With more than 20 years’ experience in the industry, Carter Pilcher, founder and CEO of 24-7 short-form entertainment channel provider ShortsTV, has witnessed first-hand the evolution of short-form content and its trajectory in the entertainment landscape.
On March 4, during the Smart Hollywood Summit keynote address — “Using Audience Viewing Data to Breakthrough with Short-Form in the Peak TV Era” — in Los Angeles, Pilcher will share how the rapid success of streaming platforms and increasing appetite for “on-the-go” mobile viewing have propelled the way content is consumed into new territories, where short-form content is emerging as a choice format for audiences.
Pilcher sat down with the Media & Entertainment Services Alliance (MESA) to talk about what attendees of the Summit can expect from his presentation.
MESA: How and why have viewing habits changed, and how does ShortsTV address those changes?
Pilcher: At ShortsTV, we know our audience and can see that entertainment consumption patterns for short form entertainment are unique. In survey after survey anywhere in the world, audiences tell us that high quality shorts are addictive.
In the U.S., the under-25 demo are mobile-first and are used to watching endless hours of short content on YouTube and Tiktok, on their phones and on social media platforms like Snapchat. In Latin America and Asia, where TV is less prevalent, high quality mobile viewing has brought a surge of interest for top quality short films and short entertainment. In any type of short entertainment, creators have only a short time in which to grab their viewers’ attention, and requiring them to choose each new title becomes a waste of time. That’s why we understand that a constant stream of content that a viewer likes is one of the keys to keeping them engaged. You don’t want to spend 20 minutes looking for a 5-minute short to watch.
MESA: How reflective are these changing viewing habits to changes to the world at large?
Pilcher: Our world has become increasingly fast-paced, and the power we hold in our mobile phones is immeasurable. It’s completely changed the way we consume entertainment. There’s no surprise that our content needs to fit the on-the-go lifestyle, and at ShortsTV, we know how to keep audiences engaged, by giving them what they want when they want, and a lot of it.
MESA: And how do consumers, well, consume short-form content today?
Pilcher: Short-form and mobile-first entertainment are experiencing incredible growth across the globe. At ShortsTV, we’re seeing that growth firsthand. Our beta audiences on the ShortsTV App have spent 4-5 times as much time, on average, on the App as on TV. We’ve found a way to deliver the right content to our dedicated viewers, in the way they want it that deepen their engagement.
The Smart Hollywood Summit is sponsored by Mediamorph, Spherex, EIDR and BeBanjo, and produced by the Media & Entertainment Services Alliance (MESA) and the Smart Content Council, which meets regularly to share best practices, evaluate emerging technologies and collaborate to accelerate the pace of transformation in our industry.