Is IGTV the one?
Much has changed on Instagram since its introduction. New features include Instagram Stories (modelled off of its rival Snapchat) IG Live and Galleries. These new features have drawn people to the platform, which now totals 1 billion active users, faster than ever before. Latest to launch on the platform is Instagram TV, which could be set to give YouTube a run for its money.
In 2017 and 2018, we have seen the need for video consumption rise rapidly, with more and more demand for video content on social media. Since its inception, YouTube has enjoyed a good run when it comes to video content, particularly in monetising video content. Within its 12 years of existence YouTube has undergone many changes and fostered a healthy community that has transformed the way in which video content is created and consumed. We have seen competitors such as Vidme and DailyMotion attempt to rival the video platform and fall to their demise. But with the new wave of streaming sites gaining popularity amongst audiences, YouTube’s livelihood is under threat for real for the first time. By differentiating the type of content available, and formalising production and revenue models, Netflix and Amazon Prime have done what their predecessors could not. Unlike these streaming platforms, Instagram TV is taking on YouTube in what it does best – user generated content. But does IGTV have the strength to bury the Google-owned video platform in the coming years?
With a billion active users, Instagram is beneficial in many ways to both content creators and brands. The platform allows content creators and brands to quickly gain more leads and customers if the content is relevant and visually attractive, along with boosting the number of followers and engagement, without the red-tape that YouTube has. While sponsored videos on YouTube allow channels to direct users to their videos and thus boost stats, IGTV takes a different approach. For a view to count on an Instagram video, a viewer only needs to stay on the video for 3 seconds and with the capability to apply hashtags to videos this makes Instagram videos more effective in connecting them to other platforms and gaining exposure.
It is interesting to see with the new offering of IGTV that they’ve opted not to open the platform to advertising yet. YouTube ran into some trouble with their advertising with major brands pulling their ads from the video platform after it was revealed that their ads were shown prior to videos that promoted terrorism, hate speech and other extremist views. YouTube has since implemented a new restricted mode that filters videos with content deemed inappropriate. Their new algorithm also benefits longer videos and channels who publish regularly by rewarding videos with longer watch rates, but it does not necessarily reward high quality content.
From a business point of view these changes make sense but the restrictions have hurt the bloodstream of YouTube content creators, whose revenue has taken a hard dip. As a result, many content creators have turned to Patreon’s subscription-based platform to boost their earning. Without an active advertising model, IGTV doesn’t provide an alternate solution to content creators looking to create revenue.
All things considered, we don’t think the time is right for creators to break-up with YouTube just yet, but we do get the sense that IGTV has the potential to be a very tough contender for them. We’re certainly looking forward to see how IGTV will position itself for success in the long format video space.