For many publishers, advertising revenue is the life force of their platforms. However, the only way to generate significant ad revenue is to drive visits and clicks on your site. How many visits each day do you get on your platform, and how much time do your visitors spend on your site? These are the big questions that publishers need to consider for ad revenue.
As a result, publishers are increasingly turning to short-form video content. Short-form video is one of the most engaging ways to connect with an audience in today’s content-driven world. They’re easy to make, engaging to watch, and effective for delivering any type of message.
Furthermore, short-form video is the preferred medium for millennial consumers, a key target demographic for many publishers. But publishers must compete with the plethora of choices that millennials have regarding content. The way to win their attention? Be the most engaging.
Below are three publishers that we’ve identified have been using short-form video well. They represent a diverse list, and yet all have managed to use short-form video not only to market their product offerings but also to enhance them.
Sports fans are some of the most content-hungry consumers across demographics. It’s not enough for sports fans to watch the games: They love to watch post-game shows, highlights, player interviews, and anything and everything they can watch about their favorite teams and sports.
ESPN realized this over a decade ago. Today, they’ve built an entire market around short-form sports videos, featuring highlights, interviews and sound bites from sports talk shows. These short videos are easy for fans to view because they are topical, and fans can consume this content anywhere, like during the morning commute to work.
Importantly for sports publishers, millennials are watching less live sports than any previous generation. With shorter attention spans and so many competing options, millennials are far less likely to watch TV. This is partly why ESPN ventured into short-form video in the first place. As Robert Kraft, CEO of the New England Patriots, noted, “Millennials don’t watch TV, they don’t have TVs or subscribe to cable. So we have to bring that audience in.”
Because of their commitment to produce content the way millennials and younger audiences will watch it, ESPN is one of the biggest publishers of short video content worldwide. ESPN has developed multiple YouTube channels in different languages, all geared towards short video content. Their main YouTube has over 7 billion total views, with over 7 million people subscribed. ESPN also has a dedicated mobile app for sports fans on the move. In 2020, the mobile app released a new feature in called ESPN Stories, designed to harness short-form video engagement even more.
Famous for encouraging binge-watching, Netflix has also emerged as a short video master in the last couple of years. This is due to the debut of their channel, Netflix is a Joke, in 2019.
Netflix is a Joke is a channel dedicated to using short form video to showcase the range of comedy selections viewers have to choose from on Netflix. The concept is simple: Each video is a short 1-4 minute clip taken from the comedy shows in their library.
However, Netflix didn’t stop there. Netflix further customized their short videos for each video platforms it would be posted on. For example, their YouTube videos are slightly longer than the Twitter and Instagram videos, which don’t run for more than a minute. Their videos on these channels are also captioned, to account for users scrolling through their timelines with sound off before they find something intriguing enough to turn sound on. This tactic is great for increasing clicks on their videos because users can engage with the video even with sound off.
This approach has delivered Netflix tremendous results, particularly on YouTube. While their YouTube channel was created only as recently as May 2019, the Netflix is a Joke channel has almost 2 million subscribed users and over 900 million total views. Their short-form video presence has translated to more viewers watching the shows in the comedy section, driven there directly by the short-form videos they watched on Netflix is a joke.
Dust is a short sci-fi video creation company owned by Gunpowder and Sky. By capturing the viewer’s imagination with brief, captivating short sci-fi films, the company invites viewers to imagine the story’s before and after scenes with short video.
Founded in 2016, Dust has gained a loyal fan base with hardly any advertising beyond creating high-quality sci-fi short films. Dust films never last take more than 15 minutes. While this is longer than the conventional short-form video format, which is 30 seconds long on average, Dust is still capturing a new market with by creating highly engaging films in under 10 minutes.
Today, Dust boasts a content library of over 400 original sci-fi shorts and over 2 million subscribers on YouTube, with almost 300 million views. This success has enabled them to branch out onto other video content platforms like Instagram, Apple TV, Samsung TV+, Roku, AndroidTV, and many others, in addition to their dedicated mobile app.
Short video works well for Dust because their goal is to provoke thought and engage the viewer’s sense of wonder. Dust films are suspenseful, and get viewers to constantly wonder what’s going to happen next.
We’ve identified three unique and engaging publishers that are using short-form videos to reach their audiences. However, this list is not exclusive. Smaller publishers and businesses can publish content with well-made, highly-engaging short videos that are tailored to their unique products, just like the examples above.
To get started, try out Firework. Firework is a platform for creating and uploading high-quality short-form videos for publishers to increase audience engagement and advertising revenue. Register for our free trial here. No credit card is required, and you can begin growing your brand with high-quality short-form videos that tell your story.