3 Facts to Consider When Making Vertical Videos

In a recent MediaRadar study (linked below), I found that many have shifted their focus to vertical video. They’re realizing that this format is more user-friendly and better accommodates the way people watch videos on smartphones and tablets. You might be a romantic and decide that horizontal video is the classic format, and it should be kept. I would fully support this except early reports suggest vertical videos provide 3x the return of their horizontal counterparts. Numbers simply don’t lie.

While you are considering making a vertical video, the following 3 facts are important:

1. Vertical Video Is More Prominent

In Q1 of 2017, 112 mainstream and mobile websites ran vertical video advertisements. While still low compared to the entire media landscape, it’s a new industry high. This is the result of barriers to entry. Those running vertical video tend to be more sophisticated, with enough financial resources to fund innovation. They include divisions at Hearst, Conde Nast, and Time Inc., as well as Vox Media, AOL, Business Insider, and NBC Universal, according to MediaRadar data.

2. Most Vertical Video Ads are 15 secs

Per the study, roughly 70 percent of vertical videos run for 15 seconds. As with many new formats, there’s a lot of testing in video duration. For example, MFS Investment Management is running a 90-second ad, while others are staying short at 5 seconds. The majority, however, are running 15-second spots. This is interesting since Snapchat, a vertical video leader, has a current max of 10 seconds.

3. Vertical is Led by Entertainment

Movies and TV programming represent nearly 40 percent of all vertical videos online. In second and third place are apparel (9 percent) and retail (7 percent). Marketing for TV programming and film has adopted vertical video the most aggressively, with dozens of examples. This lopsided adoption indicates that there is massive potential for this format.


Less than 30 percent of people turn their phones to view horizontal videos. And when they do, they only watch 14 percent of the video.

That’s it! The study shows that vertical videos are steadily becoming more popular among publishers as consumption and mobile usage increases. It will be fascinating to see how publishers’ use of vertical video evolves in the second half of the year and beyond. Jesse Driftwood is a video creator, and he is mastering the way to vlog using Instagram stories, which is a purely vertical format. Take a second to check him out. You might be inspired!