Read It Later: More People Choose to Watch It Later

April 3, 2012

The early days of online video centered around short homemade clips that captivated the world one cat at a time. Today, with more publishers realizing how lucrative the medium is, online video is taking on a new shape: high-quality, long-form content with real production value. We've seen this trend pick up more with YouTube, Netflix, Hulu and a host of others investing in original content.

The effort might be paying off. Read It Later, an app that bookmarks web content for later consumption, found its 4 million users were saving more long-form videos. Of the app's top 1,000 videos, the median length measured 29 minutes and 33 seconds, and 32 percent of them were at least five minutes long. That latter number isn’t earth shattering, but it reinforces that people are saving longer videos. Total video shares were up 138 percent in January 2012 from a year earlier (though it’s unclear if that statistic accounts for the growth in total number of users), according to the company blog. 

As video consumption has exploded on the web, and as content has become more multimedia-rich, we realized early on that our users weren’t just saving articles to read -- they were saving their favorite video clips from YouTube, Vimeo, and beyond. Even the articles weren’t just text anymore -- they’re a mix of writing, images and embedded video.

Read It Later has supported in-app video streaming since 2010. YouTube is the No. 1 most-saved domain across the entire app and makes up 92 percent of video saves. "We’re also seeing new evidence that our app is helping people consume longer video than what’s been traditionally embraced on the web," according to the company's blog. 
It’s been widely accepted that video on the web should “keep it short,” but that might be changing as more TV content shifts to IP delivery.
We couldn’t have said it better ourselves. (Oh wait, we’ve said it over and over again.)

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