Instagram will continue to grow rapidly. We’ll see new features being rolled out across the platforms, and as a result there will be new video ad formats created to support these features and placements. One example that immediately comes to mind is Instagram Reels. When Instagram allows advertisers to place video ads in Reels, there will be a push for 30-second vertical video ads to support that placement. This is one example, but for every new video ad placement that appears, advertisers will need to create content that is tailored for that placement.
That leads into what I believe will be the other big shift we’ll see in 2021 – new levels of creativity from businesses and brands when it comes to video advertising. Continuing with this example, to succeed with Reels placements, companies will need to create video content that is similar to the native content on Reels and TikTok. Short, super creative, and entertaining videos will become a core part of highly successful video ad campaigns. Companies that are able to move beyond what worked in 2020 and embrace video creation using the same style that their customers are consuming in 2021 will be the ones that win when it comes to video advertising.
Advanced SEO Strategies, Author, and Speaker at Stephan Spencer
We’re going to see video marketers advancing in a number of key areas:
YouTube playlists will play an increasing role in video marketing in 2021.
Playlists are a missed opportunity for most video marketers to boost “watch time” on their channels. Creating playlists around your company’s events, announcements, products and services just isn’t going to cut it. Use keyword research to figure out what people are searching for on YouTube in your niche and create playlists on those topics. Then link to those playlist URLs from your email newsletters, your website, your articles published elsewhere on the Web, etc. You can even use your full “play all” uploads list as a playlist. Vow to never again link to a YouTube URL that doesn’t contain the list= parameter tying to one of your playlists. For example, here’s my interview of Marisa Peer which will then lead to the rest of my videos on my channel:
A/B testing will become more widespread on YouTube.
Surprisingly few video marketers know they can A/B split test their video titles and thumbnails. It’s easy to do with TubeBuddy. Thumbnails are particularly important, because that’s the first thing that YouTube users look at when perusing the YouTube search results or glancing over at the suggested videos on the right side after watching one of your videos. Use thumbnails that have a consistent branded “look” about them so your viewers won’t have to work hard to figure out which of the suggested videos are yours. And test those thumbnails with TubeBuddy until you dial in the highest performing thumbnails.
Focus will shift away from the YouTube search results to YouTube’s recommendation engine.
YouTube legend Evan Carmichael explained on my Marketing Speak podcast that most views on YouTube come from “suggested” (the recommendation engine), rather than from search. So the game to play is ranking not for search but ranking against other people’s videos as suggested videos.
Transcripts are dead; long live transcripts!
“I want to read a 2000 word transcript” said no one ever. So does that mean don’t bother posting transcripts of your videos? Not at all. Turn your transcripts from a boring wall of text to an engaging long-form blog post. In other words, make the transcript look like an article, and spiff it up with stock photos (from royalty-free sites like Unsplash and Pexels), click-to-tweets, pull quotes, quote card images, etc. This works especially well with podcast show notes: the pages will rank much better than show notes that are short outlines. I had my team go through my entire back-catalog of both of my podcasts Get Yourself Optimized and Marketing Speak and redo my show notes pages this way. Here’s an example of what I’m talking about:
And yes, this page ranks on page 1 for the guest’s name “Scott Donnell”.
Speaking of podcasts, many podcasters are moving to recording their interviews in video format instead of just audio. Me included.
Digital Strategist at One Amazing Women’s Network
Predictions can be fun, especially when trying to figure out what the trends are for the upcoming year. Here are nine ways my crystal ball says we should be marketing through video in 2021:
We used to call these bite-sized or snack videos between the zero and one minute mark. Micro-videos are short and get the message across in 5-6 seconds or less.
Promote to long
If you plan on making a long-form video, like a live Q&A video or an online workshop, utilize micro-videos to promote your video event. Online video events have always been popular, but with 2020’s “zoomfest,” people aren’t as enthusiastic about sitting through another “meeting.” Micro videos are a great way to invite and entice your audience to join you for a more extended Q&A session or online workshop.
Skip the talking head
Movement is a key strategy in attracting attention; that’s why Instagram Reels and Tic Toc style videos are so popular. These types of videos combine information with entertainment and engage the user. They’re quick, and viewers seem to be enjoying them, for now.
Embrace the unexpected
Sometime in 2020, Gary “Vee” changed his video style and introduced an animated version of himself, sharing his insight. For image content, he’s turned to educating followers through a comic strip version. His content not only stands out from the rest but more meaningful to the viewer. Admittedly, not everyone has the budget to bring an animator on-staff, but if your team can come up with something unexpected – run with it! After all, you won’t know what works until you try it!
Make it easy
Shoppable videos are going to be big for businesses selling products online. Learn how to link products in your videos on the various platforms to capture those impulse buyers. Not only is this a pretty cool feature from the viewer’s perspective, it makes doing business with you a lot easier.
Ramp up your organic reach
Organic reach is alive and well, albeit a little suppressed. More platforms are introducing live streaming video functionality, so take advantage of getting in front of those eyeballs now! Q&A sessions with experts are reasonably popular, but you know what can be even more effective? How about Q&A sessions with your Clients and Viewers?
In a world filled with confusion, offer your audience honesty and transparency.
Embrace the silence.
I read a statistic that stated that 85% of Facebook videos are played with no sound. Realizing that 82% of statistics are made up, I’m not sure how valid that number is. But what I do know is that I can’t be the only person out there that watches videos (and Stories) with the sound off. Embrace the silence and add captions so viewers won’t jump out of their chairs when a video plays full blast unexpectedly.
Consistency is Key
The most important trend, regardless of year, is consistency. Who was the last one-hit-wonder you can think of? Can’t think of one? Me neither. The world moves quickly, and one-hit wonders don’t last, so keep your business relevant through consistency.
For every video you create, understand the answers to these questions before making your videos:
What is the purpose of the video?
What is the desired result of this video?
Who will view this video?
What do you want this person to do after watching this video?
In 2021 and beyond, winning marketing campaigns will be from businesses that understand precisely where video falls into their marketing strategy and consistently produce video campaigns that engage their target audience.
Now that going live to various social platforms is commonplace, and the use of tools to create professional-looking productions widely available and affordable, more brands will see the value in determining a real strategy for live video.
More than just determining which platforms to broadcast to and what to say, savvy social strategists are contemplating, even before they hit the Go Live button, how the video they’re going to create can be repurposed and used in other ways. They’re figuring out what blog content they’ll need, what social media posts they’d like to have – what conversations their customers want to participate in – and crafting a video-first strategy that fuels all of that content.
This is where tools like Wave.video are particularly instrumental, as they’ve made it easy to take long-form video content and splice it into multiple pieces of short-form video posts that can be shared to every network and embedded within blog posts.
I think video advertising on social channels such as Facebook is going to rapidly increase. We often tell our customers about issues targeting a ‘cold’ audience. A cold audience is an audience that knows very little or nothing about you. Whereas a warm audience could be a social media follower, someone that spent time on your website already, etc.
That doesn’t mean you don’t target a cold audience but it does mean you need a different approach. An ideal approach is where you educate the audience through ads that are focused on the awareness phase of the funnel and then you identify the most relevant people to retarget with further ads at a later stage.
To do this one of the most effective ways is through video. You create short engaging video content that’s not a sales pitch. This means more people will watch, interact and share which will result in less cost per view.
You then automatically build audiences of people that watched the video. For example, you can build an audience of people that watched at least 50% of the video. Now that’s a good audience to target further down the funnel to generate sales!
Increasingly we will see more of these type of funnels and video will be a key enabler for this. We now have the tools like Wave.video to allow us to rapidly create video so we don’t have any excuses anymore!
Founder and Social Media Strategist at Christine Gritmon Inc.
It’s been years since I think just about everyone accepted that online video is not a trend: it’s here to stay. Social media platforms have been taken over by video – in some cases, such as TikTok, to the exclusion of any other type of content.
Well, 2021 ushers in a new phase: the inability to opt out of creating video content, and especially having business conversations on video.
This represents a shift back to the early days of the internet: it took people some adjustment to get used to doing business with people they’d never met. Gradually, we all got used to the relatively faceless, hands-off nature of doing business online. However, the rise of video conferencing such as Zoom, coupled with social media’s return to actually being social (as opposed to being merely a sales & advertising vehicle), now mean that it is virtually impossible to establish a know, like, and trust relationship without getting on video, whether they’re one-to-many posted videos, one-to-one conversations, or anywhere in between.
On the plus side, anyone whose reluctance to do video was contingent upon tech or performance anxiety will be glad to know that this glut of content has lowered the bar: you needn’t be professionally produced, you just need to be human. Communication trumps style.
Chief Digital & Innovation Officer at Laura Rubinstein
Video has been trending for the last 3 years. In 2020 we saw the rise of multistreaming tools and better branding. Get ready for monetization with livestreaming video. Facebook now allows you to set up paid events with live streaming aspect. So get yourself and your space camera-ready. Craft a video strategy around what people love to buy from you.
Short-form video is also trending with Reels, TikTok, and stories. Especially if your market demographic tends to be under 30, short form video is captivating.
LinkedIn Consultant & Trainer at Louise Brogan Ltd
I love live video and think the use of it will grow as more businesses learn how to ‘go live’ In terms of LinkedIn Live, there is still an application process for people to apply to get access to the live feature. If you are currently trying to have your application accepted, I recommend you share video posts consistently on your profile to show that you are already comfortable in using video marketing.
LinkedIn statistics in 2020 suggested that 40% of senior executive PREFER to watch video content on LinkedIn. You can create interesting and to-the-point video content that is relevant and interesting to your LinkedIn network. Why not consider showcasing your team members or creating a video that demonstrates how your product or service works. Video can be added to your LinkedIn profile as well as shared in the newsfeed. There are some limits – you should keep your video uploads to under ten minutes and always add captions to your video.
If you are new to video, I highly recommend you start including it within your content marketing strategy – and definitely try posting your video to LinkedIn in 2021.
Founder of Teamsturb
While the live streaming video industry has long been on a path favoring consistent, episodic-style content, the massive disruption caused in 2020 by the coronavirus has swung the door open to a much broader variety of one-off style videos that, for better or for worse, will either supplant or, eventually, become an important element of any and all live events in the future.
Parties, conferences, even traditional celebrations and gatherings like weddings or funerals all will either become completely virtual or turn into hybrid in-person/virtual occurrences. A significant market will continue to emerge for live-stream producers, both on a local and international level. Social media sites like YouTube and Facebook will recognize the value in incorporating more advanced creative tools (lower thirds, multiple simultaneous guests, etc.) within their native platforms, probably buying out certain live video production startups while leaving others to wither away.