Snackable content is being reversioned into long-form shows to bolster international sales

Distributors and digital studios are repackaging short-form content into long-form formats to secure sales across international markets.

Producers and sellers are increasingly applying a ‘fluid approach’ around content sales to global OTT platforms and broadcasters in order to exploit the nascent commissioning market.

Peter Cowley’s multiplatform indie Spirit Media is taking this approach with Trigger Happy, its 11 x 8-minute hidden-camera show for All 4.

The Dom Joly-fronted programme, which has run for two series on Channel 4’s on-demand platform, has been re-edited into a 6 x 30-minute show that is being offered to international buyers at next month’s MipTV market by Kew Media Group, formerly known as Content Media.

Cowley, former managing director for digital media at Endemol UK, said that while the eight-year-old business has scored plenty of short- and long-form commissions in the UK, “to resell Trigger Happy to a broadcaster, we feel we need to repackage it”.

“There may be a small appetite for digital clips, but I think there is a much better chance for success by selling it as a TV show – and probably more money too,” he said.

He predicted that a market will start to emerge for short-form programming because “broadcasters understand that audience behaviour is changing”.

“Snackable, shorter content is working,” said Cowley, highlighting that unscripted programming is well-positioned to succeed.

“The top entertainment formats on TV, like First Dates and Gogglebox, are all smaller, short-form stories that are pulled together to make up longer programmes. Broadcasters are trying to mimic younger audiences’ behaviour.”

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