Calogero Macaluso 

(39), Streaming Business Director 

Mohamed Ouaamari





spontaneous entertainment


Last year saw the launch of VTM GO Shorties: exclusive mid-form video content. Racking up 21 million views right out of the gate, it was an instant hit. The video platform’s success is driven by a combination of strong content and maximum viewing comfort, say Calogero Macaluso and Mohamed Ouaamari.

Why did VTM GO need Shorties? 

Calogero Macaluso: “Online viewers have a stronger desire for spontaneous entertainment. Our Shorties not only respond perfectly to that need, but they also fit VTM’s DNA.”

Mohamed Ouaamari: “Our Shorties occupy the space between short-form (like TikTok videos and Instagram Reels) and long-form (linear TV shows). Whereas a TV programme has time for build-up, mid-form stories need to be told in 10 minutes. So our Shorties move faster, but they still have cliffhangers that make you want to binge. You can watch 10 or 100 minutes, on your smartphone, laptop, tablet or TV – the viewer decides!”

“We also challenge our makers to get creative with Shorties. How can they use our platform to tell exciting sub-stories in addition to the main story they’re telling on TV? As with The Voice Comeback Stage, in which Laura Tesoro – the ‘fifth coach’ – gives people who get eliminated on The Voice a second chance on VTM GO. They can then make a comeback later, during the live shows. By offering content through multiple channels (linear television, VTM GO and social media), we reinforce the viewer’s FOMO: fear of missing out.”

“Shorties give you an extra reason
to visit VTM GO”

What target audience do these Shorties reach?

Mohamed Ouaamari: “Our Shorties content derived from successful TV programmes reaches a wide audience: VTM viewers aged 7 to 77 who can’t get enough of their favourite shows. Our standalones are more about spontaneity. Take Security Checkers. Arno and Gerben aren’t professional presenters, but two people who go on an adventure together. Footage is often filmed using smartphones and GoPro cameras. That distinct approach and the use of influencers mostly appeals to younger viewers.”

Calogero Macaluso: “Shorties give you an extra reason to visit VTM GO. And it’s not just young people who are frequent users of VTM GO. We’re also becoming more and more popular among older generations thanks to our presence on the ‘big screen’, through smart TVs and set-top boxes from Telenet, Orange and Proximus. We actually passed 200 million views in 2022: a 13 per cent growth. VTM GO has 2.7 million unique accounts – which translates to 85 per cent penetration among Flemish streamers – and a monthly reach of more than 850,000 accounts. Streaming on VTM GO has become mainstream.”

The team behind the popular Shortie Drop Off faced quite a few challenges during production. The creative and daring format meant that episodes often had to be produced at breakneck speed. What was this like for the show’s creators? And what did they manage to pull off when the cameras weren’t rolling?

What does 2023 have in store?

Calogero Macaluso: “VTM GO has a 52 per cent market share, making it bigger than VRT MAX and GoPlay combined. We want to maintain that position by continuing to focus on exclusive content and increased viewing comfort. There will be lots of announcements in both of those areas, so stay tuned! For advertisers, VTM GO offers great opportunities to present their key demographics with targeted content. Ads on VTM GO now account for 10 per cent of our total TV ad revenue. A great result compared to our peers in other European markets. We’re not just leading the way here in Flanders – VTM GO is setting the bar internationally.”