Speaking to Digiday, Diana Mogollon, SVP and General Manager of Stage 13, the company’s dedicated short-form studio, explained the rationale behind the move following the launch of its first digital series Snatchers. The show is specifically designed for emerging platforms.
The decision, she said, was about reaching audiences anywhere, anytime. “We saw an opportunity in short-form content, which meant episode lengths anywhere between five to 15 minutes, with the sweet spot being in the 10- to 12-minute episode range.”
The show, which appeared in June on Verizon’s Go90 streaming platform, depicts a high-schooler who discovers she is pregnant with an alien baby. This is in addition to its famous primetime shows, including the comedy series The Big Bang Theory, and futuristic western, Westworld.
Young viewers, known for discovering and consuming content on mobile devices, are key to the survival of traditional studios, as digital platforms including Go90, Comcast’s Watchable, alongside Facebook and Snapchat, occupy more and more of this demographic's attention.
For Facebook in particular, video is central to the network’s mobile strategy. This has implications for both content creators and advertisers, as the company's Chief Operationg Officer Sheryl Sandberg explained on the recent Q2 earnings call.
“Developing short-form snackable content is a big opportunity on mobile,” Sandberg said. “We're working hard to help marketers adopt mobile-first video ad strategies for Facebook and Instagram.”
CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, concurred, adding that “video is going to be the primary driver … over the next few years.” Warner Bros’ Stage 13 has responded to the trend with a roster of both scripted and unscripted shows.
Mogollon noted the opportunities from Facebook, Snapchat, and Instagram to showcase video. “This is a time when everyone wants great content,” she said.
Data sourced from Digiday, SeekingAlpha, Stage13; additional content by WARC staff