These are the 5 most important online video trends for 2021

18 January 2021  

By Jente Kater - Voicebooking

What are the most important trends in online video and audio for 2021? asked more than 150 producers, directors, creatives and directors.

“This year you really saw what people can do with their smartphone: it's a Hollywood studio in your pocket.” – Tim van der Wiel, Founder social first agency GoSpooky.

Authenticity and a good story definitely won this year over the over-produced video with drones and 3D Video. Most saw this trend coming last year, but it happened much faster than expected. This was probably because most creators were housebound. Without all the effects to cover things up, it all came down to the quality of the story.

But what are the other trends that emerged in 2020 and what can we expect in 2021? More than 150 customers told us what they think next year has in store for us. In addition, we interviewed four top players from the field. They were pretty much in agreement about what 2021 will bring us in terms of online video.

1) Don't make ads, make TikToks

TikTok was the medium that finally broke through in 2020. It does seem that many clients still have to find out what exactly they should do with the medium. Only 5 percent of those surveyed already make videos for TikTok. But because the number of users of the social medium has exploded, it seems only a matter of time before they will flock to the platform.

Jorn Agterberg, Marketing Manager Qmusic

“Where we saw for a few years that anyone could be a video maker, with TikTok that has now become a reality for an even larger group. It's no longer that hard to make something look and sound good. Funny from our perspective at Qmusic is that it's very much about music. Songs you haven't heard of for a long time are suddenly popular again: Dreams (1977) by Fleetwood Mac. Or tunes that are processed into new music and become a hit, like Jason Derulo did with 'Savage Love'. That also says something about the influence of TikTok.”

Tim van der Wiel, founder social first agency GoSpooky

“This year you really saw what people can do with their smartphone: it's a Hollywood studio in your pocket. On the other hand, perfect doesn't have to be on TikTok either. Originality is even more important. Better to be first than number seven. But if it works, it will be hard. We see that a 15-second TikTok video sometimes outperforms a 300K commercial. Don't make ads, make TikToks.”

2) Rawer and much less polished videos

2021 will be all about authenticity. This is apparent from both the answers in the survey and the interviews we conducted. This trend is partly due to necessity. “Due to Covid19 rules, we are now more likely to use real, rather than cast, composite families in advertising,” wrote one producer. And it still works. Authentic also means that you do not allow yourself to be put in the footsteps of others. Bad news for all those influencers who live from and for product reviews, many respondents expect.

Jordi van de Bovenkamp, ​​Creative Director, creative digital agency MediaMonks

“We are much less susceptible to being shiny and made up. You saw commercials from big brands like KPN and Heineken that were shot with a handheld or a smartphone. Partly because it had to be because of Covid of course, but it was also a choice to respond to current events. They could also have pulled something off the shelf. I hope that trend continues. Not that the level of execution should be lowered, but it could all be a bit rawer, less polished.”

3) Explainer Videos: mix of text, animation and presentation

What is really impossible is the hand of the draftsman who brings an animation to life on a whiteboard. The other extreme, the talking head, has also been removed, as viewers will click away at lightning speed in 2020. A good explainer video has several elements in it. “A bit like the Covid explanation videos at the NOS,” one respondent wrote.

Jerry Renes, founder Animation company in60seconds:

“People are really tired of explainer video. There is a lot of the same. Standard forms of animation can be made for next to nothing, but they all look the same. You will therefore have to look carefully at what the target group wants and where it is located. What I see that works well is that you don't just make an explainer video, but combine it with text, or make it interactive. Why not an online cookbook where you show the actions you have to perform in a loop by means of an animated gif?“

4) Content tailored to the format

A good video is usually not enough. Two thirds of the respondents are asked by clients to make separate videos for different media. In almost 40 percent of the cases, production is especially for Youtube, in just 30 percent of the cases for Facebook or Instagram.

Tim van der Wiel, founder of GoSpooky

“Hopefully we can all agree: social media is not a distribution channel. The idea that you can put a piece of content anywhere, that is really outdated. You have to look very closely at the culture of a platform how it is used. That's the gist. You have to do something about that. Shooting some social content during a shoot for a commercial is really no chance.”

Jordi van de Bovenkamp, ​​Creative Director MediaMonks

“I'm certainly not a fan of the cut downs, as we call them. That you make a very expensive production for television and then think you can crop the video for social. It happens less, but you still see it. If you want to be successful on certain platforms, you have to provide customization. There must be a socially driven team behind the director's back. And, also think about whether you want to be everywhere. If your target group is not there, you have nothing to look for. Cobbler stick to your last.” 

5) More female voices and Audio imaging

Bad audio is a real let-down, everyone is convinced of that. But what about the type of voice over? That is shifting. 36 percent have even used the robot voice over once. But is that a keeper? Only if you can make that voice custom and unique, it seems.

Jorn Agterberg, Marketing Manager Qmusic

“What you see is that brands are looking for their own sound: audio imaging. You have seen this in radio for a long time, but now you see that people are also working on it much more in advertising. Where in the past people often simply chose a beautiful voice, now they really think about it. Do you want a young or an old voice, male or female? What do you want your car company to sound like?”

Jerry Renes, founder Animation company In60Seconds

“By far the most voice overs in animation videos are still male, but I see that a female voice is increasingly being chosen. Nowadays a woman can also do a technical subject. And because the female actors also become more familiar with that, they are also easier to find.”


Jente Kater FOUNDER & CEO Jente

Kater is founder and CEO of The fastest growing voice-over agency in Europe with a unique webshop concept, with 24-hour delivery and professional native voice talents who record worldwide from their own studio. Jente likes to write about audiovisual communication, copywriting, media and radio. Before that, Jente was a DJ at various Dutch radio stations. Records voiceovers in his spare time.

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