The Webisode: Here to stay?

A webisode is a short episode which airs initially as Internet television, either as a download or streamed content – as opposed to first airing on tv.

The format can be used as a preview, a promotion, as part of a collection of shorts, or a commercial. A webisode is usually part of an existing drama or series or it may consist of entirely original material. A lot of webisodes are now being produced as original 'made-directly-for-online' content.

A webisode is simply a web episode – collectively it is part of a web series, a form of new medium called web television that characteristically features a dramatic, serial storyline, where the primary method of viewership is streaming online over the Internet.

While there is no set standard for length, most webisodes are relatively short, ranging from 1–10 minutes in length. With the increasing popularity of online media consumption in the region, the demand for creating short duration video content for distribution via web is becoming prevalent. For well established periods in the calendar which are known in the region for media consumption on a daily basis – such as Ramadan, when the serial TV episode format is hugely popular, webisodes delivered across online will also become a commonly accepted format. Interestingly, webisodes are also available in a more compressed format, even further optimized – for mobile – and these are known as mobisodes.

Webisodes are also becoming a popular format for branded content – where either a brand's product is 'indirectly' placed in some form of drama or continuing story, or in a direct brand driven game or user-selected ending format are also becoming popular as new 'channels' or brand marketing opportunities.

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