Instagram’s IGTV sees growing popularity of episodic videos
Subscribe to the Digiday Video Briefing: A weekly email with news, quotes and stats around the modernization of video, TV and entertainment.
Instagram’s IGTV has some work to do to become the television-esque video platform that its name implies. But two months after the Facebook-owned app introduced the long-form vertical video section, more TV-like content is appearing on the platform.
Episodic videos are emerging as a popular kind of content on IGTV, Instagram executives and creators said at a press event that Instagram hosted in Los Angeles Sept. 13.
Justin Antony, Instagram’s head of emerging talent partnerships, pointed to Lilly Singh as an example of a creator who has been posting episodic content to IGTV. A YouTube comedian with 7.9 million Instagram followers, Singh has been running a comedy news show show called “Spice News” on her IGTV channel since the day after IGTV launched on June 20. The 10 episodes to date have averaged more than 434,000 views per episode.
Antony also cited comedian Anwar Jibawi’s IGTV channel, which features a one-star product-review series called “One Star With Anwar.” The seven episodes uploaded so far have averaged 142,000 views per episode.
Jayden Bartels, an actress, singer and dancer, has also been posting serialized videos to IGTV. Bartels’ videos, where she answers questions from her followers, have averaged more than 74,000 views per episode across the first 11 episodes.
The emergence of episodic content on IGTV is important if the platform hopes to establish itself as a destination for long-form video on par with YouTube and Facebook Watch. Episodic series give existing viewers a reason to return and can also help to attract and retain new viewers. Unlike one-off videos that may not be representative of a channel’s content, a single episode of a series can encapsulate for viewers what to expect from a channel, said IGTV product manager Ashley Yuki.
Instagram has yet to add features that would capitalize on the emergence of episodic content on IGTV. For example, IGTV does not feature playlists that creators and media companies could use to compile all the episodes of a series, as some publishers have done with the episodic videos they post to Instagram Stories. Playlists would be useful for series that carry a narrative from one episode to the next, and they would also make older videos more discoverable. Instagram does not have any active plans to add playlists to IGTV, “but it’s an obvious idea that comes to mind,” Yuki said.
Another obvious idea would be for Instagram to invest in original episodic content for IGTV as its parent company has done with Facebook Watch, though Yuki said that’s not in the cards at the moment.
Member Exclusive5 questions about Microsoft’s plans for TikTok
The maker of Microsoft Office is not an obvious candidate to acquire TikTok, but that doesn't mean the deal would be a disaster.
‘There is a battle going on’: TikTok-Instagram rivalry for creators heating up
TikTok and Instagram are in the throes of an all out battle for creators' content and both are spending aggressively to come out on top.
‘Fragmentation is a pain in the ass’: Proliferation of free, ad-supported streaming services causing headaches for media companies
On traditional TV, media companies create a single 24/7 feed to run across various distributors. But streaming's free TV-like services are not so simple.
SponsoredPublishers: Assessing risk and ensuring payments in times of crisis
As the industry navigates the continued impacts of COVID-19, here’s the questions publishers should ask their programmatic partners or ad management providers to protect themselves from clawbacks and lost revenue.
Member ExclusiveTV networks begin to signal willingness to prioritize streaming over linear
For TV networks to succeed in streaming, they will need to make moves that jeopardize their legacy linear businesses.
‘Anything that will jump-start the market’: TV networks, agencies discuss upfront ‘share’ deals to address advertiser commitment issues
Talks center on agencies committing to spend a percentage of clients' aggregate upfront budgets with a TV network group instead of waiting for individual budgets to be ready.