Watch A Linear TV Episode 3 Minutes At A Time: Is This What Is Coming?

Apparently Quibi -- the short-video mobile app airing premium TV shows -- had it right all along -- just the wrong venue, distribution platform, and perhaps timing.

The Wall Street Journal says certain TikTok accountsare posting what amounts to full episodes of TV shows and full-length films --- in bite-sized clips that users can watch in a long, continuous string.

Why? To avoid piracy issues, of course.

Quibi's premise was not this type of operation. It wanted to produce and air original content to be distributed in 10- to 12-minute segments of a single TV episode -- all to accommodate our busy lifestyles, standing on line at a bank or while waiting in a doctor's office.

The time frame here for Quibi was based around 8- to 12-minute segments, which roughly equates to how consumers watch a TV episode on linear TV -- that is, in 10 to 12 minute segments, which are broken up by advertising breaks. 



The difference with TikTok is that video clips on the site can't be longer than three minutes in length. TikTok account owners of video content might post up to 50 clips of a full movie. This has included new theatrical movies like from the  “Scream” franchise or new TV episodes of “Shameless.”

Copyright rules allow ‘fair use” of content, which permits the public to freely use portions of copyrighted works without permission or payment for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, and research.

When it comes to copyright issues, TikTok, says, overall that  “Our terms of service and community guidelines do not allow posting, sharing, or sending any content that violates or infringes upon another party's copyrights, trademarks or other intellectual property (IP) rights.

Consider that some of this behavior overall might make sense with the apparent limitations of media time consumers have to take in all kinds of content -- premium, social, lower-quality, and otherwise.

If there continues to be more premium TV content that consumers can consume, it figures that at the fringes there will be more interruptions when it comes to trying to sample all the supposedly quality TV/streaming entertainment that is out there.

Some might assume a quick three minute viewing of copyright protected content couldn't get them in trouble -- give all content they may look at over the course of a day. Perhaps. 

But don't count out that TikTok -- now under scrutiny of Congress and Federal regulators -- won't try to crack down on illegal processes.

That said, consumers may continue to have short-term attention -- and memory.

1 comment about "Watch A Linear TV Episode 3 Minutes At A Time: Is This What Is Coming?".
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  1. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, September 22, 2023 at 11:01 a.m.

    Maybe they will start to offer feature length movies in three-minute "bites". That way users can "binge watch" productions like "Gone With The Wind" in many little sessions---perhaps skipping over the boring ones and getting right to the choicest bits. Perhaps advertisers will try the same approach for their 30-second messages---as attention spans are so low these days---don't you know. Present the commercials in five-second bits---in serialized fashion--if you can find a TV time seller crazy enough to cooperate and schedule the spots in this manner.

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