TLDR (Too Long, Didn’t Read): “Used as a dismissive response to a lengthy online post, or to introduce a summary of a lengthy post” Oxford Dictionary, 2016.
User consumption on mobile screens and social platforms keeps many readers from committing to articles that take more than a minute to read. Now that TLDR has officially been a legitimate term for years, it’s time to start considering legitimate solutions for those readers who want to know as much as possible, in the least possible time.
Publishers like Digiday already incorporate TLDR by incorporating 50-70 word adaptations of their 500-700 word articles. While Digiday’s TLDR offering is valuable to their readers, re-writing shorter versions of articles takes away valuable time from journalists. The rise in online video automation in the newsroom means short video summaries of articles can be done in half the time. The increased efficiency in the publication process also accompanies the higher engagement levels associated with video content.
Here are some more reasons that short-form video summaries should be incorporated into any article that’s longer than 500 words. We’ll also share some examples of our publishers’ video TLDR’s in action, created in the same amount of time it would take to read an article that’s, well, TLDR.
Perfect for those who are short on time
How can publishers capitalize on an audience that clearly wants the information but won’t commit the time? Research shows that the average user watches about 206 videos per month, and 59% of senior executives claim that if both text and video about a specific topic are available, they’re more likely to choose video. The study also found that short videos (up to 2 minutes) get the most engagement, and video content generates 1200% more shares than images and text combined.
As the time spent accessing and sharing visual content increases, it’s likely that there’ll be a decrease in the time-commitment for articles that require at least a minute to read. However, people still want to stay informed to the latest news. Check out this video from Cover Media about medical workers in China infected with the Coronavirus.
- Article Length: 40 words
- Video Length: 53 seconds
Brevity doesn’t mean short on quality
Using short-form videos for TLDRs doesn’t mean a reduction in news quality. It’s simply a trimmed down version that makes news easier to consume, by delivering the ‘punch-line’ of news content in an engaging and digestible format. With roughly 72% audiences watching video instead of reading the text and moving on, short-form news videos are a perfect way to provide snapshots of developing stories.
With millions of shares per day on Facebook alone, it makes sense to have brief video TLDRs to communicate news without skimping on quality. Short-form videos are perfect for condensing longer articles into brief summaries. Check out how In the Know approached an article on a Five Guys employee fired over derogatory remarks to the police.
- Article Length: 392 words
- Video Length: 57 seconds
Cater to younger buyer personas
The one thing that all content consumers have in common is that they want meaningful information. Different audiences find different types of content “meaningful” – if it’s too long to read, they won’t derive any meaning. And if you want to make sure you’re reaching those influential millennials, the shorter your content is, the better. By incorporating video summaries into your content, your site’s content will be user-friendly for all audiences: those that are willing to read long-form articles, and those that are not.
And for those that normally brush the longer content off as TLDR, a quick video may pique their interest enough to continue reading! Politfact had the right idea and used a video summary run-down about whether or not the President signed a bill returning prayer to school.
- Article Length: 581 words
- Video Length: 48 seconds
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