Jeff Bezos’ video streaming service Amazon Prime Video is reportedly working on introducing short-form video content that is under 15 minutes in length — a recipe that has proven to be very popular on platforms like Youtube and Facebook.
Amazon is planning to put up under 15-minute videos such as music videos, trailers, comedies, and how-to videos on its platform.
“The massive surge in watch time on YouTube and the number of daily and monthly users since the launch of Reliance Jio are unbelievable and it was just a matter of time for Amazon to focus on this,” said a person familiar with the matter.
Short-form content has taken the digital world by storm with popular apps like TikTok (erstwhile Musically), a short-form video app hailing from Beijing’s ByteDance, which had its biggest month ever with the addition of 75 Mn new users in December 2018 — a 275% increase from the 20 Mn it added in December 2017.
If you’re a Facebook or Twitter user, you’re likely to have seen TikTok videos in your news feed. This is something that hasn’t gone unnoticed, with Facebook launching Lasso, an app for short-form videos ranging from comedy and beauty to fitness.
Although the above platforms are driven by user-generated content, they’re looking to cash in on the trend of short videos that service instant gratification in an era of shortening attention span.
Talking about OTT players, the amount of content that is being produced or licenced is huge with Netflix expected to have spent upwards of $8 Bn on content in 2018 on 700 original TV shows. But watching these shows requires serious time commitment and viewers with little time are being less organic in their choices, often relying on reviews and the verdicts of their peers to pick shows.
On the other hand, short-form content may not necessarily face these challenges and has the potential to create a new category within the OTT segment.
What Does This Mean For India?
According to Ernst & Young, the use of smaller screens on personal devices in India will fuel “personal escapism” (watching content individually) as opposed to “group escapism” (watching TV in the living room).
According to a report, 85% viewers in India consume short-form video content on smartphones and Youtube, which is essentially a short video platform, dominates the minds of Indian viewers with over 180 Mn viewers. Mobile devices contribute to 80% of YouTube’s total watch time in India and this number is growing at a staggering 400% year on year.
Clearly, Indians like short video content, same as their global peers, and it will be interesting to see how Amazon manages its screen real estate, which is crowded with movies and shows, to make way for this short video content.