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Video, audio apps will direct future of digital content distribution

Until recently, content has mainly been in text format. While other media like audio and video have been embedded in digital texts for some time, the full potential of multimedia has not been felt until the recent launch of fully-integrated as well as standalone audio and video apps.
Wesley Lynch, CEO of Snapplify, the successful year-old start-up offering publishers a mobile app solution to sell their content, predicts that video and audio apps will be highly influential in the future direction of digital content distribution. Snapplify has recently announced the extension of its service offering to include audio and video distribution and subscription services via apps.

"Content-dependent companies can employ audio and video for much more holistic and compelling offerings," says Lynch. "Publishing need no longer be restricted; with more to draw on, they can tackle far more creative projects, and reach a wider market."

Text-only publications have limitations

He explains that text-only publishing vehicles have severe limitations when it comes to audiences with learning difficulties or physical disabilities. "Video and audio apps enables publishers and media owners to target a wider market which was previously not accessible. These apps support the human right of allowing more groups to learn and develop their abilities and skills."

Instances of using audio to benefit children or learning-impaired people include audio books. But audio can also augment the learning experience of able-bodied adults, when used in learning guides (learning a musical instrument or a new language). It can also supplement meditation texts as a value-add for publishers looking to maximise their revenue.

Creative new trans-media scenarios are also emerging and being fully supported by Snapplify. Media apps can lift classic print vehicles such as graphic novels by combining text with video and audio, allowing publishers to recreate a physical store browsing experience for buyers by allowing interaction with products. These interactive apps allow customers the opportunity to be hands on with a product, something that is known to influence the customer's decision to purchase.

No monetisation of content

Video traditionally comes into play in corporate training or product demonstrations, with companies relying on video channels like YouTube for cost-effective, high-reach distribution. However, YouTube is limited in that it doesn't offer monetisation of content, whereas apps do, says Lynch. "Snapplify's video apps solution supports users accessing premium content, subscription services like Netflix, and watching TV series or episodes.

"Video apps are also a great solution for African producers wanting to sell their local short stories or movies to a global market. The app model opens up endless possibilities for people with limited resources to sell their content to a worldwide market," says Lynch.

Lynch points out that the app distribution model is suited to various innovative commercial and non-commercial arrangements - such as lending, rental and subscriptions - enabled either by downloads or streaming. All things considered, video apps present a striking opportunity for content owners, video producers and publishers to maximise their revenue, increase access to content and showcase regional content globally.

Read more: Wesley Lynch, Snapplify