Searchable Video - A Great Source Of New Revenue

Short videos for stock and web use are a growing source of income for image libraries - just make sure your clients can find the clips easily.

In the past year we've noticed a growing interest in keywording of video clips, and welcomed some new clients as a result. The basic message we are getting is that many companies are now adding video in the same subject area in which they have built their reputation for still images.

This is a logical step forward, although not always well planned for. Adding video clips to a photo library's offering presents a number of challenges on the technical side, not the least being the sheer volume of data that video creates.

Once those problems are overcome it is important to make the videos easy to find. As numbers normally start out small, it is tempting to think customers will just browse about. But it is a better idea to start as you mean to go on and have keywords from the begining.

As the video clip business gows - which it will - companies with a reputation for easy searching will have an advantage.

When having videos keyworded there are a number of factors to be taken into consideration.

1. Length of video makes a big difference to the cost and value of keywording. Keeping the clips short makes them more saleable, quicker to choose from, and gives the keywords more meaning because there is a strong theme and normally only one setting. Think of it this way: how many keywords would you need to describe everything in a 30 second clip of a bird singing in a cage as opposed to the keywording need to cover everything in Gone With The Wind?

2. Video often includes movement, so include appropriate verbs to describe that action.

3. Concepts are particularly important for video clips as the idea a clip is trying to convey can involve the bringing together of various elements of action, setting, sound and so on.

4. Speaking of sound, make sure you keyword this as rigorously as the visuals. In some cases what is being said, or noises being made can make all the difference to the meaning and possible uses of the clip.

5. Think about what technical keywords you'll need such as "cut away" or "slow motion".

6. Perhaps most impotantly, aim for consistency in keywording. There are even more variables in video keywording, so if you can have the keywording done professionally to minimise the variations so much the better.