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3 Reasons Why Long-form Video Content is the Future for Digital Publishers

Did you know BuzzFeed show “Worth It,” which features the hosts trying similar foods at three different price points to determine which one is best, has run for five seasons, and…has collected 45.3 million video views and 323.4 million minutes of watch time on YouTube in the past three months?

Those are the numbers every digital publisher producing video dream of.

It’s just one amazing statistic in a pile of them when it comes to long-form video content.

Whether it’s Axios on HBO, the rise of Danny Gabai at Vice Studios with “Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened” and 60+ other series in production, or even Architecthural Digest’s huge Youtube growth due to long-form video content…one thing is pretty clear:

There are countless reasons why digital publishers are flocking to long-form video content.

Here are three.

More Advertising Opportunities

Is it bad that we went straight for the money?

We know that’s what is on the mind of every digital publisher today — so why not cut straight to the point?

Long-form video content allows more advertising placements — with twenty minute content seeing four to five in-video placements and opportunities for pre and post-roll ads.

More ad space means more revenue. Periodt (that’s what all the cool kids are saying…right?). 

But, beyond just the ad space availability, long-form video content also opens up the door for strategic brand partnerships. We’ve seen this with Smirnoff and LADBible in the “Free to Be” series or Buzzfeed’s and NBCUniversals pairing with “Mom in Progress” amongst dozens of others.

Have we convinced you to bring up long-form video content at your next strategic meeting?

Retention Rates are High

Everyone knows one of the hardest parts of producing video is its shelf life. While digital now allows us to access content anytime and anywhere, we all know the up, up, up when a video gains popularity and the subsequent crash after just a few days or weeks.

On average, “Worth It” viewers watch more than five episodes per month.

And that’s not the only Buzzfeed long-form video show crushing it.

Their longer show at 30 minutes, “Unsolved,” which focuses on unsolved mysteries, averages each user watching more than five episodes every month as well.

Content Syndication and Distribution Opportunities

Brands like Buzzfeed are focused on Youtube, but other digital publishers are going to OTT and traditional linear TV partners to get their content out to more eyeballs.

One major example is Vice Studio’s “The Report”, which is a feature-length drama due this Fall detailing the torture of detainees post September 11th, which was purchased for $14 million by Amazon.

Condé Nast is one of the biggest players when it comes to syndicating their content in deals with big networks…and you wouldn’t even know it. They’ve kept their video strategy pretty tight lipped until recently where they put their foot down as a true stakeholder calling themselves “The New Primetime.”

Are You Diving Headfirst into a Long-Form Video Content Strategy?

We all know producing, distributing, and managing video content is one of the hardest parts of the new world of digital publishing.

Whether you’re looking to launch long-form Youtube series or are looking to launch on an OTT app like Hulu or Prime Video, you need to understand the intricacies of each distribution channel and have the infrastructure in place to deliver high-quality long-form video content…and that’s something we’re good at.

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