In the ever-evolving digital landscape, short-form content has emerged as a dominant force, captivating audiences with its brevity and impact. With attention spans dwindling and the content deluge showing no signs of slowing, efficiency in content production has become critically important. Herein lies the power of Artificial Intelligence (AI). By combining AI with short-form creation, we are on the cusp of a content revolution, making production faster, smarter, and more tailored than ever before.
At its core, short form content is succinct, often lasting anywhere from a few seconds to a couple of minutes. Think TikTok videos, Instagram Stories, or bite-sized videos that convey messages swiftly and effectively.
Attention Economy: In a world bombarded with information, shorter content aligns with the decreasing attention spans, making it more consumable. Shorter content ensures the viewer watch the short clips till the end. Effectively these become the summary of the brands message with a very low cognitive load for the audience.
Mobile-First Consumption: The rise of smartphones has made it easier for users to consume and share content on-the-go. Short form is ideal for this kind of consumption. Watching a couple of min long videos on the phone, while taking a break, is much more feasible than watching a 20-30 podcast etc.
Platform Algorithms: Social media platforms often prioritize short, engaging content, boosting its reach and visibility. Brands using the social media platforms as a marketing channel get significant traffic and engagement by posting good quality short form content.
Effective Top of the Funnel (TOFU) Content: Often short from video made from a longer peice of interview, podcast, or infotainment video are distributed in bites on various social media channels. These short videos, effectively give a preview of the content in the long form content, and drive traffic to the long form channels. The short videos sow the seeds of trust with the users, which are then nurtured by the original longer form content.
While it is shorter, it does not mean it is easier to produce. Crafting compelling short form content requires precision, creativity, and the ability to convey a message succinctly. Time, effort, and resources are essential, especially for efficient content production. Successful short form creators often share glimpses into their workflows, and the effort in the production, from script/story to filming to then editing is definitely non-trivial. While really good short form content, like any creative work, takes a lot of planning and resources, brands also benefit from sharing short video of the people talking about some new cool feature or just giving a general update about the company. Seeing the humans behind the brand helps build trust. While slightly easier to make, such videos also require some amount of (perhaps implicit) scripting, and then editing to make the narrative crisp. It is nonetheless challening to keep producing short form content at scale, to feed the social media platforms at regular intervals – sometimes even multiple times a day!
Artificial Intelligence, in content creation, refers to the use of algorithms and machine learning models to assist or automate parts of the content production process. This can range from video editing to content recommendations. As an example, we have been using, and are very used to, AI methods for face detection in cameras and phones while taking pictures. AI is also postprocessing the captured pictures in the phones to enhance them – we all have noticed a slight blink where the picture we just took suddenly became brighter and sharper before being saved on the phone. Similarly we are getting very used to the automatic relightling in the various video conferencing applications, where even if we are sitting in a dark area the software improves the quality of our webcam video.
All the above, and many more AI technolgoies are making their way into content creation and production space as well, and we at CloudStudio are excitedly pioneering that!
Efficiency: Automating repetitive tasks can significantly speed up content production. The raw footage can be quickly turned into a seamless video, by using AI to (i) estimate and perform the initial and ending trims, e.g. when you are setting up the camera, (ii) estimate and remove pauses in the middle of the video, (iii) get suggestions on text headings to use in between shot changes, or when getting into a different segment of the story, and many other things. Many of such tasks are done with more than 90% accuracy by AI, and having AI do a first pass and then refining saves real man-hours, which can be spent on the creative aspects of the process.
Platform adaptation: AI can quickly transform the video project timeline to fit into different aspect ratios required for different platforms. A podcast for YouTube or Vimeo in 16:9 landscape aspect ratio can be quickly changed to 9:16 portrait aspect ratio using AI – it could detect faces and human bodies and make sure to resize and crop so that the active speaker stays in the frame. It can also be mindful of the overlays that the platform applies and avoid putting important information like captions in those regions, e.g. Instagram reels have buttons on the right bottom, and comments etc. at the bottom; any content on the video is less visible in those regions, and AI can avoid those automatically.
Consistency: With AI, maintaining and optimizing content quality, and staying on-brand becomes easier. It can automatically add transitions which are according to your branding style, and also add transitions between shots with colors that match brand colors.
Content velocity: Eventually, with AI being capable of generating text, images, audio, and even video, everyone would be albe to contribute to the project by using the AI co-pilot. This would also allow brands to fill the top of the funnel with good content at a good speed.
Platforms like YouTube use AI for content recommendations, while tools like Grammarly leverage it for content refinement. In video editing, AI can automate tasks like color correction, background removal, speech denoising, face blurring, sound balancing, and even content repurposing. The capabilities and the quality of the output from AI systems for the various tasks are improving rapidly with each day. The general concensus is that AI will be a very potent tool for content creation space.
Short form videos, while smaller in length, can take a lot of time to produce. They often require more investment per min of video produced compared to long form videos, as they are usually full of effects, hight quality text overlays, quick B-roll changes and animations.
AI method for audio, image and video operations have matured significantly, and many things that used to take a lot of time, can now be done with a single click. Operations which are popular for short form videos, such as removing background and adding a different clip, or automatically transcribing the clip and generating subtitles can now be easily automated using AI. Similarly, a lot of audio operations, like enhancement and noise removal from speech clips can be done with a single click with AI. Using such features intelligently can really speed up the editing process.
AI techniques for image generation have become quite good, and using parts of the subtitles as the prompt, or with user provided prompts, AI can now generate images which can be used as B-rolls, i.e. the secondary footage that plays in the foreground while the original narrator clip goes to the background.
In addition, speech generation AI, that converts text to speech is also fast catching up. This can be used to create professional voiceovers for shortform videos, with the voice and tonality chosen to reflect the geenral mood of the video. A serious voice for delivering deep messages, while perhaps a cheerful young voice for infotainment content.
As the AI matures, it is not very difficult to imagine one click suggestions on layouts, and temporal arrangements of the clips, kind of an advanced version of ‘align’ and ‘distribute’ tools available in all major presentation softwares. We at CloudStudio are actively working on such technologies, sign up and we will reach out as we release such features.
Large language models like ChatGPT from OpenAI and Llama from Meta, have revolutionized many workflows across industries. The models are very powerful and in the context of short form or general video creation, they can be surely leveraged for generating script ideas and initial versions quickly. E.g. we could ask them to generate a script for a video about healthy eating habits, and we will get a first version of the script ready to edit. Although they might not be as refined as we would like them to be, there is no denying that they are great for initial versions and in general brainstorming ideas.
Given the importance of short from content, and the increasing capabilities of the AI technologies for asset generation, automative basic but time consuming operations, and even brainstorm ideas, we expect to see more and more integration of the two to our benefit! The fusion of AI with short form content will definitely herald a new era in content production. However, as with all technological advancements, it’s essential to approach this union with caution, ensuring that we do not lose the human touch that makes content resonate. Eventually, real stories that connect with the audience at a deeper level will be the ones that capture attention, and get you closer to your objectives.
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