With the continued multiple waves of the pandemic, video consumption has soared to new heights in the last two years. With everyone locked in their homes, brands have moved to leverage online platforms like never before. As people sit inside sipping tea, video content consumption has become the main source of entertainment for most of us. Post Tiktok ban in India in June 2020, home grown short video apps such as Moj, MX TakaTak, Roposo and Josh filled the void and have come a long way in the past one and a half years. However, Instagram Reels continues to enjoy the larger pie while YouTube has also put the foot forward in the short video war chest. The short video industry in India is set to hit 500 million users from the current 250 million by 2025.
With the growth of the short video apps and the increasing interest of the users in the short format video consumption, the video over-the-top (OTT) platforms have started feeling the heat and lower engagement. Amazon has recently launched the Amazon Mini TV to cash in on the early wave of short videos and to drive user engagement. E-commerce platform Flipkart has also partnered with ShareChat owned short video platform Moj to introduce commerce through videos. Snapchat has also been producing shorter length original series since a while and late last year, OTT giant Netflix began experimenting with a new TikTok-like feed of funny videos inside its mobile app.
Short videos provide a distinctive, fragmented content consumption unlike long form which demands additional planning time before consumers indulge in content consumption. The consumption of the short videos is well-suited to kill the fragmented leisure time readily available with most of us during daily life. Easier AI and camera tools have made it super convenient for anyone to continuously innovate and create diversified content with minimal efforts. Additionally, partnering on short form videos and driving brand awareness is super easy and provides an easier monetization for the content creators. “We have already seen the paradigm shift from movies to web series consumption. The web series format is a conventionally long form horizontal content which is not suitable for the immersive mobile experience. A smartphone is meant to be held upright for most purposes. Apart from fragmented consumption with almost no planning time to watch content and creativity melted with trending music, the vertical video viewing experience makes short videos more engaging and mesmerizing for bezel-less mobile devices. The future of web series is the vertical format bit sized episodes suitable for mobile consumption and this will reinvent the OTT play” says the Fandawm co-founder Pushpendra Singh.
Fandawm is an Indian short-video content production startup which is actively prioritising the creator economy tenets across short videos, brand reach and music originals. Fandawm was founded in 2021 by Pushpendra Singh, an ex-VP and Head of Growth & Strategy of MX TakaTak and MX Player, and Snehil Narula who led the creator content at MX TakaTak. Previously, Pushpendra also led products at Amazon and Gaana. Fandawm has also launched a music label, Fandawm Music Originals, to produce short video focused original music singles with content creators. First two songs from Fandawm, Kamaal Kare Tu and Besharam Jana Bewafa featured creators Rizwan Khan, Faizal Siddiqui, Rubyynna, and Mahira Khan. Both the songs generated millions of views across YouTube and Instagram Reels.
Music is an inseparable component of the popularity of short videos and often defines new trends within the short video apps. Because of this exceptional ability of creating new viral trends at breakneck speed, music labels and brands like to exploit this opportunity. Today, the benchmark of the music hits has swiftly shifted to the popularity and creations of short videos, and the artists are jostling to create ripples on Instagram Reels. “Though independent music singles have been growing since a while, the most commercially viable music in India still stems from movies. Unfortunately, It is a curtain call for movies since the pandemic. With the paucity in the movie production, short videos and OTT would emerge as the main drivers for music streaming growth. It may bring the short video consumption led alterations in the music streaming and production.” added Pushpendra Singh.
What gives an edge to short videos over conventional OTT and video content is the availability of talented content creators who are relatable and experts in reaching the most niche groups targeted by many of the businesses nowadays. Creators spend a lot of time analyzing the behavioral aspects of their audience and truly represent their target followers that many large businesses are struggling to reach. Globally, there are more than 50 million content creators impacting the buying behavior of the society and the creator economy has seen a record USD 1.3 billion in funding in 2021. Creator economy is the latest iteration of influencer led content commerce. The consumer decisions have been impacted by blogs, memes and podcasts over the past ten years. The pandemic catalysed the creators to become the prominent driver of influencing sales and forcing businesses to redefine their marketing strategy. The booming creator economy will help to establish the prominence of the short videos in the cluttered video entertainment market.
If history is any guide, technology changes the course of mainstreams. With this new-age phenomena of short videos, this could be one of the most exciting fresh waves and transformation era for OTT and music streaming.