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How is Instagram’s IGTV Performing?

Alison Clancy
August 23rd, 2018
Alison Clancy

On June 20, Instagram announced that they were rolling out “the future of mobile video” dubbed IGTV. It has channels just like traditional TV, but content creators, not stations, are what viewers tune into. What differentiates it from Instagram’s uber-successful Stories is that IGTV is built for long-form videos. Influencers with large followings can publish vertical videos up to 60 minutes in length, while other accounts have a maximum duration of 10 minutes.

Instagram released IGTV knowing that video has moved largely from our TVs to our phones. According to Cisco, mobile video will account for 78% of all mobile data traffic by 2021. But is IGTV making waves with its audience?

It’s only been live for a few months, so performance data is limited. However, there are some documented IGTV success stories:

So far, brands have been experimenting left and right on the platform; you can see them trying to figure out the best approach. Though some companies are sitting back and waiting to see what happens with IGTV, the brands below have been making great strides to include it in their marketing strategies.

National Geographic

National Geographic and Instagram were made for each other. With high-quality images of some of our planet’s most incredible residents and intriguing stories to go with each post, it’s no surprise that Nat Geo has the biggest Instagram audience of any brand with 88.7 million followers. Their approach to IGTV so far has included repurposing video content, but I admire their use of the long-form capabilities. For example, they’ve uploaded a full 47-minute episode of their series, One Strange Rock, onto the platform for free. So far, it has 1.3 million views.

Jaden Smith

IGTV presents interesting opportunities for marketing in the music industry. YouTube has long been a tactic for album releases and video premieres, but will IGTV enter the conversation as well? Jaden Smith dropped the visual version of his new album exclusively on IGTV four days before it was released on streaming services. He became the first artist to use the platform this way. Has he started a new trend? My prediction is that other artists will soon follow suit.


Another larger-than-life brand in the ever-changing music industry, MTV used IGTV to create buzz around this year’s Video Music Awards. They partnered with digital influencers to exclusively announce the nominees, hoping to make use of the new platform by tapping into other massive audiences. Each nomination announcement also came with an original quirky video, featuring everything from rubber duckies to colorful balloons.


It’s no surprise that Buzzfeed was one of the first online platforms to embrace IGTV. Following in the footsteps of National Geographic and other brands, they have been repurposing older video content that performed well, like Hamster Soccer (of course). But they’ve also been very consistent in uploading content, at least once a week, showing that they’re investing in the platform for the long haul.


When I first saw that Netflix had entered the IGTV space by uploading an hour-long video of Riverdale actor Cole Sprouse eating a burger, I thought it was a joke. The very real video is odd, hilarious and most importantly 100% original. Not only does it have 958,000 views but it garnered quite a bit of press attention. Well played, Netflix.

I’m looking forward to seeing not only what brands come up with for IGTV content moving forward, but hopefully hearing from Instagram on how the new feature is performing.

What are your predictions for IGTV?


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