According to Dr. James McQuivey of Forrester Research, one minute of video is worth 1.8 million words. Sound unreal? Not really.
If we accept the cliche that “a picture is worth a thousand words,” we can do the math from there.
There are 30 pictures or frames per second of video or film, which translates to 30,000 words per second. In one minute, or 60 seconds, the total frames would equal 1.8 million words.
That is a lot of impact for one short minute of video.
Video works because it engages the audience immediately, viscerally. It uses words, motion, footage, images, sound, graphics, and music to convey its message. Each camera angle establishes a different style. Lighting changes the mood. Sound adds depth and texture. How the camera moves through the shot changes meaning. Every part combines to create a layered story and message.
I believe there is a caveat, though, to the 1.8 million figure and that is the quality of the image being presented. Not all are equal. One minute of a cat video on YouTube is not the same as one minute of a beautifully shot film.
Not all videos convey the same amount of detail and craft. Not every piece of film or photography is a masterpiece.
While I believe that video is the strongest medium available, I have trouble believing that one minute of video could replace 1.8 million words in the greatest novels. That would be like saying that one minute of video is the equivalent of the combined word counts of Moby Dick, War and Peace, Gone with the Wind, Anna Karenina, and Crime and Punishment combined with enough left over for a novella. Of course, a random 1.8 million words thrown on a page could not rival these masterpieces either. It takes talent and skill to craft novels like these, just as it takes talent and experience to produce a successful video no matter how many words it may represent.
Only a carefully crafted video could hope to come close to the 1.8 million figure; only a video that is produced by a professional team with experience to know what each element conveys and how they combine for a deeper message.
If you want to achieve the full power of video, hire professionals. Make a statement.
Also, be sure to read our advice on Hiring a Professional Video Production Crew.