Study on Do-It-Yourself (DIY) video creation apps

Suite 48 Analytics has published an extensive study on the trends among Do-It-Yourself (DIY) video creation apps (smartphone, web and desktop apps used by non-video professionals), which are a powerful driver behind the current surge in sharing and viewing of user-generated videos. For the new DIY Video Creation Apps study, the researches analyzed 82 popular innovative apps and found that, while video editing is a true-and-proven use case, the traditional approach – offering timelines and layers to trim and composite video clips – has had little success attracting users beyond the core market of professionals and technically proficient hobbyists.

According to the study, more successful approaches to getting mainstream adoption are being developed based on adjacent use cases and user behaviors. These include apps that originally offered animated slideshow creation features but evolved over time into more sophisticated video trailer creation apps. Another example are apps that have successfully tapped into the popularity of easy-to-create phodeos (hybrid photo/videos, such as animated GIFs, Apple Live Photos, Boomerangs) by enabling the creation of short music video clips, with the potential of expanding into longer form video creation in the future.

“The baby steps that take these products beyond the familiar are what has the greatest impact,” said Hans Hartman, principal author of the study. “Too often we underestimate how fundamentally new it is for most people to work with videos. Everyone now has a device in their pocket that makes it as easy to capture videos as it is to shoot photos. But how do you make the footage shorter, more engaging, and good enough to share on social media or use for marketing purposes? That requires dealing with the complexities of an additional dimension – time – and an extra media format – audio.”

While the first generation of DIY video apps for consumers, SMBs and enterprise workers delivered the necessary tools to deal with these added elements, they were generally too complex and demanding to enable mainstream adoption, according to the study. Conversely, apps that have embraced the alternative approach – prioritizing ease of use over creative control by offering templates and stock photos, videos and music libraries – have become popular, but have not met the needs of more demanding users, who require tools that enable their creations to stand out from the crowd.

A promising third approach, according to the study, is being taken by innovative – often AI-based – apps that manage to hit the sweet spot between ease of use and creative control, offering innovative and powerful features ranging from one-click background removal throughout the video, to typing text that changes the words spoken by people featured in the video, thereby eliminating the need to re-shoot.

The 94-page report analyzes 82 innovative DIY video creation apps in the following categories:

“Beyond photos” video creation apps

Web-based video creation apps

Smartphone-based video creation apps

Desktop-based video creation apps

Camera manufacturer video creation apps

Video APIs and SDKs