Consumption of short video or short video format (SVF) is on the rise in India and is becoming one of the fastest growing storytelling formats. About 60+ percent of Internet users now view SVF stories.
According to Mehak Kasbekar, editor-in-chief of Brut India, data from Tubular Labs shows that in the 90 days to March 14, 77 percent of YouTube content watched was less than two minutes long, and 63 percent less than 60. seconds. In fact, less than 60 seconds of content has been viewed a staggering 535 billion times on YouTube.
YouTube, traditionally a long-form content platform, is now relying on short-form content for its growth, Kasbekar said at WAN-IFRA’s Digital Media India conference in New Delhi in March. “Podcasts are doing really well,” he said. “Also, recently Spotify introduced a feature [Clips] for artists to create short videos.’
So why are these social media platforms trying to compete in this space? According to Kasbekar, it’s all about Gen Z. “There’s a lot of evolution happening on platforms very quickly as Gen Z and their tastes evolve,” he said.
And why are we seeing a rise in SVF in particular?
“It’s because attention spans are getting shorter,” Kasbekar said. “Right now it’s about 2.7 seconds, and for Gen Z it’s even shorter,” he said.
According to Kasbekar, 59% of short videos are watched 41-80% of their length. This makes short form videos an effective way to tell a story.
“When you have them [audience] Mind you, they will most likely stick with you through a short video. That means you can give them the whole message and not just the gist of it,” Kasbekar said. “But it’s not great news for parents, as the average time spent on screens and social media continues to increase. We have to find a way around it.”
Delivering the content Gen-Z wants
The average time spent on social media in India is around 2.6 hours. This number can be in the double digits for a teenager. And the country-wise divide may be even greater.
As of 2021, millennials and Gen Z accounted for 52 percent of India’s population. The global average is about 47 percent. This explains why everyone wants to take advantage of Gen-Z.
“At Brut, 89 percent of our viewers are under 34. about 43 percent of them are between 13 and 24 years old. and 46 percent are between 24 and 34.
Gen Z lives in a digital-first world, and we need to know how they shop, what they share, what they enjoy, how they communicate, and more.
For them, social media platforms are the new search engines, and they take advice from them.
According to the World Economic Forum, some of the “passion points” for Gen Z and millennials that they care deeply about include:
- Inspiring people
- Entertainment and pop culture
- Environment and sustainability
- Empowering women
Kasbekar said Gen Z has been brought up in an uncertain environment that is also changing at a fast pace, and their mindsets have adapted to it.
“At Brut India, we know how to talk to them, let them think for themselves. They are highly opinionated. That’s why they also want to be informed,” Kasbekar said, adding that they don’t read newspapers, watch TV channels, don’t understand what language is being spoken, but are looking for real information.
Data from Redseer Strategy Consultants shows that Indian short-form video app revenue is expected to reach around $8-12 billion by 2030. And the revenue is distributed across three segments such as advertising, video merchandising and live giveaways.
Why is SVF popular?
“Humor is a huge part of SVF. It creates creativity,” Kasbekar said. “It can also help people consume serious news without realizing it’s serious news. The idea is to talk to them [Gen-Z] in their own language.”
Another area where SVF excels is in overcoming decision fatigue.
He added that SVF is able to communicate what is happening around you in a short amount of time. And tying that to authenticity means it’s much more appealing to audiences.
As Indian viewers engage with short content, continuous innovation has helped publishers deliver unique content to viewers based on their preferences and priorities.
Tips for getting the most out of SVF
Although SVF consumption is leaps and bounds, it must be done correctly to reap the benefits.
As Kasbekar explained. “Our strength is in choosing a story. And what you don’t choose to highlight says a lot about the kind of publisher you are.
“It doesn’t work if you’re putting together anything and everything that’s trending to get views. Writing a video script is underrated but really important. It looks like a 60-second video, but the amount of work that goes into getting it right is important,” he said.
Kasbekar cited these key elements for making good short videos:
- Creating relevant content
- Preparation of video script
- Understanding algorithms
- Paying attention to popular trends and
- Staying consistent
Another key aspect is being authentic to the community. That means publishers need to deliver things that matter to that community.
Evolving with the changing climate is also important to deliver relevant content.
Kasbekar added that an emphasis on quality over quantity of content also plays a big role.
“Our competitors upload about 100 to 200 videos a day,” he said. “We started four days every day. And we are still number one. We aim to have zero errors in our content.”
Branded content is a critical component
In terms of its business model, Brut India is primarily based on branded content, Kasbekar said.
“I’m proud of the branded content work we’ve done. It tells good stories,” he said, adding that the publisher selects only brands that are cruelty-free, environmentally friendly and ethical, all qualities that Gen Z demands today.
When asked by a panelist whether SVF would kill the essence of news because it “is not detailed and may miss key facts”, Kasbekar said that SVFs are not just about capturing viewers’ attention and the length of the video is a matter of choice. : from topics.
“At the core of it, you have to keep in mind the story you’re choosing to tell and figure out what format works best,” he said. “You can’t make a documentary in 59 seconds. It needs time and research, which it should receive.”
However, for very important but time-sensitive topics, it can help to make a short-form video and follow up with a long-form one.
“I will say that it’s important to put a lot of thought into how you tell the story. Strong storytelling is also paramount to audience retention,” he said.
And Kasbekar sees opportunities for long-form video to grow both revenue and subscriber base.
“When we think about things creatively, there will be an evolution,” he said, noting how radio has returned in the form of podcasts that can also be applied to long-form videos.