As we dive into the digital era, there is a fear that audience
patience is shrinking and that a distracted audience will
move from screen to screen, consuming 'bite' sized content
like tweets, headlines and YouTube videos. However, in this
era, long form content seems to have revived from two minutes
ads, longer articles and richer fiction content. Hence, there
is a co-existence of both in the industry.
to British Telecom Media & Broadcast global sales and
marketing director Mark Wilson Dunn, the shorter format largely
acts as the entry point (or sampling opportunity) for the
longer format content. He also believes that the creative
process is important, whether it's short format or long. "The
acceptance span of a human is 15 minutes today and hence short
format attracts people. I think longer and shorter formats
can exist symbiotically in the best way, while everyone is
trying to understand consumer behaviour." he said.
to Zee Entertainment Enterprise Ltd (Zeel) chief content and
creative officer Bharat Ranga, content today is either specially
created or is expression based. There can be no versus and
both have to co-exist.
the audience trend is important as content consumption is
moving towards a blend of both the formats. "I think
like most media vehicles, advertisers will put money based
on their gut feelings. The growth will further be defined
by the measurement techniques that are being used and that
would come to the fore in the future. We at Zee always stay
ahead of time but there is a learning here because at times
we need to move with time rather than going too much ahead
also said that most of short films are because of the long
formats of the show. "We use short form to promote
our long format content. To monetise the same through advertising,
I think the industry needs to have a third-party measurement
technique. Once the evaluations are done, the advertisers
will realise and be able to justify the short format's value."
India head Rishi Jaitly agreed that the short form helps
the channels analayse the popularity of the show through
social media. "Twitter is working in tandem with long
form, leading to the co-existence of both long and short
forms. I think shorter formats help advertisers to get more
creative. The amount of noise a show is making on social
media shows the success of that show," Jaitly said.
regional director Ajay Vidyasagar observed that the main
reason for people turning to YouTube for watching television
shows is that on television there is an interruption of
about 13 minutes in the 30-minute duration of the show.
So, the long format on television is actually a short format
on YouTube. "I think that advertising on television
has been pushed a bit too hard," Vidyasagar noted.
also mentioned that the content, whether it's long or short,
should arrest the viewer. "Today consumers are landing
in front of content without intimidation and pass on the
feedback to their community. Though people in India consider
that YouTube offers short format content, globally our average
consumption is much more for the longer formats. An important
reason to this difference is that in India there are access
issues and hence, probably, shorter formats work better."
managing editor-technology Rajiv Makhni, who was the moderator
of a session at Ficci Frames 2013 titled "The Past
Present and Future of Content Consumption: Long form VS
Split Second Viewing", said that if this discussion
was happening a few years ago, there would be no debate
about the long and short format at all. "It was unanimously
believed that we are moving towards shorter formats. But
now, it's more about content engagement than format. If
content is crap, its crap, be it a minute-long video or
a 30-minute film," he added.
an insight from the print industry, Dainik Bhaskar Group
national editor Kalpesh Yagnik said, "It is of prime
importance that we understand the pattern of news consumption
in different markets."
noted that there are two types of consumptions - Racey format
(Short format) and Long Form. Audience consumes news which
is information, incident-oriented in racey manner, in the
morning or while travelling, but the long format where there
are opinion-based columns or articles relating to literature
and their culture, they hold back for evening reading.
racy format should not be governed by minutes but with a
combination of words and time spent words. The only problem
with the short format is that at times in order to make
the news short the truth is lost," Yagnik added.