Horizontal vs landscape

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

More evidence that Instagram TV is encroaching on YouTube as an online outlet for creators. The Verge is reporting that Instagram will share revenue with creators for the first time through ads in IGTV. The article does not really go into my previous question of how Instagram will be dealing with the use of copyright protected third party content in user uploads, but it seems that for those videos and creators that will be allowed to monetize their uploads they are taking a better-safe-than-sorry approach. They will manually screen all uploads before allowing monetisation:

Osofsky says Instagram is human-reviewing every IGTV video before it’s accepted for monetization during this first phase. Eventually, the hope is to deploy a combination of human and software review. He says Instagram will rely on Facebook’s moderation work in terms of both the “technology and the people that do the reviews.”

It will be interesting to see if Instagram manages to build a less controversial system here that can scale beyond he limits of human review, or if they will be happy to keep this limited to a set, of hand-picked, advertiser-friendly, copyright law-abiding creators.

I also find it fascinating that this move by Instagram is potentially another stepping stone in the rise of portrait-orientation video replacing landscape-orientation video. As the Verge notes the …

…introduction [of monetizable ads] sets Instagram to compete directly with YouTube, especially if creators start prioritizing their vertical video shoots over landscape and brands spend their money on Instagram ads rather than YouTube.

Given that Instagram has already surpassed YouTube in total advertising revenue1, creators have very good incentives to do so.


  1. According to media reports YouTube generated USD 15 billion in advertising revenue in 2019 while Instagram pulled in 20 billion. ↩︎