FreewheelOnline video views increased 30 percent year over year and this growth is being driven by digital pure-play networks, which have built significant scale around short-form content, according to a new report from Freewheel. The study also found that TV companies (or ‘digital + linear’ companies,  as Freewheel more describes them) and pure-play video networks are currently taking very different paths to monetization, but recommends that both groups should attempt to learn from and adopt what works from the other.

Freewheel say short-form content – anything under five minutes – is driving the growth of the pure-play networks, and the amount of content online rose 54% year over year, mainly because news, celebrity entertainment, music videos, and other short-form content lends itself more readily to syndicated business models.

Content Syndication Driving Video Growth

No less than 85% of the digital pure-play video views in Q1 came through through syndication, in contrast to linear and digital, which Freewheel say had a syndication rate of 25%.

Percentage of Total Ad Views By Content Duration

However, Freewheel say the current pure-play content and monetization model is set to change as the original short and mid-form content being produced starts to arriveonline. Freewheel say that Netflix’s success with House of Cards has shown how content developed explicitly for digital audiences can secure A-list talent and deliver high production values, predicting that ad- supported examples will soon follow.

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