Commentary

Banking The Future On Short-Form Video Ventures

Santa Barbara, Calif. -- Enjoying bite-size video content while waiting on line at a bank, supermarket or doctor’s office is what future TV viewers, especially young millennials desire. But will they still want that when they are older?

Veteran movie/TV and technology executives -- Jeffrey Katzenberg, chairman-founder of NewTV (working title) and Meg Whitman, chief executive officer of NewTV -- say millennials spend many hours a day watching videos this way, that is, while they are not using social media, texting or playing online games.

But that viewing seems to be in small increments, which makes sense when it comes to mobile devices. How much bite? Around 10 minutes.

Apparently, that’s all you need, says NewTV -- a mobile-first, premium video service. Can that be a business?

Katzenberg, speaking at the AT&T Relevance Conference here, says many viewers are already watching regular ad-supported TV this way. For years, TV producers have worked in nine-to-10 minute continuous programming content increments on TV shows -- you know, the stuff between commercials. They actually constitute short "episodes."

Will millennials who don’t have enough time to watch an entire TV episode in one sitting take in short premium TV segments on the go? In the future, one might call this “micro” binging.

This could be a big ask -- even for millennials that watch traditional TV. Perhaps on mobile devices, TV viewers -- including young viewers -- perceive content differently than on a big TV screen.

Big movie/TV studios are betting on the future. Katzenberg has financially backing from virtually all major traditional TV/movie studios, a massive $1 billion. That says something; they have a lot to gain. Movie studios see mobile video content and distribution as continuing to evolve and disrupt traditional media -- including the big business of premium TV and movie content.

There is some science at work here. But also a lot of guess work.

At its creation, Facebook probably didn’t have much science to back up a social network. But it had a hunch. Big media needs more crazy hunches.

1 comment about "Banking The Future On Short-Form Video Ventures".
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  1. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, October 1, 2018 at 2:51 p.m.

    Jeffrey must not have checked what Nielsen has to say about millennials in its national peoplemeter panel. According to Nielsen, the average 18-34 devotes about 15 minutes per day to "watching" videos on a smartphone. This, as opposed to doing something else on the same phones. Sigh!

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