I suspect somebody out there has already thought of this, but in my quick internet search I could not find any references to this specific idea, so I am takaing journalistic first claim unofficial first rights to this idea.
The best example I think of to exemplify efficiency in video, are the old style cartoons, such as the parody of South Park. If you ever watch south park animation, the production quality is done deliberately cheesy, very few moving parts with fixed backgrounds. In the South Park case, the intention was obviously not to save production costs. The cheap animation is part of the comedy. That was not always the case, the evolution of this sort of stop animation cartoon was from the early days before computer animation took over the work of human artists working frame by frame. The fewer moving parts in a scene, the less work for the animator. They could re-use existing drawings of a figure and just change the orientation of the mouth in perhaps three positions to animate talking.
Modern video compression tries to take advantage of some of the inherit static data from image to image , such that, each new frame is transmitted with less information. At best, this is a hit or miss proposition. There are likely many frivolous moving parts in a back ground that perhaps on the small screen of hand held device are not necessary.
My prediction is we will soon see a collaboration between production of video and Internet transport providers that allows for the average small device video production to have a much smaller footprint in transit.
Some of the basics of this technique would involve.
1) deliberately blurring or sending a background separate from the action. Think of a wide shot of break away lay-up in a basketball game. All you really need to see is the player and the basket in the frame the brain is going to ignore background details such as the crowd, they might as well be static character animations, especially on the scale of the screen of your Iphone not the same experience as your 56 inch HD flat screen.
2) Many of the videos in circulation the internet are news casts of a talking head giving the latest headlines. If you wanted to be extreme, you could make the production such that the head is tiny and animate it like a south park character, this will take a much smaller footprint but technically still be video, and it would be much more like to play through without pausing.
3) The content sender can actually send a different production of the same video for low-bandwidth clients.
Note the reason why the production side of the house must get involved with the compression and delivery side of video is that the compression engines can only make assumptions on what is important and what is not, when removing information (pixels) from a video.
With a smart production engine geared toward the Internet, there is big savings here. Video is busting out all over the Internet and conserving from a production side only makes sense if you want to get your content deployed and viewed everywhere .
The security industry also does something similar taking advantage with fixed cameras on fixed backgrounds.