Both phrases ‘on the video’ and ‘in the video’ can be grammatically correct in the English language depending on the intent behind it. We use “in the video” to describe the characters/people that participate. We use “on the video” to describe the medium used.
Ed Sheeran is in the new Rhianna video.
I watched the video on Netflix.
As you can see, “in the video” is much more common as we usually discuss what people do in a video. We use “on” for platforms that appear on screens like Facebook, YouTube, Amazon Prime etc.
On vs. In, what is the difference?
The word in is a preposition that is defined as showing a situation where something is surrounded or enclosed by something else. On, expresses something that is in a higher position or above something else.
For example, you can be ‘in a state’ and ‘on a street’. While the street is not above anything else, you are not completely enclosed on a street. Therefore using on versus in for this example is correct.
On the Video or In the Video?
When speaking about something on or in a video, you will first need to determine what you or the writer is trying to convey. For example, in the sentence ‘He played in a video on Amazon Prime’, features two parts that can be separated to determine whether to use in or on.
The first part of the sentence ‘He played in a video’ refers to presumably an actor who was in a movie. The second part of the sentence, ‘on Amazon Prime’ is referring to the place where the entire movie is located. Another way to break this sentence apart is to consider what you can be on or in.
Amazon Prime is something that only exists in a non-physical space. Therefore, a person cannot be ‘in’ Amazon Prime. Because films are made in a physical world, someone can be in a film, but not on it. To be on a film would mean to be physically on it. Writing blog posts can be difficult so check out my KoalaWriter review here.
Example of Using On Versus In
Another way to think about ‘on the video’ and ‘in the video’ is to consider the content and medium. When you use the phrase ‘in the video’ the content is the video and the ‘on’ contains the medium. For example
- He was on a sci-fi show on TV.
- I saw her in a video on social media.
- I enjoy viewing shows on video, but like this character in this video the best.
In all of these examples, the on is referring to a specific item while the word on is describing the overall place.