IGTV: The Future of Television
Instagram’s new IGTV is ready to give YouTube a run for its money and shake up the digital marketplace.
Reeling from the success of stories and live videos, Instagram launched IGTV – Instagram TV – to celebrate reaching one billion monthly active users. On IGTV, users can post long-form video content on their personal channels, up to an hour long. Unlike stories, the videos do not eventually disappear. The platform operates through channels dedicated to specific creators, as well as curated channels that make content more discoverable. IGTV strives to give creators another avenue to connect with and build their audiences. Users directly interact with original content by following their favorite creators and liking, sharing, and commenting on their videos.
Users can access IGTV from either the actual Instagram app, or from the stand-alone IGTV app.
One thing that separates IGTV from platforms like YouTube and Facebook Watch is that all content posted on the platform is in vertical portrait orientation, making it ideal for mobile viewing. This unique feature caters to the rising success of amateur content on the internet. The use of vertical orientation popularized by Snapchat and Instagram stories enables anyone to create potentially viral content without the big budget or expensive equipment used by professionals.
Users can access IGTV from either the actual Instagram app, or from the stand-alone IGTV app. Similar to the traditional TV model, videos begin automatically playing as soon as the app is opened, making it easier to immediately engage users rather than having them spend time searching for a video as they would on YouTube. In fact, users can only search content by individual creators, and not based on genre or topic.
More people today prefer to watch video on a mobile device than on a proper television. By 2021, mobile video content will likely make up 78% of all mobile traffic.This statistic has all kinds of implications for the world of marketing and advertising.
For now, IGTV is free of ads. Critics of IGTV have pointed out that creators cannot make money by running ads on videos they post on the platform, like they do on YouTube. According to CEO Kevin Systrom, it will remain so until IGTV reaches the desired level of engagement, at which point it will experiment with different methods to help creators monetize, perhaps through a revenue-sharing system. Given many creators’ recent frustration with YouTube’s monetization system, some marketers think that IGTV could eventually eclipse YouTube as the primary hub for video content.
All in all, IGTV holds huge potential for the world of marketing and advertising, and we are excited to see where it goes.