Were you surprised that the Boston Marathon bombers were caught on video? You shouldn't have been. How about a meteor falling in Russia? Or a pizza delivery guy urinating on a customer's door after receiving too small a tip? Then there's that plane crashing on a Russian highway.
All these phenomena are part of an ubertrend I call Voyeurgasm - and it's changing our lives and maybe even your future.
CBS dedicates part of its website, called Caught on Tape, to videos like these. It's a nod to the global popularity of YouTube, which announced this March that it reached 1 billion monthly users who watch some 6 billion hours of video each month.
The History Of Voyeurgasm
Voyeurgasm, the "I like to watch" ubertrend, made its debut with the Rodney King beating in 1991, arguably one of the first surreptitiously videotaped events to make headlines. What came next was a host of candid moments caught by camcorders, surveillance cameras or mobile phones - a wave that virtually guarantees that one day just about everything will be digitally captured.
This ubertrend spurred a host of subtends, including reality shows, like MTV's The Real World, which debuted in 1992; Celebrity Worship Syndrome, coined in 2003 and propelled by "pixel paparazzis;" HDTV in 1998; helicopter police chases, including the infamous 1994 O.J. Simpson car chase; YouTube in 2005; and now Google Glass.
The current concerns about Google Glass and the privacy issues its surreptitious use entails are just a preview of things to come. Here's how Voyeurgasm will reshape your future, including business ideas and career opportunities:
1-3. Streaming Media
With YouTube now receiving some 72 hours of video every minute, it's evident that growth of mobile videos opens many opportunities for entrepreneurs to create dedicated sites to harness the millions of hours of videos that will be uploaded each minute by 2020. Here are a few ideas that merit your attention:
1. Makeup Videos: A quick Google search suggests that this segment is wide open with Makeup Geek being the top player. Not only could beauty sites encourage the improved application of makeup, but they would also propel new makeup trends, like High Definition Makeup.
2. Nature/Underwater Videos: Nature and underwater video searches lead to YouTube channels - but YouTube is a general-interest destination and is not likely to be the first choice of dedicated birdwatchers or snorkelers. This presents an opportunity to sell outdoors or underwater gear to intrepid visitors.
3. Shopping Videos: We like to buy stuff, so we watch a lot of "unboxing" videos on YouTube. That means there is plenty of opportunity to create innovative shopping videos that provide visitors with quick, yet informative insights about buying particular products. Once again a search for "shopping videos" leads to positively benign results.
4. Video Recruitment
In the next four years, about 20 million college graduates will be looking for full-time employment. Since few possess relevant experience, a quick 90-second video might give a prospective employer a better insight into their talents. Monster accepts videos for recruiters, but few recruitment sites let you add video profiles. One new player, GetHired.com does play up this feature.
5. Looking At Cooking
As the Cox News Service reported back in Jan. 2007, "It's one of the ironies of modern life that cooking shows and books are so hugely popular when much of the time we eat on the move or settle down in front of the TV with a microwaved frozen dinner. The preparing, cooking, tasting and eating of food have become voyeuristic pleasures separated from physical reality." The trend is dubbed "gastroporn." While this segment may be well-covered by television networks, what about facility and supply management? Think kitchen demonstration studios or food prep staffers who specialize in optimizing food for video consumption.
6. YouTube Studio Rentals
So now you're ready to shoot your gastroporn or job-seeking vid - but how do you make it great? Some folks have beautiful decks or nice living rooms but few have access to camera-friendly backdrops, let alone the lighting setups needed to shoot professional-looking videos. It's odd that entrepreneurs haven't thought of opening up a national chain of "YouTube Studios" - facilities you could rent by the hour to shoot your talkshow or other viral inspiration.
7. Video Accessories
You have decided to become a pixel paparazzi- on a budget. So can you handhold your iPhone or Android handset to shoot your videos? Sure, but some kind of steady grip would be better. With the notable exception of UK-based Modahaus, which offers the iPhone Steady Stand ($20), few companies have staked out this product category. One Kickstarter project, the Paparazzo Light, failed - perhaps due to a lack of audience reach or functionality.
8. Surveillance Gear
A market research report from ReportsNReports estimates that the market for smart surveillance gear and video analytics will explode from $14 billion in 2012 to $39 billion by 2020. A poll conducted after the Boston bombing found broad public support for surveillance gear, with 78% of Americans saying they thought surveillance cameras were a good idea. Frankly, I'm amazed that those Russian dashboard cams are not more popular here in America.
Are you ready to leverage the increased transparency offered by Voyeurgasm? You know what they say, "There are people who make things happen, there are those who watch things happen, and there are people who wonder what happened." This ubertrend offers the opportunity to do the first two at the same time so you don't have to do the last one.
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