Asked what inspired him to write the cult 1979 hit single Video Killed the Radio Star, songwriter Trevor Horn said it came from the idea that "video technology was on the verge of changing everything". More than 35 years later, it's digital video - particularly on mobile - that is changing everything again.

Video will account for 80% of all internet traffic by 2019, up from 64% in 2014, says technology giant Cisco.a

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg says that 90% of the social network's content will be video-based by 2018 and network company Ericsson thinks mobile video traffic will rocket 55% a year between now and 2020.  

The business argument for using more video is simple: it works.

The Web Video Marketing Council (WVM) says online video has become a crucial part of the sales and marketing programmes for most business-to-business (b2b) organisations, with 96% of those surveyed saying they now engage in video content marketing. Nearly three-quarters report a positive impact on their marketing results.

But what makes a good video?

In the era of BuzzFeed, YouTube, Facebook and Vine, video is clearly about entertainment for viewers with infamously short attention spans. If you can include footage of comic cats, so much the better.

One of the most popular marketing videos of 2015 was for Samsung's Galaxy S6 smartphone, released to coincide with Marvel's Avengers Assemble film.
Combining two global brands with story-driven action content, high production values, and brand ambassadors such as footballing genius Lionel Messi, the video garnered more than 20 million viewers.

Of course, not all businesses have the budgets to match Samsung and Marvel, but there are plenty of video production companies out there that can help, from high-end firms like Disney-owned Maker Studios, to a raft of smaller independents offering bespoke and off-the-shelf services.

Facebook and YouTube have their own in-built tools that enable firms to see how long a viewer was engaged, at what point they stopped watching, whether they watched it more than once, and if they shared it or not.

And tools such as Ooyala's video content management system also provide real-time analytics, allowing you to target the right markets and syndicate your videos.

Developments in data-driven marketing and virtual reality (VR) will be among the major game-changers in the coming year and beyond, some observers believe.VR devices such as Google Cardboard, which can be bought for as little as $10 (£7), could be given away by companies to clients to view their videos. Samsung is bundling the Oculus Gear VR headset with its new Galaxy S7 smartphone.

Facebook is doing a big push to bring virtual reality videos to the mainstream," says Mr Rouhiainen.

"Mark Zuckerberg confirmed that there have already been one million hours of 360 video consumed in [Samsung's] Gear VR."

But a big cloud on the video horizon is ad blocking.

"Ad blockers are causing huge concern for advertisers and publishers and media owners," says WVM's Sean Randles."We are already seeing evidence of tweaks being made by Google to allow video ads to work regardless of all ad-blocking extensions. Facebook and Twitter will have the same issues."

The advantage video has over other forms of advertising, however, is that it can be more entertaining and therefore more likely to be tolerated by consumers and business users alike.

Video will be victorious, it seems.

Author: Mark Smith at BBC