Is the short-form bubble in danger of bursting?

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Vivendi closed its Studio+ short-form content platform, while Verizon lost its own mobilecentric video bet, Go90, and somewhere north of $300m. What next?

An analysis piece written for IBC365.

When Vivendi launched Studio+ in April 2016, the prospects looked good. With a brief to produce 5 to 10 minute-long content for mobile devices which would be viewed using a dedicated app, a raft of 25 original series, and bullish plans to launch in 20 European and Latin American territories in six languages in the first year alone, it was an operation that was making all the right noises and seemed to be catching the zeitgeist.

That figure, of course, pales into insignificance compared to the money that Verizon lost on its own mobile video bet, Go90, which also announced its closure in the past few weeks. At the conservative end of the scale, it’s rumoured that $300m followed it down the tubes, with wilder speculation that up to $1bn could have been wagered on the platform in its short life.

“In terms of short-form content buyers, almost everyone we saw two years ago is gone from the market,” said Eric Korsh, President of Mashable Studios in a DigiDay piece rather tellingly titled ‘Pivot to nowhere’. “Red Bull, Comcast, Verizon and others are either going back to their roots or reimagining their role in short-form video — which currently amounts to the same thing.”

The problem for all these services — and the list of failed enterprises in the SVOD and/or short form space includes Seeso, Fullscreen, Watchable and is growing all the time — lies in effective monetisation.

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