YouTube video law firmsAs reported by the Los Angeles Times’ Dawn Chmielewski (@DawnC331), Robert Kyncl, YouTube’s vice president of global content partnerships, predicted in his keynote address at the Consumer Electronics Show last week that Internet video will soon account for 90% of the traffic on the Web.

Netflix, which got its start in 1998 mailing DVDs to subscribers in its trademark red envelopes, streamed 2 billion videos in the fourth quarter of 2011. Hulu now boasts 30 million monthly users. And YouTube attracts about 800 million viewers a month…….Kyncl portrayed Internet video as the next major step in the evolution of media, once dominated by three broadcast networks that together commanded 100% of television viewership in the U.S. The emergence of cable and satellite distributors made possible the fragmentation of the audience around niche programming…….By 2020, Kyncl predicted, about 75% of channels will be transmitted by the Internet.

YouTube, which should be the preferred video medium for law firms, is going to play a central role in user generated niche video. Per Kyncl, “The global reach of sites such as YouTube will allow for even more specialized channels to draw together sizable audiences of passionate enthusiasts.”

Law firms have historically looked at video as an expensive production of content which promotes the firm and its attorneys. The majority of law firms, esepcially large ones, have shunned YouTube as too amateur.

Video need not not be a big production for law firms. A HD video camera and external microphones which LexBlog’s LXBN TV uses to conduct interviews at conferences costs less than a thousand dollars. LXBN TV’s interviews of prominent lawyers on timely legal matters are done via Skype, the same platform CNN and ESPN use for many of their interviews.

All of LXBN’s video goes on YouTube and so should yours. YouTube is not only is a brand Internet users trust, but it’s also the number two search engine in the world, trailing only Google. Internet users also know how to share YouTube videos via social media.

The content of law firm videos ought be focused on niche areas of the law and be of value to the firm’s target audience. Rather than on the firm’s website, videos ought be run on niche focused blogs. That way the videos will be viewed as valuable insight and commentary, as opposed to marketing.

You’ll want to pull the embed code directly from YouTube to place your video on your blogs. That way readers know how to share the video whether in social media, blog posts, or presentations.

Bottom line. law firms need to start getting comfortable with video. And to start getting comfortable with video personally, as opposed to farming out video at significant time and expense.