Embracing Online Video

July 23, 2007 by

According to comScore, 75% of Internet users watched online video in May 2007, averaging 158 minutes per viewer. Nearly 8.4 billion videos were streamed online in the month of May. That’s a lot.

Online video isn’t a market that’s too saturated to succeed in, either. It’s not even a market that can become too saturated to succeed. If you missed the boat on the whole web 2.0 craze, you should read up on it. No matter how many videos stream online (in our case, 8,357,000,000), if you have a solid message and something fresh to offer, you can succeed.

What could this look like for your church? You could do video podcasts of your messages. Perhaps you could try video highlights of your events. Maybe put your video bumpers online for new activities. Even try interviews with church members or others related to your church. People want to be able to see what goes on at your church without actually entering the doors, how are you going to help them?

For more reading, check out the pastor who has a larger following on YouTube than in his own congregation on Monday Morning Insight. (comScore link via Church Relevance)

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Joshua Cody

Josh Cody served as our associate editor for several years before moving on to bigger things. Like Texas. These days he lives in Austin, Texas, with his wife, and you can find him online or on Twitter when he's not wrestling code.
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8 Responses to “Embracing Online Video”

  • st. Mars
    July 23, 2007

    I think online video should be key for any church youth group site. Aren’t the key users of web2.0 youth?? Let the youth make the videos, encode & publish….many of them probably already know how….

  • Andy Knight
    July 23, 2007

    I want to put a little plug in for a streaming video service we use called Light Cast Media. At Right From The Heart we use Light Cast to stream our short video spots. The quality is so clear, they have a heart for ministry, and the price is very reasonable. The file streams quickly and you can seek to any point in the stream in a split second. We love it. We’ll soon be using them to stream more and more of our video content.
    Although RFTH is a fairly small media ministry, there are some other prominent churches such as Lifechurch.tv, Theater Church, Granger, and Seacoast Church.

  • Andy Knight
    July 23, 2007

    Oops…submitted it too quick…I meant to say that these are other prominent churches who are also using Light Cast to stream their videos.

  • Jeff
    July 23, 2007

    We went live with video on our site 2 months ago. We are 23 days into our second month and just crossed the 2200 mark for video views already in July. We had 1000 in June. We couldn’t be more excited. Not only do we have website guests watching our messages, but many of our church members are going to the website to get a second helping of recent messages. It’s having a huge impact on the heart of our church as well as getting our heart outside to the net. I just got an email today from a family that moved to town and watched a message online and wanted to come visit this weekend…we will be meeting them at the front door to introduce them to the real people behind the online ministry. I have to join Andy and give a thumbs up for LighCastmedia guys – top notch and it’s all about Jesus to their crew.

  • Peter
    July 23, 2007

    I am a Web Developer for New Hope Christian Fellowship and we have been streaming videos on our site for the past four years and have been overwhelmed by the positive response that we have received.
    If a church is really seeking to extend it’s reach, I believe that online video is really the way to go. It can be as simple as posting a video on YouTube or as involved as streaming services live on the web.
    As Jeff and Andy mentioned, we also use LightCastMedia to stream our content. Their streaming services are reasonably priced, super easy to use and provide an excellent overall experience for those visiting your site.
    If you currently aren’t offering videos, give it a try. I think you will be very pleased with the results.

  • A.B. Dada
    July 24, 2007

    Jeff: That is really awesome! Numbers like that are an instant dividend to the time invested.
    One thing that annoys me about online and DVD faith videos is the use of just one camera, and the lack of proper lighting. Just adding a second camera (long shot or side shot) makes a huge difference in watchability factor. I’ve started a few videos at YouTube and stopped after 60 seconds because it was merely a talking head — nothing pulled me in. I attribute most of these quick-to-skip issues to terrible lighting (green flesh) and the single camera perspective.

  • steve k
    July 24, 2007

    NOOMA is in the middle of a 48-hour “online premiere” where they’re showing the full length version of their new film from MySpace. Pretty cool: http://www.myspace.com/noomamyspace

  • brad
    July 24, 2007

    Video is something I feel pretty passionate about. It can be a very effective medium. But it needs to be done right. A killer concept can overcome any lack of technical proficiency. But anything less than ‘killer’, and you’re going to need some decent chops to make it work.
    Let’s not deluge the world with more talking-head sermons. Please? If that’s all there is, then we are only preaching to the choir. (Do you think the world is googling and youtubing “sermons”?) Are we incapable of anything else? Tell inspirational stories. Ask provocative questions. Make gripping promotional clips. Or do a video introduction to the congregation to hand out to the neighbourhood. Let’s not limit this idea to what’s out there already.
    Please believe me that video is not a universal need in the church. Bad video is much more of a liability than an asset. And when it’s awful, there’s no way to hide it. It’s a massively complex medium, which requires excellence in art (writing, acting, directing) as well as technical skills (lighting, sound, editing). It needs to be given the respect it deserves.

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