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Short form video, the new breed of content creators and consumers

Comments and analysis

The growth of the traditional long form video is flat and on the decline. However, short form video is growing at a double digit rate. What began as a “phenomenon of self-expressions” – user generated content (UGC) of grandmothers doing summersaults – is now mainstream, a real business. Epic Rap Battles: Final episode, garnered over 30 million views and the series itself garnered 2 billion views. These numbers challenges the vast majority of top TV shows and every TV network in prime time television. And short form videos are growing shorter as the Millennials attention span grows shorter.

A lot of people make the mistake and say short form is like long form but shorter. Short form is a medium and the way you produce it, consume it, monetize it, market it and share it, is as different from TV as TV is from movie. Many short form creators start small but grow very vast. Some mature and become a global phenomenon with subscribers the size of countries.

However, the CPM (cost per thousand) for online video is still lagging when compared to TV. Media advertisers are still not willing to pay very much for advertising on short form online videos. CPM for short form online videos is still nascent in the cycle but it is way ahead when compared to social media and blogging in terms of monetizing. This is changing rapidly and is catching up with the rates enjoyed by traditional TV. Credit goes to YouTube which created what is effectively, the largest cable company in the world, driven by Google, with a sales force of over 12,000 people monetizing it. YouTube reaches the millennials more than any other cable network. Companies like Maker Studios (and Disney) are taking the quality of short form videos to another level.

In Conclusion, this is another target segment that cannot be ignored. The good thing is that it is still in the early stages of commercialization but maturing. Now is a good time to invest resources in this segment as most of the content developers in this segment are normally amateurs and independent producers. Professionally produced content for this segment is far and few. And there is a willing market, the Millennials, who will soon demand more quality content. Traditional content creators should also explore on how to exploit their existing IPs through this segment.

Salient Points

1. Definition: Short form video is content that is short in length, such as video clips. Short-form content can appeal to internet surfer’s limited attention span.

2. The growth of the traditional long form videos is flat and on the decline. Short form video is growing at a double digit rate.

3. Short form is getting shorter. The average short form video is less than 4 minutes, which is 25% then last year which was 5 minutes. Mobile is even shorter, Netflix says long form content consumed on mobile is shorter than 10 minutes.

4. Many short form creators start small but grow very fast. Some mature and become global phenomenon with subscribers the size of countries. PewDiePie has 30 million subscribers generating 450 million views per month.

5. However the CPM (Cost Per thousand (the M represent 1,000 in roman numerals)) for online video is not on par with TV. On average is still behind TV but the growth is staggering, also in the double digit at this stage and is catching up. CPM for short form video is still nascent in the cycle but is way ahead when compared to social media and blogging in terms of monetizing.

6. Credit goes to YouTube which created what is effectively, the largest cable company in the world, driven by Google, with a sales force of over 12,000 people monetizing it. YouTube reaches the millennials more than any other cable network.

7. CEO of Omnicom Media Group (Advertising Company) the largest media buying company in the world – advising (Visa, Pepsi, McD) to move 10% to 25% of their TV budget to online video advertising.

8. Other ways to monetize apart from ad sales includes sponsorship, band integration and branded entertainment.

9. BRIEF ON INDUSTRY PLAYER: MAKER STUDIO

a. YouTube stars came together to form Maker Studios for the purpose quality content and reaching their audience with new technology.

b. Maker Studios was acquired by Disney for USD 950 million. The rational for the acquisition was to combine the no1 media company in the world with the largest short-form online internet company. This is a powerful match that will have a huge impact on this market.

c. The acquisition of Maker by Disney, according to COMSCORE, in terms of combine reach is just behind Google and Facebook.

d. For Maker Studios, the acquisition by Disney gives them potential access to IP from the likes of Lucas Films (Star Wars), Marvel (Guardians of the Galaxy, The Avengers), ESPN, PIXAR (Frozen, Toy Story) and ABC.

e. Maker garners 9 billion monthly views from 550 million global subscribers. It network comprises of 55,000 creators

f. Now Maker is moving into selling their short videos in blocks for long form format to traditional broadcasters.

Johan Fariz Marzuki Lam