How Long Is An Episode? For Mobile Shows, It Can Be 5 Minutes

People watching full TV episodes on mobile devices? Those people must be in some crazy long lines at the grocery store.

Freewheel, the big Comcast-owned ad server, says about 43% of "format compositions by device, ad views"  come via full episodes is on the mobile web (50% on mobile app).

That’s astounding. Perhaps much of this comes on tablets. Freewheel didn’t elaborate.

There is some common misconstrued knowledge about TV when we use the phrase “full episode.” You may think in terms of sitcoms, dramas and one- or two-hour unscripted (reality) shows. But read more closely. Freewheel categorizes “full episodes” as those of five minutes or more in length.

So there are limits to mobile video.

The majority of ad video views on mobile apps —  54% —  are with video clips, zero to five minutes in duration. What about live-content format composition ad views? That’s at the other end of things -- with a bold 3% number.



Quibi wants to embrace a new definition of “episodes” — and it already has $100 million in initial advertising to back this up. It comes from longtime TV network advertiser Procter & Gamble and a relatively new TV advertiser, Google. Other marketers include PepsiCo, Walmart, Progressive and Anheuser-Busch InBev.

Misconstrued media watchers might suggest young people see a lot of digital video episodes that are five to 10 minutes long. But longtime TV and media research also says young millennials, Gen-Xers and other young adults still watch a huge amount of standard-looking 30-minute, hour-long, or two-hour-long pieces of content on the big screen.

As for the future research on “episodes” and mobile: What are the video percentages for five-minute-long, 10-minute-long, 30-minute, hour-long, and two-hour-long TV episodes?

Look for other disruptive TV-centric definitions to come.

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