Look Fast: Your Six-Second Show Is Coming
A new video art form?
Twitter acquired a company called Vine some time ago, and now wants six-second videos to do for Vine what photos did for Instagram. The very short videos fit in the same short-attention span theme of Twitter's 140-character tweets.
Can traditional TV learn any lessons from this? Perhaps viewers want 14-minute (not 22-minute) sitcoms) or 34-minute (not 43-minute) dramas?
Six seconds doesn't seem like much time to do stuff -- even personal social media-related stuff. Perhaps it would work for some weird street scene, an enduring human pratfall, an animal hanging from a chandelier, or a brief Twitter-like thought that is better with facial expressions.
Marketers have used short five-second TV commercials, albeit rarely. For all that the new digital world has done, traditional TV commercial messaging still comes in 30-second or 15-second increments.
Original online video series can be 4-6 minutes long and consist of just 10 episodes. But this hasn't had much of an effect on the traditional TV world. Lean-back viewing on today’s bigger TV screens – 47-inch, 55-inch, 75-inch or more -- seems to need bigger stuff in scope and duration.
For some, the larger issue is whether some Vine content can be sponsored. This may be the same as determining if most of YouTube’s uploadable content comprises a valuable media platform.
And if a six-second video is too short, you can always do what you have done with your tweets. Send out another one. And what will you get then? Your own multi-episode, quick-hit personal TV show -- sans editor, sans showrunner -- with little need for TV ratings.