Ever since their inception, videos have become an integral part of human life. From movies to short videos, the evolution of video is quite an exciting story. Today, people consume video content almost every single day. According to this research by Wyzowl, people watch an average of nearly 16 hours of online video per week! But the pioneer of the ‘type of content consumed’ today, video content, had a humble beginning.
Did you know that the first-ever video clip known to man dates back to the late 1800s?
It remains pretty surprising to many that the most consumed content of today’s day and age is just a mere smidge over two centuries old. The video in question here is The Roundhay Garden Scene. What isn’t as surprising to many, on the other hand, is the duration of the video.
Before your curious mind irks you to think, “Why isn’t the duration as surprising as the year when the video was released?” Here’s why: The year the first-ever video was shot was when the camera was just in its infancy. It wasn’t as easily accessible as today, and only a handful of investors were interested in understanding the technology behind it. So when you combine inadequate technological knowledge and a handful of interested personnel, what is the outcome? A short but fascinating (at the time) two-second video.
How much has video evolved over time?
By the time you are done reading up till here, in today’s day and age, you would’ve shot, edited, and even posted a video on any social media platform such as Facebook, Instagram, or Rizzle. It’s fascinating to not just witness but be a part of this evolution, isn’t it? An evolution that has seen quite a few changes over the years regarding the equipment, quality, process, and the makes.
So, let’s take a few steps back and dive deep to find out how ‘video’ started and what has been its journey to where it is today, shall we?
The evolution of video
There have been quite a few breakthrough inventions that followed the first-ever video clip. Let’s take a look at them:
After The Roundhay Garden Scene, the next significant breakthrough in video production was the Kinetoscope. Thomas A. Edison and William Dickson invented the Kinetoscope. It had a simple mechanism that rapidly played several still images, making it look like a video. As simple as it sounds today, back in the day, it was quite an innovation! The Kinetoscope was taken around during exhibitions as an attraction. It had a simple peep-hole that could only cater to one user at a time.
The next significant invention during the 1800s was the cinematograph. Intrigued by the creation of the Kinetoscope, Luis and Auguste Lumière invented the cinematograph. Thanks to this invention, the masses could view video. Not just that, but this invention also made the output video sharper and clearer. The word slowly spread of this invention and in no time the cinematograph was famous the world over!
Fast forward a century, the evolution of video has been quite drastic. The consumption of video is at an all-time high thanks to the invention of television shows and full-length movies. Watching a video was a rare phenomenon a century ago, but in the 19th century, it had become easily accessible to almost all households. Video production also saw notable inventions such as CGI, VHS, VCR, DVD, and finally, a change in the editing process from linear to non-linear editing!
While TVs and full-length movies were the major attractions, the VHS and DVDs were the ones that increased the video consumption numbers. VHS was invented during the later part of the 1900s, 1970 to be precise. It enjoyed quite an impressive run of over 20+ years, until the 1990s when DVD was introduced to the market.
Did you know that The Lion King was the best-selling VHS in America? Released in 1995, it sold over 32 million copies and earned over $520 million!
Introduction of S-VHS
During its time, VHS was ever-evolving. The first-ever update brought to VHS made it ‘super.’ Quite literally! VHS became Super VHS or S-VHS. This change improved the video bandwidth and soon became the popular choice for many. As time evolved and the world was growing fonder of compact devices, VHS too adapted with it and – as you guessed it – got a new update. VHS got an update with a compact sizing, essentially suitable for portable VHS players.
Alas, all good things come to an end. VHS’s dominance could not keep up with the evolving market trend – Rise in Tech and decline of Hardware. The market in Japan introduced DVD in the late 90s. Although the adoption of DVDs in Japan was smooth sailing, it wasn’t quite the same case in America or India. It took about ten years for it to gain popularity.
It is, in fact, very true that it has been just two decades and a year in this century as of today. But when we look at the several technological advancements that have happened – at a rate of knots – it is definitely worth taking a look. Like VHS, DVD too, since its inception, has been receiving updates. But the introduction of Blu-Ray cut short the popularity of DVDs. Blu-Ray was basically an enhanced version of the DVD, albeit with a higher storage requirement. While this was going on in the video viewing side of things, advancements were also made on the video shooting end.
The world had finally evolved from camcorders and had taken possession of DSLRs. A handy, portable, and technologically advanced video camera, DSLR was an instant hit! It was widely used for capturing images and recording live-action videos.
As the second decade of the 2000s began, it brought even further advances in technology. This, in turn, brought about quite a few changes in the video production and viewing department. At the start of the second decade, in 2010, the iPad and the rise of social media were the two noticeable moments. Thanks to these inventions, today we are able to view videos anywhere, and at any time!
The Rise of the Digital Era
All this while, thanks to its dynamic nature, video content has been evolving. People started hosting and consuming videos on YouTube. Then slowly, Facebook and Instagram came into play. People then began sharing their personal videos – such as birthday celebrations, marriage videos, and the likes.
During this time, several other types of videos rose to fame. Take OTT, for example. Just in the fiscal year 2020, the revenue of OTT rose to about 19 billion Indian Rupees and is expected to go up to 46 billion by 2022. Curious to know more about OTT and its impact? Then you should definitely check out this blog!
Vine was the next major breakthrough in video content. It was the app that paved the way for all the short video apps that exist today! Vine notably shifted people’s focus towards short, crisp, and to-the-point content. Today, some notable short video platforms carrying the baton forward are TikTok, Instagram Reels, and Rizzle.
Feels like a full circle in a way, doesn’t it? From the initial clip known to man, a mere 2-second clip to today, where a 5-second clip can make someone famous!
Take, for example, the Walmart Yodeling Kid. Mason Ramsey, the “Walmart Yodeling Kid” or the “Walmart Kid,” surprised the shoppers one day by yodeling in the supermarket. All it took was someone pulling out their smartphone and recording him. What followed was a storm of people hitting the like and share button and instantly making Mason a star on the internet.
A more recent example is that of Khaby Lame. Unless you have been on a social media detox recently or just been living under a rock, you must be knowing Khaby. He rose to fame by mocking the ever-so-creative (read complicated) life hack videos shown on the internet. Khaby’s videos are as simple as they can get, really. There’s no audio, dialogue, or even an additional visual element. Just a pure expression of disappointment. That is all it took for Khaby to become the second most-followed TikToker today!
Where do we go from here?
Sure, these stories sound ever-so-fascinating. The rise of digital media, the evolution of technology, the evolution of video consumption, and the likes. But there remains a tingling thought in the back of the head of everyone witnessing the evolution of video. Where do we go from here?
There’s Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, 4D, and the ever-so-unrealistic and preposterous-sounding “8D” experience already in play. But the question still remains, doesn’t it? How does video evolve now? What’s the next big thing in the evolution of video? Well, if you’ve got the answers, we’re ready to listen! Get tapping on your keyboard and leave a comment below. Or, if you want to be the next big internet sensation, download the Rizzle app, shoot your video and become a star!