IGTV: Opportunities & Implications for Brands

Post by Mara Greenwald, Media Director

IGTV was released on June 20, 2018; it is both a standalone app and a functionality within the Instagram app that curates vertical video content. The app will allow verified creators with high followings to post video content up to one hour in length. IGTV will have channels tied to each user publishing content. Whether in the stand-alone app or the Instagram app, users can see all curated content from accounts they follow along with popular content and recommendations based on user-behavior. Right now, there are no ads within IGTV.


Video on Instagram is already growing

According to Facebook, there is a 60% increase in time spent watching videos year-over-year. Stories is the fastest growing product in Facebook history, increasing from 100 million daily users in October 2016 to 300 million in November 2017. Stories consumption is set to surpass feed consumption by 2019. Facebook Stories’ success could be a precursor to success for IGTV.

Mobile-first video projections soar

According to eMarketer, mobile ad spend is projected to grow 23.5% in 2018, reaching 33.9% of total media ad spend. Meanwhile, TV is projected to decline by 0.5% and account for 31.6% of total media spending. Mobile users are also holding phones vertically 90% of the time; Instagram is capitalizing on this growth and user behavior with the IGTV platform.

Amateur creators are on the rise

Over the past 6 years, hours watched per week of professional video content is down 18%, while amateur video content watched is up 68%. Instagram is already one of the strongest platforms for influencer content consumption and reach. This was clearly evident in the success of Instagram Stories. Influencers that were using Snapchat Stories migrated to Instagram Stories and found success with their established followings. This also helped launch the platform successfully with content sharing and creation, the same strategy IGTV is taking. IGTV is currently set up to compete with YouTube, where content creators can own channels and produce short or long-form video that can live on much longer than the initial date of the post. The powerhouse of Instagram influencers with established followings makes IGTV ripe for success.

Digital video is outpacing TV

According to a March 2018 Deloitte survey, Gen Z is spending 22 hours per week consuming digital video (vs. 16 hours on live TV) and Millennials are spending 19 hours per week with digital video (vs. 15 for live TV). While some of the older generations are still consuming more live TV than digital video, the younger generations, and primary adopters of Instagram, are spending far more time with digital video.

According to comScore, 82.9% of 18-24 year olds and 81.5% of 25-34 year olds are on the platform. Following the trend of time spent, though at a slower pace, 2019 is the year digital ad spending is expected to surpass television. According to eMarketer, digital media spending will hit $92.7 billion in 2019 compared to $78.2 billion for television. This means that there will be huge revenue potential for Facebook if it can get consumers on the IGTV platform.


Right now, the launch of IGTV will primarily impact brands with organic video strategies and brands leveraging influencers for content creation. Ultimately, we do expect IGTV to have significant impact for potential ad placement.

Organic video strategies

Brands are likely already focusing on mobile-first vertical video, but if not, IGTV should force adoption. This gives brands a new medium to tell longer form stories, and brands will have to think about the story they want to tell and the value it provides in order to get consumers to watch.

Influencer strategies

Brands working with influencers will now have another outlet to consider when negotiating content creation. Instagram influencers will have the opportunity to grow viewership and engagement in another channel, providing another avenue for brand partnerships and revenue. Influencers that master the format will also likely be able to grow partnerships with brands looking for other means of creating vertical mobile-first content.

Advertising strategies

While ads are not yet available in IGTV, we can make assumptions about what the product will look like. IGTV ads will likely be in a full-screen, in-stream, non-skippable format. With viewability concerns and feed-based video content not being consumed fully, this has huge potential for a successful ad product, especially as social video continues to be measured more closely with television and online-video. However, this also raises concerns for brand safety. Facebook will have to employ a strong brand safety strategy to ensure brands are willing to advertise. This also opens up individual revenue potential to the content creators.

When it comes to video advertising content, we are still in the horizontal-to-vertical shift. Vertical is often an afterthought or another edit of a horizontal asset. If IGTV is successful, it could completely shift the digital video landscape and have brands creating vertical-first video content.

Overall, IGTV is a significant announcement in the social landscape and has tremendous implications for brands and advertisers, content creators and could transform the way consumers are watching video.

To learn more about IGTV, contact Performics today.

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