Snapchat, Facebook Watch & Quibi Dominate Short-Form Streaming Boom


Snapchat, Facebook Watch and Quibi are leading the pack in a short-form content boom, per a new report by Ampere Analysis.

Short-form content already makes up 9 percent of all VOD series globally and 11 percent of upcoming VOD commissions. Though the format was initially driven by comedy, upcoming short-form series are shifting towards factual content. Social media platforms are currently leading commissioning, but mainstream broadcasters—including Channel 4 and the BBC in the U.K.—are joining them.

Facebook currently has the most short-form originals, with a focus on news and current affairs. Hong Kong’s Viu comes in second globally for the volume of short-form originals currently on its platform, most of which fall into the reality or entertainment genres. Netflix has leaned into scripted comedies such as the cerebral palsy dramedy Special, the sketch comedy series I Think You Should Leave and the coming-of-age comedy Bonding.

Newcomer Quibi has the highest number of releases in 2020, as it joined Snapchat among the top 10 streaming commissioners between August and September 2019, according to Ampere’s Commissioning tracker. The Indian food delivery service Zomato has a slate of originals that includes cooking shows available exclusively from its app.

A high proportion of short-form video originates from Asia-Pacific territories, with almost one third (31 percent) of all existing short-form originals coming from South Korea, Japan, Hong Kong or China. Forty-four percent of all short-form originals are scripted in the region, with 43 percent of those titles being anime.

Olivia Deane, an analyst at Ampere Analysis, said: “Short-form content is growing strongly, and we expect to see it boom—both in English-speaking markets and Asia where it’s well-established. Attractive to large and small players alike, short-form offers the opportunity to experiment with high production values at a smaller scale. SVOD newcomer Quibi, only producing short-form content, is already the largest commissioner of bite-size television. Quibi, along with other smaller niche platforms, has an exciting opportunity to chase the existing audiences of streaming giants like Netflix and Amazon. This is a market the mainstream broadcasters don’t want to miss out on, and both Channel 4 and the BBC are making forays into the world of short-form shows.”