Marketing and communications industry publication Campaign Middle East has reported that the news service Sky News Arabia is the first TV broadcaster in the region to have a live 24/7 channel output in what is referred to as mobile-friendly vertical mode.
Mobile-friendly vertical viewing and streaming using an innovative design layout will be offered across the company’s website, iOS and Android applications as part of what it calls its “digital transformation efforts aimed at enhancing user experience”.
It will come as no surprise, given the fanfare around this new offering, that the company cites research showing that more than half of all video is now consumed on mobile devices – and that mobile phone users prefer to consume video in vertical mode, without having to rotate their devices.
The company adds that videos watched vertically have a higher completion rate than videos watched horizontally and have been proven to be more engaging.
However, users who prefer to watch the news in traditional horizontal 16:9 can flip their mobile phones to do so on the SNA applications or select this option on the company's website.
Live streaming in 9:16 format is not common, although it is used for short video clips on different social media platforms. A Sky News Arabia spokesperson noted that the company had explored the option of real-time conversion of a 16:9 live stream to vertical mode using artificial intelligence but found a more efficient and feasible solution that it was able to develop in-house.