Approximately 300 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute and users watch almost 5 billion videos every day - consumer behaviour towards long-form content is changing and brands must adapt accordingly.

  • According to Ofcom, almost half of UK households have subscribed to video-on-demand subscription services.
  • Adopting long-form video into a brand strategy will help generate consumer loyalty from key audiences by creating real connections.
  • In the past, short-form was thought to be the best medium to engage millennials based on the assumption that they are incapable of concentrating for more than a 15-30 second advertisement.

“70% of consumers would rather pay for premium content than experience a free, ad-supported service.” CLICKON Social Labs.

Studies have shown that millennials are capable of concentrating for longer than the typical short-form advertisement, and as a result, marketers must alter their content to provide this key demographic with what they will engage with the most.

The McCarthy group found that 84% of millennials do not like the traditional, shorter form of marketing, with their main reason being a lack of trust towards these advertisements. Furthermore, in a survey conducted by Adweek, 57% of millennials were willing to view content from a brand on the basis that it showcased authentic personalities, is entertaining and provides value. 

The assumption that advertising needs to be in line with the apparent shorter concentration span from millennials is lacking sufficient evidence due to the recent surge in video-on-demand subscription services, for example, Netflix and Hulu, demonstrating that, given the right content, millennials are perfectly capable of concentrating for a longer period of time.

This change in behaviour is most obvious amongst those aged between 16-24 years old, whose viewing of traditional TV has almost halved in recent years. Overall, the study states there was a total of 19.1 million video-on-demand subscriptions in the UK alone in 2019, which had risen from 15.4 million in 2018. In light of this, it is evident that consumers want long-form, they want ad-free, and they want high-quality content. 

Why have VOD subscriptions taken off?

The expectation for the future is that consumers will have access to high-quality video content wherever they go, and thanks to mobile phones, this expectation is already fast becoming a reality. When taking into account the rush hour commute, there is always at least one person on the underground watching a video on their phone. It has now become ‘the norm’ to access media wherever people are. Longer videos are no longer an issue to view on a mobile phone, thanks to, public WiFi, improved video delivery, unlimited data plans, and download.

There are many reasons why consumers are so inclined to subscribe for VOD. The main reason users pay for Netflix is for convenience, so they can continue watching Peaky Blinders on their commute to work, or catch up on Netflix original ‘The Great Hack’ while waiting for a doctors appointment. Convenience as the main motivation to purchase VOD has risen from 39% to 43% in the last year.

Premium content subscription platforms, like Netflix and Hulu, have triggered a change in behaviour amongst consumers. They now desire high-quality content that inspires connections and the rapid increase in VOD subscriptions makes evident that long-form video is the future.

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