Should you consider 4K video marketing for your content?
4K video is now well and truly here. 4K capable televisions are becoming increasingly affordable, many consumer cameras and pretty much all recent smartphones are capable of recording 4K. Netflix, YouTube and other streaming services are well and truly on board, offering a wealth of content in this very high resolution format. But when it comes to your own marketing content, should you be investing in 4K video? What are the benefits, the potential downsides, and what does it even mean?
Firstly, what exactly is 4K?
If you don’t know this already, basically 4K refers to the resolution of a video image in how many pixels are represented on screen. It is essentially how sharp and detailed your image will be.
For the longest time we had standard definition (approx 576 horizontal lines)
Then we had HD/Full HD (high definition- 720p/1080p – 720-1080 horizontal lines)
Now we have 4K (commonly referred to as Ultra-High Definition or Quad HD – 2160 horizontal lines)
The image below represents how these 3 scales compare to each other.
So, it’s a sharper image. That’s a cool upside I suppose? But what are the downsides when it comes to video marketing consumption?
The case against 4K video marketing (for now)
As of the end of 2017, 4K TVs stood for around 30% of all TVs sold worldwide. So, most people won’t even be able to watch your content in it’s intended crispy sharp glory. As well as this, everyday, more and more online video content is viewed on a mobile device such as a smartphone or tablet and there is a strong argument that you really need quite a big screen and be standing quite close to it to really notice the benefits of 4K.
Additionally, with greater resolution comes greater cost; namely in terms of storage and bandwidth. On the storage side, some production companies may charge more to shoot in 4K as more storage and processing power is required to shoot and edit the video files. In the case of bandwidth, the UK currently has an average download speed of 16Mbits/s and with 4K requiring around 25Mbits/s, which means much of the population still doesn’t have the necessary internet bandwidth required to stream 4K content.
Soooo, what’s the point?
Do you show videos on a big screen at your premises? Do you advertise in the cinema? If it’s something you do or fancy doing then when a 4K image is thrown on the silver screen it really can look far better than an HD image (remember the importance of screen size earlier?).
Is your content designed to be evergreen? If you’re going to shell out on a video that you want to have staying power then 4K could be the right option. It really is only a matter of time before it becomes the standard for most TVs and broadcasting in general, so if you want your content to have legs (technically speaking) then it may be worth it to have it produced in 4K.
Do you want to use still images from the video production? If you want to use still frames from the video to use in physical/online publications then the quality of the images you can lift will be increased. For example an image from an HD video has a megapixel count of just under 2.1MP. On the other hand, a 4K still is 8.3MP. 4 times the resolution! Maybe that can save you some money on a photographer attending the shoot at the same time?
Is production value important for you? Many companies, such as some SMEs, may value message and content over glossiness when it comes to a video. However, maybe your target market really needs to be ‘wowed’ by very high production value in order to consider your business a viable prospect. In this case, going for 4K could be the better option.
As a video producer, when I look at how things currently stand, I would say that the majority of businesses need not concern themselves with eye bleeding resolution. Focus on getting the message and the target demo right, and for quite a while your content will look perfectly fine in good old HD. God help you if you still get content in SD…
However, if you require extra polish right now, want to chuck your video up on a big screen and/or want your content to last further into the future, then 4K is what you want. At least until 8K comes out…
If you want some crispy new 4K video marketing content for your business, or a great HD video, then get in touch!
Producer | Sync or Swim Productions