Young people don’t watch TV. At least they don’t in the traditional sense. Research tells us Millennials are more likely to be found with eyes on their laptops engrossed in a show on Netflix, or binge-watching YouTube videos, most likely using their phone as a second screen at the same time. Instagram has cottoned on to this, this week launching IGTV, a new app specifically for long-form, vertical video. This is potentially a gamer changer in terms of eyeballs given your existing followers become users. It also has search functionality to find content.
Instagram’s chief exec Kevin Systrom says he wants the platform not just to be a place for celebrities like Kim Kardashian, (who has already set up her channel with more than one million views) but would be content creator-focused. So those people already producing content on Instagram can extend their films from one minute to an hour, while others who already have established channels on platforms such as YouTube are taking their existing landscape content and uploading it to IGTV, which can be watched in Instagram, or via a standalone app.
How will they pay for it?
Will IGTV truly be a rival to television or YouTube, given the latter has come to dominate the online video market? Only time will tell, but the big question is, how will such a platform generate revenue? Instagram’s video content has thus far been ad-free, save for small handbag icons. But we might see ads appearing on videos and creators individual channels. What is certain is that to be a success IGTV will need people to continue to engage on the platforms and generate fresh content, and most creatives will only do so if they are going to get paid.
For those thinking of dabbling in IGTV, it’s a place for fun and experimentation, and competition is arguably healthy for the whole content creation market. However, that shouldn’t mean you abandon you other creative outlets just yet. As YouTuber Marques Brownlee summed up “don’t put all your [creative] eggs in one basket”.