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The Cloudinary 2023 State of Visual Media Report: AI’s Transition From Time-Saver to Game-Changer

This marks the fifth year of the State of Visual Media Report. Just as we’ve found in year’s past, the data reveals the trends that are reshaping how brands are employing images and video in innovative and increasingly creative ways to boost productivity, engage customers, and grow revenue.

The key finding is: (not surprisingly) AI continues to have a profound impact on the visual content workflow. No longer a nice-to-have, AI automation, including generative AI, is key to ensuring brands are delivering engaging, visual-first experiences quickly and efficiently. AI is also taking the tedium out of the creation process while reducing the amount of time it once took to manage and deliver these experiences, all while making what was once impossible visually and technically, possible. Our data revealed that AI is saving teams an average of 34 working days per month. 

AI is proving to be more than just a time-saver; it’s a game-changer, empowering brands to bridge labor shortages and enabling tech teams to focus on work that requires human skills, from creative design to software integration to data security.

Another key takeaway, businesses are living in a “mobile-first” world — or they had better be. Our analysis of more than 8.5 trillion visual asset transactions across 439 global brands indicates that mobile is now the dominant platform in most countries. This shift is particularly apparent among Gen Z consumers, who are predominantly using their smartphones when shopping.

As COP28 draws to a close, our 2023 report builds on important findings revealed last year. Well-optimized visual content isn’t just about enhancing user experience, it’s also about reducing the digital carbon footprint. Data shows that those brands optimizing visual content can significantly reduce CO2 emissions, saving brands an average the equivalent of five long-distance flights per month. And we’re only just starting to explore the important role that descriptive, information-rich images and videos play in cutting the business and environmental cost of product returns as well.

The data presented in the State of Visual Media Report reveals how global brands in industries from retail to travel are successfully navigating the ever-shifting global marketplace. Case studies highlight how leading fashion brands like Neiman Marcus and Paul Smith are deploying their image and video assets in high style, and with unparalleled efficiency.

This year’s report makes it clear that images and videos are no longer just part of the storytelling process, they are the story. Efficient asset management of images and video on a global scale, empower brands to quickly adapt in a constantly shifting global economy. 

As Cloudinary continues to test and apply the latest tech innovations in this rapidly evolving space, we’re committed to delivering the tools and data insights that your brand needs to unleash the full potential and value of your all image and video content effectively and sustainably.

I hope you’ll explore the full report available here. Dig in and let us know what you think!

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