Brace Yourself: Vertical Video Is Growing

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By Rachel Hadley

Few things cause more public debate than religion and politics. In my workplace, there are two other passion points that may never reach a consensus: the use of the Oxford comma and shooting video in vertical (or portrait) format. Let’s focus on the latter!

According to Mary Meeker’s 2015 Internet Trends, vertical viewing now accounts for 29% of view time (compared to 5% just five years ago) and continues to grow. This is a huge opportunity for marketers.

A few weeks ago, I attended Internet Week (NY) and heard Rachel Tipograph of MikMak speak on a panel. MikMak is the first mobile video shopping network and has found great success using vertical video. MikMak knows its audience, but more importantly, they know the medium: mobile.  While it’s obvious that you can easily rotate a phone to show a video in horizontal view, it’s even easier (and a better experience overall) for the user to continue to hold the phone and view the screen the same way we are all used to viewing it.  

For many years, people felt like shooting vertical video should never be allowed. One company even created an app with the sole purpose of forcing users to shoot horizontal video

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The reasoning was simple: Movie screens are horizontal; TVs are horizontal; Desktop computers are horizontal. Argument over.

That conventional wisdom is outdated. ENTER: Mobile. Coupled with the increase of video viewing on social platforms, mobile is slowly proving that the time for vertical video is now! 

For the same reasons we dislike vertical video on a horizontal screen, we should dislike horizontal video on our cell phones. If we, as marketers, know what platforms the audience is using, it is our responsibility to make sure we are giving them the best experience. 

You can find all 196 slides in Mary Meeker’s 2015 Internet Trends Report and a great, abbreviated version of the most important insights are here.

How do you feel about vertical video? Let us know in the comments below.