This is a really cool time to be part of the video production industry. The immense culture shift toward digital media and smartphone usage is increasing the demand for video by leaps and bounds. After reading the Huffington Post article “Yes, It’s time to get serious about vertical video”, I have to say that the data is compelling. So compelling that it starts to flip everything we about 16:9 video resolutions and makes you think twice about 9:16.

The StreamGeeks on Vertical Video on Mobile

The StreamGeeks on Vertical Video on Mobile

Free guide here –

Consider the fact that smartphone users hold their phones vertically 94% of the time and more than half of all video is now consumed on mobile devices. Jill Sherman, SVP, Social Strategy reports that Widescreen (16:9) and square (1:1) will have a hard time competing with vertical video (9:16) when it comes to mobile video consumption.

So I did a test and the results were pretty interesting. Yes, I did see more organic video views a 9:16 vertical video versus a similar 16:9 widescreen video. These test are difficult to draw too much information from because the views depend so much on the content and user behavior but the test did have a striking resemblance to a test performed 1 year earlier on YouTube vs Facebook Video content on Facebook.

We conducted a Social Media marketing study which confirmed a now well-known fact that organic video will perform 10 times better than on Facebook then a shared YouTube video. Now we are seeing a new trend inside the “organic Facebook video” segment which recommends 9:16 video over 16:9 video for mobile users.

Vertical video today is mostly made and viewed on Smartphones. But I believe that vertical video can be made in a professional studio with multiple cameras at the same high level as widescreen content. It would make sense to support both media formats for the majority of video marketing that is created with the intention of social media promotion.
Here what we found:

  1. Recording video in 9:16 isn’t as hard as we thought
  2. Obviously smartphones record in 9:16 but you can also record 9:16 video with regular cameras mounted sideways
  3. Most video editing programs support 9:16 already
  4. OBS – The industry’s most popular free live streaming and video production software support 9:16
  5. YouTube now supports 9:16 video
  6. Facebook supports 9:16 video the best

9:16 Live Video Production Workflow

So how do we plan on recording 9:16 video. Well at this point in our live streaming and video production setup we can’t abandon 16:9 video. Currently, the major platforms only support live streaming in 9:16 via smartphones and our goal is to produce high quality video productions with multiple camera angles as close to or equal to TV quality. So, we have to start thinking about recording 9:16 content simultaneously with our traditional 16:9 content.

NDI Camera on Camera

NDI Camera on Camera

Using the latest live streaming and video production protocols for IP video will help us here. We can use the NewTek NDI to share video and audio sources in real time with two systems. We have our main 16:9 system and we have our 9:16 system which will share audio but have it’s own 9:16 cameras. For the 9:16 cameras we will simply mount our 16:9 PTZOptics cameras at a 90 degree angle and get the full use out of out 1920x1080p sensor for vertical video.


The Huffington Post authors Jill Sherman and Randy Romero put it best with “Don’t fear the Crop” in the last section of the article (here). We all need to respond to consumer expectations and soon enough everyone will be making more vertical video. Here at PTZOptics we have seen the benefits of “playing nice” with the social media platforms first hand. Since it is possible to simultaneously record 6:16 and 16:9 will certainly be doing so when possible. \

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So our upload tests for both YouTube and Facebook have been interesting. Facebook I knew would have amazing support for vertical video but… YouTube looked great as well. They have basically designed the system to scale when needed, but on the desktop, it still looks like the black border nonsense that it always did.
It’s a mobile world!
• Smartphone users hold their phones vertically about 94 percent of the time. (Source: MOVR Mobile Overview Report)

Show Agenda for Reference:

Vertical Video Production – 9:16 on YouTube & Facebook

Recommended Facebook Streaming Specs

It is important to note the following specs for Facebook’s live video streaming product and API. This documentation will be actively updated to reflect developments of the product.

Video Format:

  • We accept video in maximum 1080p (1920×1080) resolution at 30 frames per second, with 1 key frame every 2 seconds.
  • Recommended max bit rate is 4 Mbps. Going above this maximum is possible but will make live streams highly unstable.
  • Titles must be less than 255 characters otherwise the stream will fail
  • The Live API accepts H264 encoded video and AAC encoded audio only

Video Length:

  • 4 hour maximum length for live stream.
  • 4 hour maximum length for preview streams (either through Live dialog or publisher tools). After 240 minutes, a new stream key must be generated.
  • RTMP stream URLs will expire 24 hours after they are created.

Facebook Video Design Recommendations

Use these guidelines to design an ad that looks good everywhere it appears on Facebook. The recommended video and thumbnail image guidelines ensures your ad always looks high quality. The recommended text length is how many characters of ad copy could be displayed on smaller screens. Learn more on continuous looping.

  • Text: 90 characters
  • Aspect Ratios Supported: 16:9 (full landscape) to 9:16 (full portrait)
  • Mobile in feed: Videos will be rendered as is up to 2:3, with masking to 2:3 for aspect ratios between 2:3 to 9:16
  • Desktop in feed and desktop player: For desktop in feed, vertical video will continue to be letter-boxed to 1:1. For desktop player, vertical video will be 9:16 with no black bar letter-boxing
  • Recommended Aspect Ratio for Vertical Video: 9:16 (full portrait), ensuring core content falls in the 2:3 mask for mobile News Feed
  • Video: H.264 video compression, high profile preferred, square pixels, fixed frame rate, progressive scan
  • Format: .mp4 container ideally with leading moov atom, no edit lists
  • Audio: Stereo AAC audio compression, 128kbps + preferred

Technical Requirements

  • Caption length text: Text only, max 2,200 characters
  • Recommended Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1 / 16:9 / HDTV, 2:39:1 or 2:40:1 / Widescreen / 9:16, 1:1 / 1.33:1 / 4:3 / SDTV, 1.375:1 / film, 1.85:1 / Film, no pillar boxing or letter boxing
  • Length: 240 minutes max
  • Minimum resolution: minimum width 600 pixels, length dependent on video aspect ratio
  • File Size: Up to 4GB max
  • Frames: 30fps max
  • Format: Full list of supported file formats here
  • Bitrate: No limit to bitrate file if you’re using two pass encoding, as long as long as your file doesn’t exceed 1 GB. Otherwise, 8 megabits per second for 1080p and 4 megabits per second for 720p.
  • Your image should include minimal text. See how the amount of text in your ad image will impact the reach of your ad.



“Products are made in the factory, but brands are created in the mind” -Waller Lando


The Data Is Compelling

According to Eric Blattberg of Digiday, publishers and marketers who once dismissed vertical video as an amateurish mistake are changing their perspective. “That’s in large part due to changing consumption habits that are making mobile the norm rather than the exception.”

  • Smartphone users hold their phones vertically about 94 percent of the time. (Source: MOVR Mobile Overview Report)
  • Millennials are 2x as likely to be focused on video they watch on their mobile devices as they are on video consumed on a TV. (Source: Ooyala Global Video Index)
  • Vertical video ads are watched all the way through 9 times more than horizontal video ads on Snapchat. (Source: Snapchat)
  • More than 7 billion video clips are viewed daily on Snapchat, the majority which are vertically filmed. (Source: Snapchat)
  • According to Mary Meeker’s 2015 Internet Trends, vertical viewing now accounts for 29% of view time, compared to 5% just five years ago. (Source: KPCB)




  • New Segment –

VERTICAL VIDEO MOMENT OF THE WEEK – Pulling in live vertical video…


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