Vertical vs horizontal video

Vertical vs horizontal video

An interesting read

Vertical vs horizontal video

Vertical video syndrome is a ‘thing’! According to the Urban Dictionary, it’s an affliction of those who create videos on smartphones without turning it on its side.

While this may make some chuckle, it’s also something to think seriously about if you’re planning on using video to market your business: should my video be horizontal or vertical?

The easy answer to this is it might need to be both, so do some research. A good video production company should always ask you about the outcomes you hope to achieve before starting a project. At Media Borne, we will find out who your target audience is and what you want to use your video for before we do anything.

The type of questions we ask might include: are you targeting millennials or do you want to wow with a video that will be viewed on YouTube?


Here's an example of a video we produced advertising an event that would be coming in 2020, The video was originally horizontal but re-edited to vertical for social audiences.  See further down for the horizontal video example, 


Choosing a video format

To start, let’s imagine you want to attract millennials to buy your products or services. The latest study from online advertising company WordStream shows that this demographic (25-34 age group) watches the most online videos. Interestingly, males in this age group spend 40% more time watching videos than females of the same age!

The study also shows that those same millennials spend most of the time watching video on their phone. You definitely need to consider video if you want to reach this group of people.

So, if you’re aiming your product or service at millennial men, there is no argument that you need to make sure that you’re using video to reach your target market.

That demographic also spends a lot of time on video apps such as Instagram or Facebook. If you want to add a video to an Instagram story or a video on WhatsApp, then you can’t avoid the need to use vertical video.

If, however, you want to wow on YouTube, then it’s time to upset those with ‘vertical video syndrome’ because horizontal video is essential.

We watch TV and movies in a horizontal format because that’s how we see. We look at things towards the horizon, and that explains why movies and television programmes are viewed horizontally. There are many very scientific articles about this, which is called field of view, so if you want to understand more we’d recommend this one from WhatIs.

Thinking vertically

Let’s take the example of that millennial man. If you have a high quality bar in the centre of Newcastle that you’re planning to attract him to, then you need to shoot a high quality video. You also need to think vertically because as Instagram shows, its format is vertical.

But if you believe that just picking up your smartphone and shooting in vertical is the answer, then think again! The high quality of your product or service (or bar in this instance) needs to be reflected in your video. A good video production company can film horizontally but also offer to resize that video for vertical viewers. By shooting horizontally you also end up with a higher quality video that can be cropped.


Here's an example of a video we produced advertising an event that would be coming in 2020, The video was originally horizontal but re-edited to vertical for social audiences.  See further down for the horizontal video example, 

Horizontal video

As mentioned, we can film horizontally and resize your video for apps such as Instagram. So why bother with horizontal filming? Well, there are still many people who view videos on PCs or on tablets, where it seems to be less of an issue turning it around! Also, smart TVs usually have YouTube included in their apps, and using nothing but a vertical video from your smartphone will result in a poor video and resolution for the large screen.

Let’s take our fictitious bar in Newcastle again. A good video production company would understand that a bar is for all ages, and there may be eating areas that will wow a potential customer if they’re filmed horizontally.

Video for all platforms

As you can see, filming is more than just turning up with a phone, especially if you want a high quality video. You need a video production company that understands your needs and provides video in the format that will work best for your business.

Similar to cooking, you can easily add but you can’t take away. And that’s the same with video! You can’t film in vertical and then try to stretch it. And smartphones can’t film horizontally and then be cropped. Some apps may do this, but the result will always be poor and grainy.

It can always seem very confusing or a lot of hassle, which is why it’s best to use a video production company with knowledge of current trends to make sure you get the most out of your marketing videos.

If you want to know more, why not contact one of the Media Borne team today who will be happy to answer any questions you have about vertical vs horizontal video.

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