Blog #3. Is vertical content the future of video? Why I wouldn’t 100% say so.

I recently read a pretty interesting article about video content. After spending over 4 years as a digital marketing consultant, I can confidently say that video IS the future. But don’t take my word for it…. Mark Zuckerberg says that 90% of content will be video by 2018/2019.

To break it down, there’s recently been a distinction of the different types of video content: horizontal content and vertical content. Horizontal content is content that is broad without a focus on a specific segment or niche, while vertical content is much more targeted. Netflix for example is a horizontal content medium, as there is no specific focus to the type of content Netflix hosts. Another example of horizontal content are things like Buzzfeed and “Now This”. These mediums will publish a broad range of topics not laser focused on to a specific segment other than “millennials”. Next we have vertical video content. Examples of more traditional vertical content is ESPN, discovery channel, and Bravo. A more recent example is the company the author of the original article uses, which is a Latino online video platform called Mitu Network.

The final conclusion of the author of the blog post is that not only is vertical content the future, but it will be the next big thing, surpassing horizontal content. This is where I have to disagree.

The reason I think that vertical content is starting to take off is simply because digital marketers are getting smarter about segmentation. In today’s world of marketing, we have so many advancements of segmentation (for example, buyer personas and buyer’s journeys). Now these aren’t new concepts by any means, but digital marketers have more technology and data at their disposable than ever before, allowing them to segment and understand their audience in a way that was previously unattainable. As a result, more targeted or “vertical” platforms will certainly see a large spike. It’s a universal law of marketing that if you want your content to be heard, you need to target a niche audience. Technology is allowing us to do this better than ever which is why I think vertical platforms will in fact continue to be on the rise.

With all that said, I do not think vertical content will ever overshadow horizontal content like the author is suggesting. I think he has some bias simply because he is invested in the vertical content realm. The beauty of horizontal content is that your content will always be fresh. A struggle with niche segmenting is that often times your content can run dry and seem repetitive, eventually boring a portion of your audience. This is a problem that most horizontal platforms will never run in to.