Shorter is always better. That’s some of the oldest advice out there in the world of online video. But there’s a new study from OOYALA that says long-form video (10 minutes or longer) accounts for half of the total time spent watching online video in Q1 of this year. The report is free (you just have to fill out a quick form). You can download it here.
It’s interesting data, and no matter where you sit we can agree that the trend does seem to be pointing toward a growing acceptance of, and interest in, long-form video. (Assuming you think 10 minutes is long). But the above video makes me think that we’re still a long way away from the day when content created explicitly for online audiences (in this case YouTube) is able to push into what we might consider long-form territory. Here’s an interesting assessment from OOYALA for those who are wondering whether online-only content or repurposed TV/film content is driving the time increases.
Ooyala’s data suggests that viewers aren’t changing the kind of content they consume; they are instead choosing to watch traditional TV and movie content on their new connected screens.
So where does that leave a channel like WIGS, which was created by filmmakers, Jon Avnet (Black Swan, Fried Green Tomatoes, Risky Business) and Rodrigo Garcia (Albert Nobbs, In Treatment, Mother and Child)? So far, the channel hasn’t cracked the 10-minute mark. Which is interesting because I’d suspect that if any of the YouTube premium channels did want to go long, it would be WIGS, which is focused on drama, a genre that’s really hard to do in five minute bursts.
One other noteworthy insight. Tablets recorded the strongest growth in terms of time per play, increasing 58 percent this quarter. In some ways, that isn’t surprising given the mania surrounding the iPad and the Kindle Fire. But stepping back for a second and looking at my own household, I’d say that we’re getting to the point where we have more screens than people, and at the same time none of us are making a distinction between the screens we own. What that means is that if I want to watch TV content, I have four places I could watch it: my television, my desktop, laptop, and iPad. Something tells me the days of kids begging for a TV in their room are long gone.