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Celebrating a decade of video communication

It seems like just yesterday when we started thinking about how people could view cars without visiting car showrooms. Ten years on and video communication in the automotive sector has come a long way. We started with one customer in the UK, BMW. Now over 93 of the AM100 and 42 car manufacturers use our video apps, many around the world.

But you may be surprised to discover, the first documented live video stream (as you can imagine there is no definitive record of the first video to be uploaded onto the internet) took place in 1991.

The story of the Trojan Room Coffee Pot goes that a group of engineers at the University of Cambridge were fed up traipsing down the halls for a cup of coffee only to find the pot empty. Instead, these visionaries installed a camera beaming a live feed of the coffee pot so everyone could see whether it was worth the journey to fill their mug.

The coffee pot quickly earned its place in internet folklore with people checking its status from all over the world by logging into the world’s first webcam. When it was switched off in 2001 the event made national news headlines!

Our video journey began when we set out to create a platform where car buyers could properly view a vehicle, without having to take a trip to the dealer only to find it had been sold or didn’t meet their expectations.

Over this time, we have seen a massive shift in consumer attitude and usage of video. According to Cisco, it would take you more than 5 million years to watch the amount of video that will cross global IP networks each month by 2021. Over a million minutes of video content will cross the network every second. We now prefer to watch rather than read!

We’ve certainly seen this trend develop in our 10 years. In 2016, 5 million videos were recorded on CitNOW devices, more than in our previous five years combined. It took us eight years to reach our 10 millionth video, then in 2017 alone, 7,783,648 videos were uploaded. Even with the growth the year before, 2017 saw video content increase by more than 50%.

When we first set out on our journey 10 years ago, we were the innovators. We stay ahead by listening to your challenges and enhancing our offering. Our initial Sales app was joined by the Workshop app in 2012, and Bodyshop in 2014. Today our product lineup also includes our latest innovation, Web Video & Smart Image. By combining used stock photography, video and 360 into one app, and automatically pushing content to your online platforms, it saves hours of manual labour.

As we enter our second decade, we’re marking our anniversary with a fresh look. Check back soon to see how we’re staying ahead of the curve both in front of the ‘camera’ and behind the scenes.