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Posted: 6:00 a.m. Friday, April 26, 2013

Short serial content is king

By Clark Howard


Serialization is making a comeback in an era when more people want little chunks of content to consume on smartphones and tablets.

Amazon is testing serialized books that cost just a couple of bucks each. Each "book" is really like an ongoing chapter in a short series.

Then I think about my kids who consume video in 2 to 4 minute chunks on tablets and phones. That's putting the idea of a traditional long form show under assault.

If you consider Netflix as a network, it is now the No. 1 network in the country. People consume more minutes of video there than on any other channel, website, or network.

Content is getting portable and accessible where you want it, and it's shortening in form. Our attention spans are getting shorter. If you're a content provider, you've got to be about meeting people's needs in this new era.

Interestingly, The Wall Street Journal  reports some musicians are running counter to this overall trend. They've moved from short songs for radio edits to ultra-long songs to establish themselves as compelling musicians people would want to connect with.

There's only one certainty: If you're in any content business, whatever you were doing, you can't just keep doing what you have been doing because it's all in rapid-fire change.

You know who wins in all this? You and I do. Because we decide what content merits our time and we will have a lot more choice out there.