As modern people have became unable to live without mobile phones, mobile contents have diversified to attract people. In the past, watching dramas or entertainment shows on TV was a general trend. However, recently, numerous people spend their time watching web dramas, re-edited entertainment shows or dramas, and so on. This is because busy modern people should make the best use of their free time such as commuting time and mealtimes. As a result of this trend, investment in short-form contents has also increased.
People prefer short-form contents instead of long-term contents nowadays.
/Illustrated by Cho Moon-kyung
The current boom of short-form contents
Short-form contents are videos of short dramas or entertainment shows which can be watched on YouTube, Facebook and other mobile platforms. They are gaining popularity as people can lightly watch them during their free time.
According to a 2019 media report of Mezzomedia, only 32% of 1020 viewers preferred videos over 3 minutes. Also, video analysis platform WISTIA showed that the rate of audience engagement is the highest with two to three minute length videos. The longer a video becomes, the more viewers give up watching it. Moreover, CJ ENM increased investment for short-form contents more than double and announced that they would try hard to show more great contents.
Park Seung-hun, a Freshman of Industrial System Engineering of Dongguk University, said, “I often watch ‘5 minutes stealer’ during my commute time because they are short, and more fun. Short-form contents are more amusing and absorbing to me because they are re-edited contents or highlight parts of TV programs.” As such, many people enjoy short-form contents.
There are lots of short-form contents around us
The most typical example of short-term contents is Web drama. Kim Seo-yeon, a freshman of Chemical Engineering of Hanyang University Erica, said, “I watch a lot of web dramas such as ‘Secret Crushes,’ ‘Always a Boy Friend, Never a Boyfriend’ and ‘We Are Peaceful Brothers.’ I think the strength of a Web drama is that it is not burdensome because of its short length. Also, it is fresh since many unfamiliar actors appear. Their stories are so realistic and sympathetic, too. I usually watch web dramas when I move from place to place and before I go to bed.”
Short news such as “video mug,” “mbicnews,” and “subusnews” are also short-form contents. The channel operator selects a part of broadcasted news and delivers it to people using a storytelling format. Viewers evaluate the short news as positive because it is accessible and easy to understand.
Re-edited contents such as “5 Minutes Stealer,” “tvN D ENT” and “Man VS Wild” are also very popular nowadays. These channels re-edit and upload highlight parts of past dramas and entertainment shows. The quality of videos is guaranteed since they are re-edited versions of already broadcasted programs. Also, editors add funny subtitles and special effects which make the videos more appealing to viewers.
Reasons for the popularity of short-form contents
First, the platforms have changed. Park Seung-Hun suggested that “I think the vogue for short-form contents started because people regard their phones as part of their body and always carry them. In former times since media one-sidedly offered contents at certain times, we had to adjust our schedules to them.” He also added, “However, nowadays, the media adjusts to our busy schedules and is trying to offer more convenient and accessible contents to capture our attention. As a result, the length of videos has become shorter to be suitable for busy people who should make the best use of their free time.”
Second, short-form contents are also preferable for producers. In the case of a web drama, it costs less to make than TV drama. Also, it can deal with more various topics because it is free from broadcasting regulations. Furthermore, web dramas receive at least millions to a few hundred millions views which means that viewers watch dramas several times and share with other people. Based on these advantages, many short-form contents could be produced. Thanks to viewers who felt that they are proper to enjoy during short interludes, short-form contents have become very popular.
The appearance of a new form of media contents
Various enterprises are putting forward new marketing strategies adjusting to the popularity of short-form contents. Kakao M announced that they are discussing future plans of self-production contents. Until now, video production followed the format of TV programs. However, from now on, they will make videos for short-form video contents only.
Also, advertisements are now trying to be seen as short-form contents. These are called branded contents. Advertisers put a story so that viewers do not suspect that it is an advertisement. Although viewers become aware of watching an advertisement, they are more inclined to wonder how the plot of the advertisement will proceed. According to video marketing platform, Turbular Insights, the average length of the top 10 most shared YouTube advertisements was 4 minutes 11 seconds. Sieg Fahrenheit, which sells men’s suit is an example. It made an advertisement which seems to be dealing with the mistakes of a new employee, which aroused sympathy from many viewers. However, he always adjusts his suit before he does awkward actions, so that people could focus on the brand’s products while doing so.
Some people might not enjoy short-form contents. Kim Yu-Jeong, the Freshman of Information and Telecommunications of Suwon University, said “Unlike TV drama, web drama is too short to represent a character’s complex emotions. Also, sometimes the story does not flow well.” However, the market for short-form contents is positive because they are well suited to modern people living busy lives. Therefore, they get a lot of popularity from viewers and producers.
Lee Su-yeon firstname.lastname@example.org
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