Are short form video platforms providing new lean back experiences in the home?



As algorithms serving mobile video apps become more advanced and better at offering the right content at the right time, viewers can simply open these apps and watch hours of content without ever needing to do much more than tap on their screens.


Even though videos on these apps may only last 15 seconds, hours can easily slip by. Recent primary research from Pioneer Consulting Asia-Pacific (PCA) showed that just over 20% of respondents were spending more than 3 hours per day watching video content on their mobile devices - most of it short form. This is further supported by data from apps like TikTok that show users are spending an average of 52 minutes a day on the app with heavy users spending several hours per day:


Figure 1: Short form video – downloads and time spent per day, 2020

PCA’s proprietary qualitative research has also shown that during the COVID19 lockdown, users were spending double the amount of time viewing video content on their mobile phones, highlighting that mobile viewing is suitable for the home as well as on the go:


Short form video content is becoming the new “lean back viewing experience” and will increasingly eat into consumers leisure time that would otherwise be spent watching long form content.


What does this mean for long form / OTT content producers and platforms?


In line with trends we are seeing in the Chinese OTT video market, content producers and platforms must capitalize on this trend by producing and releasing short form content alongside their long form / OTT content.


How can this be accomplished?

Some strategies include:

  1. As part of the production plan, include short form content storylines that can be told in short form. This doesn’t have to be relevant to the long form contents’ plot; it could simply be outtakes of the actors or behind-the-scenes videos, for example.

  2. Enlist and contract the long form content’s talent to be proactively involved in the short form content creation.

  3. Create dedicated “channels” for short form video content, whether it is on 3rd party platforms such as YouTube or Instagram or in a ring-fenced section within a content platform.

Pioneer Consulting Asia-Pacific (PCA) is an international management consultancy specializing in telecoms, media, gaming, ePayments, digital banking, emerging digital ecosystems and other digital developments. PCA also undertakes proprietary primary market research, and provides executive training and coaching to its clients.