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2023 State of Online Video Report

Wistia, a video marketing and hosting company, released its 2023 State of Video Report this week with some eye-catching observations about the online video industry.

First, as it relates to video accessibility, the number of videos meeting multiple criteria on Wistia’s accessilibity checklist were up 5% year-over-year and up 93% since 2019. Businesses continued to make their videos more accessible, with the major push beginning in 2020 with the onset of COVID-19. That’s a heck of a jump in accessibility in just four years and a testament to the upsurge in appreciation for how accessibility can improve user experience.

Accessibile Media Score in Wistia's 2023 State of Video Report

75% of businesses reported that they prioritize accessibility when sharing videos with their audiences. Of those, 55% prioritize closed captioning, 23% prioritize audio descriptions, 22% prioritize a WCAG-friendly video player, and 21% prioritize non-English (global) subtitles.

Accessibility Feature Graph from Wistia's 2023 State of Video Report

Appreciation for audio description as the most effective way to make video accessible to the visually impaired is growing. And with 1 out of every 13 Americans reporting that they have trouble seeing, even when wearing contacts or glasses, the importance of reaching this audience with descriptive audio has never been greater.

And there can be legal issues for those website owners who don't provide accessible video. Section 508 and WCAG compliance standards mandate audio description. WCAG 2.0 Level AAA goes so far as to say that where pauses in foreground audio are insufficient to allow audio descriptions to convey the sense of the video, extended audio description should be provided for all prerecorded video content in synchronized media.

Back to some other key findings from Wistia's report.

Long-form video, like webinars and live events, is the fastest-growing video segment and are among the highest performing videos, according to businesses. Videos over 30 minutes in length saw 11,000% growth over the past decade compared to 36% growth for videos under 30 minutes. However, most of the videos created in 2022 were under sixty seconds. Short form videos remain the most popular year-over-year.

One in three businesses said they want to invest more in videos for social media in 2023.

On the distribution side, businesses reported that LinkedIn performed best for their videos (43%) followed by YouTube (21%) and Facebook (13%). Businesses said they saw fewer results from Meta and are beginning to experiment more with TikTok.

Interestingly, online video viewers tend to watch videos more at the start of Q2 and Q4 and tend to rest during the summer.

As to how businesses measure success with their videos, engagement rate (38%) is more important than conversion rate (27%). Businesses are paying attention to how much time viewers spend watching videos.

Also noteworthy, for short-form videos up to five minutes, viewers will watch an average of 50% of the content, no matter if the video is one, two, three, four or five minutes long.

To compile their report, Wistia analyzed data from over 80M videos and surveyed 1,500 of their customers.


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