There’s never been more great TV being created and more binge-watching. So what do you do when you’re waiting for a new episode of “Atlanta” and you’ve already burned through the archives of “Game of Thrones”? Stay calm: The world of digital video series doesn’t end with Amazon and Netflix original offerings, nor even with all of “Seinfeld” appearing on Hulu. In recent years, the quality and quantity of indie web series has skyrocketed, and there’s no limit to the brilliant entertainment you can find on YouTube, Vimeo, and Facebook Video.
As evidenced by well-known web series that ultimately were transformed into TV series, such as “Broad City” and “Awkward Black Girl” (the basis for Issa Rae’s HBO comedy “Insecure”), the format has the potential to offer greater opportunities to people of color, women, and other underrepresented groups often held back by traditional TV gatekeepers. Netflix is has new seasons in the works of Jerry Seinfeld’s “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee,” which originally aired on Sony’s ad-supported streaming platform Crackle. Seinfeld's episodes last for only 15 minutes each episode. In a world where we are consuming so much media every second of the day, the future is in engaging shorter form content. Netflix is reportedly purchasing more mini stand-up specials.
In addition to the three original Funny Or Die shorts, which range from 11 to 13 minutes, Amazon’s Prime Video Direct program offers more than 100 short films from film festivals, including the Tribeca Film Festival and the Toronto International Film Festival. Digital publishers such as Tastemade, Machinima and CollegeHumor distribute short-form programming on Amazon, and “The Bay,” an indie digital drama series, has performed very well on the Prime video platform, said Eric Orme, gm of Prime Video Direct at Amazon.
“Our customers have told us that they love short-form content — whether it be premium short-form titles or festival-quality short films,” said Orme, in a statement. “Prime Video Direct offers an opportunity for these creators to provide Prime members around the world new and compelling content in areas that go beyond traditional movies and TV.”
With reels on Instagram, TikTok and now short form content on major streaming services, we are looking at the future… a future filled with shorter content that is quality and quantity. "The traditional 30-minute sitcom is being reworked into 15 minutes. And the beleaguered viewer with a Netflix queue as long as their arm can find a bit of respite. But before the format can truly get its footing, Netflix and other developers have to find the right type of stories to tell. Why not solve a murder in six 15-minute episodes? The clock is ticking." - Esquire
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