A Mini Trend For Short Shorts

NBCNews.com on Thursday suddenly debuted “Meet the Press Express,” a less-than-seven-minutes long Webisode intended to be a hyper-abbreviated version of the famous “Meet the Press” program. This one was a roundtable discussion among three particularly young Washington reporters, chatting amiably with David Gregory.

The digital world doesn’t care too much that NBC’s “Meet the Press” is television’s longest-running program, dating all the way back to 1947, when approximately six people had TVs. Probably no one will point out that NBC is aiming its Express version of a very old warhorse to a younger audience.

Indeed it’s just as likely that the new “MTPE” exists so that NBC can point to some forward momentum for the show, which is now meandering on Sunday morning in the Nielsens. But for a brand like NBC News to be pumping up  a mini-“Meet the Press” in its digital space is a mix-and-match marvel.

There is a daily millennial survey, and more to come in this space. Today’s bulletin is new research from Parks Associates that says that 37% of consumers 18 to 24 say online video is their most important video source, and that millennials, more than old viewers, are likely to use OTT video services. Data like that must inform NBC News, as it does Al Jazeera, which nightly does a newscast that heavily features Twitter interactions with its viewers. Quickly done.

It’s a stretch to say Twitter is totally populated by millennials, but what does seem apparent is that markets are selling the advantages of digital. The digital user, by the fact that they are using digital, is exhibiting an adventurous streak that should be attractive to marketers of new products. Advertisers and networks are beginning to get that synergy, and the absolute necessity to make most of the stuff short.

You really could see an even more enormous appetite for mini versions of things we once understood to be longer. Like full-length basketball games. For example, The New York Times today is reporting that last night, the NBA posted highlights from the Knicks-Pacers game while it was still in progress—often forbidden by rights-givers—to Twitter subscribers using an iPhone or Android phone, playable with a single click, which made it especially easy for those mobile users. The Times said Twitter is going to spread that out with 60 other companies.

ClickZ recently noted that Cartoon Network, for one, announced new digital programming that will be available anytime—in short bite-sized, mobile-phone friendly lengths—on multiple platforms.I t will debut a network of Instagram-video-length videos. As ClickZ’s Tessa Wegert observed: The structure of this new network reflects the changing media landscape: consumers' devotion to — and dependence on — Internet media and mobile devices, and advertisers' resultant interest in embracing them. Over the past year, the digital marketing industry has seen several major video developments that stand to alter the way we think about reaching viewers.”

pj@mediapost.com

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