Vertical Screen Formats for Movies and Dramas – Go or No Go?

Since the beginning of the TV viewing experience, our devices have been displaying content in the horizontal format and we are now quite attuned to viewing things in these dimensions. Research also suggests that the horizontal framing of content is more preferred when it comes to our eyes and our brains.

However, the launch of smartphones and better video recording cameras in these devices has changed the game significantly. Add that to the popularity of applications such as Instagram, Facebook Stories, Douyin, and TikTok – the new generation is quite comfortable with viewing content on the vertical screen. A 2017 survey shows that 72% of millennial smartphone users do not rotate their screen to view content in the horizontal format.

Television Vs Online Video – The Viewing Trends Have Taken A Shift

We’ve been discussing this within our groups of friends and families and noticing the trends as well. How long since you sat down with your family and watched a show on TV? Do you even get the time to do it anymore? The trends are changing and according to Google – 6 out of 10 people prefer watching a video online rather than on their TV.

This is where the vertical screen format takes the cake and wins as more and more users are shifting to watching media online on their own schedule and preference. From cooking to home renovation and re-runs of their favourite dramas, people are shifting to sources such as YouTube, Netflix, Amazon Prime, HBO Max and etc to fulfil their entertainment and infotainment needs.


The Rise of Video Content Via Social Media Apps

What is even more interesting to note is that video in itself has become a vital way to communicate on social media. The new social media platforms like Instagram and TikTok can be thanked for this change. From Tik Tok’s growing popularity to Instagram’s introduction of reels and clear bias towards video content, the fate of media as we know it is changing.

Brands that aren’t shifting to video are suffering due to limited reach as mediums like Instagram have made outright statements saying they will always prefer video content over static imagery.

The Goddess Hotel By G.H.Y – A Must Watch In The Vertical Content Category

G.H.Y Culture and Media announced its unique collaboration between China and Singapore to develop short dramas for vertical screens used by popular social media applications such as TikTok. Goddess Hotel was launched on 5th July, 2022 in four languages including Chinese, English, Bahasa Indonesian and Thai. Since then, the drama has garnered immense popularity with more than 147 million viewers in total. Not only this, G.H.Y increased its followers by a staggering 800,000 plus on both Douyin and TikTok combined.

The story revolves around a hotel that calls out to living beings that are in want of something. There is a goddess in the hotel that offers whatever this person wants at the cost of something precious to them. As the season ends, the viewer keeps wondering what Nalan the goddess actually does with these things . The show is scheduled to run for 3 seasons with 16 episodes each of 3 minute length.

The story is backed by a strong cast including the young and talented Yu Fei Fei and Yue Li Na. Li Na plays the Goddess Nalan while Fei Fei plays the demon hunter Chun Sheng. Both act to the best of their ability and create an emotional and mysterious drama for their audiences on screen.

Vertical Format for Dramas – The Obvious Future of Entertainment

Now getting back to the vertical format of drama. There is another reason why this format is popular – it is extremely convenient. You can hold your device in one hand and do multiple things with the other. You can simply plug in your earphones and keep listening to this short form of content while multitasking. As this format becomes more popular – we can expect more content to surface in this category.