Short-form videos need short ads; video subscriptions

As you add more short-form videos to your site, watch the length of the ads in proportion to the length of the videos.

At the Online News Association conference last week, many presenters stressed the importance of posting more short videos (30-120 seconds) more often rather than waiting days or weeks to craft a traditional long-form TV story package.   Chet Rhodes, the deputy multimedia editor for breaking news at, said that the Post has problems supplying enough video inventory to its advertisers.

Many studies, including this new report from eMarketer, show that “online video viewership has never been higher.”   However, the study points out that audiences’ acceptance of video advertising is dependent on the “growth of professional content” and targeted, less intrusive ads.

Has the growth in your video traffic – as measured by multiple metrics including the number of viewers and how much of the video was viewed – kept up with your audiences’ hunger for more live and breaking news videos?

If not, one factor may be that the ads are too long.  For example, a 30-second ad before a 30-second video would indeed be annoying.  And a series of annoying experiences will, over time, lead to less audience engagement and less effective advertising.

You’d need to dig deep into your data to explore this, but the results might be worthwhile for both news and advertising.

Separately, the eMarketer study also suggested that “content providers would be wise to consider a hybrid model, much like cable TV, where subscription fees support content with fewer ads.

The time is ripe for a video destination that offers a deep catalog of professionally created content and is supported by a blend of advertising and subscription fees,'” according to David Hallerman, an eMarketer senior analyst and the author of the report.



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