Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Long Form Video Content Matters

While short form video content, a few minutes or less, allows viewers to watch tons of different clips, it has its limitations.  For one, it makes it hard to put a 30 second ad before a 2 minute clip.  Viewers will quickly tire of not getting their video served, lose interest, and leave the site.  And while 10 and 15 second pre-roll ads are nice, they don't pay enough.  Cable television networks learned this many years ago when they transitioned from short form clips to full length shows.  The early days of MTV, Movietime (now E!), and Comedy Central are a few examples of networks that experienced that move.

It seems that long form content is where the real dollars are.  It enables subscription revenue, longer pre-roll and mid-roll ads, and keeps viewers on the site longer.  Amazon, Hulu, Netflix, and You Tube are all embracing long form content.  "Not only is AOL moving toward more original programming, which gives it greater control over the content and a bigger slice of the money it generates, but AOL is also taking a successful overseas program and translating it for an unfamiliar US audience. It was Netflix's strategy with its hit "House of Cards," which was based on a UK series."  And AOL hopes to capitalize on this strategy with advertising. 

No short form content will not go away; but the addition of long form programs demonstrates that streaming is following the same product life cycle that cable did before it.  AOL now becomes another major competitor in the OTT space and more competition to the traditional linear cable model.  Cord cutters rejoice, additional online content continues to come your way. 

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