Here’s What Industry Experts Think Online Video Looks Like in 2020

Those with intimate knowledge of the industry offer their predictions for the year ahead

Chris Stokel-Walker
FFWD
Published in
6 min readDec 31, 2019

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Image: Chris Stokel-Walker

All things told, 2019 was a weird year for online video. YouTube struggled to combat more negative headlines, but continued to grow apace. TikTok came from nowhere to be on the tip of all our tongues, thanks to the thronged fans descending on VidCon. And Twitch has recognized there is competition in the game streaming space, thanks to months of big-money deals for gaming’s biggest talent, kicked off by Ninja.

2020 is likely to be even more bizarre, and — thanks to a newly-invigorated media that is starting to acknowledge online video can’t be ignored — will be even more under the microscope in the coming 12 months than the last.

Here’s what a handful of experts in front of and behind the camera in the world of online video think the next year holds.

Roberto Blake, YouTuber

I think the most important thing people can do is build their brand beyond any platform and take ownership of the traffic instead of just giving that gift to these platforms.

Traffic is the product that the platforms are selling to advertisers, but creators are not taking full advantage of this and not building a way to have direct access to their community. If you don’t own your traffic, if you don’t own the access, you don’t own your business. You’re building your empire on rented land.

Be platform agnostic and be everywhere if you can, but also build your own email list and website where you can control and distribute content on your own terms. Build your own products and don’t rely on the platforms for a paycheck.

Stop investing everything in building a platform you don’t own. A business you don’t own.

Elspeth Rae, managing director, The Creator Project

I think a top tier of YouTube creators may well start to sit back, give themselves a bit of a break and look for other opportunities to diversify.

This is due to a myriad of reasons including an ever-changing platform, mental health but also…

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Chris Stokel-Walker
FFWD
Editor for

UK-based freelancer for The Guardian, The Economist, BuzzFeed News, the BBC and more. Tell me your story, or get me to write for you: stokel@gmail.com