Watching online videos is no longer cutting edge news, but rather a way of life as evidenced by stats released in a recent Pew study that showed 57% of adults online have watched online videos.
But an annual report on YouTube? That’s a fairly new concept, yet a great idea and some high-profile public companies are opting to use video to give their shareholder communications a little more pizazz.
I happen to pick up a CFO magazine while in the waiting room at the Doctors office today (why they had a CFO magazine in the waiting room, I don’t know), but I stumbled on an article that I just reread again tonight about the move by some innovative companies towards video annual reports in lieu of the printed version.
The Hollywood approach isn’t just about image, however: a graphics-intense annual report can ultimately cost a large-cap company $1 million to produce and mail. A video report, in contrast, may run $20,000.
The embrace of video is part of a larger movement away from printed shareholder communications, a trend the Securities and Exchange Commission heartily endorses. In fact, the SEC has taken several steps to streamline the delivery of all proxy-related materials. In December, the commission tentatively approved a plan to allow Web-only versions of Schedule 14A proxy statements, Schedule 14C information statements, and annual reports to suffice.
The SEC’s proposal, which took effect on a voluntary basis in July, will ease that paper jam by making Internet delivery the de facto setting which will likely increase this video trend.
CFO.com quotes one observer this way:
In five years, a printed annual report will be a collectorâ€™s item.
And I’ll be less guilt-ridden for pitching the stacks right into the recycle bin.