The Economist’s video strategy shifts focus to YouTube

The Economist Films division gets most of its views on Facebook, but like other publishers, it’s turning its attention to YouTube, where audiences tend to be more loyal and engaged than on Facebook. The 20-plus person division began in mid-2015 with a focus on long-form series, like entrepreneur-focused “The Hub,” backed by Santander, and “The World in 2018,” supported by Thomson Reuters. This year, The Economist also started releasing three editorial videos a week, lasting under five minutes, like this on the gender pay gap or this on foreign aid distribution. Continue reading “The Economist’s video strategy shifts focus to YouTube”

Believe the Hype: The Most Buzz-Worthy Trends of 2017

In the 20 years I’ve covered the great digital transition, empty buzzwords and phony trends have been the rule, not the exception. Bullshit is not a byproduct of a startup economy of building scale before substance; it is actually a doctrine.

And yet, in this past year there have been some trends that almost certainly will have a deep impact on the survivability of media businesses into the future. Here I explore some of these trends and try to cast a little insight as to why they matter, and how they might continue to shakeup the landscape as we look ahead to 2018. Continue reading “Believe the Hype: The Most Buzz-Worthy Trends of 2017”

Here’s how social video will evolve in 2018


Over the past few years, the internet has evolved from a text-based medium to the new TV. Cisco estimates that video accounts for 69 percent of all internet traffic in 2017. When the next-generation wireless network, 5G, hits in 2019 and 2020, we can expect that number to grow as more consumers are able to enjoy high-bandwidth video on their mobile devices.

With that growth comes complexity, though. Today’s marketers have to grapple with variables like video length, placement strategies, and ever-present threats from tech giants that traffic in video.

Looking ahead, marketers will face quite a bit of change in 2018 as the market evolves. Here are seven trends that will impact social video in 2018:

1. Six-second ads will gain more currency. Though advertisers have experimented with short-form ads for some time, Google gave its blessing to the format in January when it challenged advertisers to tell their stories in six seconds flat. Since then, Fox also began running six-second ads during NFL games. Talk all you want about decreasing attention spans, the real draw of six-second ads is that they are good for nudging consumers deep in the funnel towards making a purchase. A quick reminder ad can be all you need to get that consumer to take action. That’s why I expect to see a lot more of these ads next year.

2. More advertising on Netflix. Yes, there are ads on Netflix. The company began running promos for its shows this summer. In addition, Accenture has spoken about how it would like to use its digital product placement technology to infiltrate Netflix shows. (A Coke can be superimposed into Orange Is The New Black, for instance.) We’ll see a steady increase in advertising on Netflix in 2018 in part because Netflix is now creating shows at such volume (it planned to release 1,000 hours of new shows in 2017) that it will be hard to make viewers aware of such content without promoting it on the network. With around 52 million subscribers and possibly 100 million by 2020, it will be harder and harder to resist the lure of advertising in 2018. I predict at some point there will be two versions of Netflix: premium ad free and a cheaper iteration with ads.

3. More midroll. While Google got behind six-second ads, Facebook put its weight behind midroll — ads that run in the middle of a video à la TV. What took them so long? While preroll ads might prompt a viewer to flee, with midroll, you are reaching a viewer who is already engaged in the content. The interruptive nature of advertising can be mitigated via effective targeting. If you’re in the market for a new washing machine, then you really won’t mind seeing an ad for one. In addition to backing from Facebook, the reason we’ll see more mid-roll advertising in 2018 is because of consumers’ increasing resistance to ad messages. As more consumers turn to ad blockers and reject preroll, brands will see midroll as a vehicle to reach consumers who are already engaged in content and are more likely to sit through an ad message.

4. Continued consolidation of third-party verification of metrics. With so much ad fraud, marketers are right to be skeptical and ask for third-party verification. In the last year, I’ve seen more consolidation in this area as most have used Google’s DoubleClick, Moat (which is now part of Oracle), or Integral Ad Science. Overall, marketers will continue to be skeptical of their digital advertising partners. That’s a good thing, since such skepticism will weed out the charlatans and fraudsters and allow the ethical companies to prosper. The consolidation of third-party verifiers means that verification will improve and the industry can start winning back marketers’ trust.

5. Amazon will throw its weight around. Amazon has the best consumer data in the business, but advertising has always been a sideline because its main business — retail — has been so good. That’s changing. The company is looking to hire some 2,000 execs in its new New York Office, and most of those jobs will be in advertising. In addition, brands like Geico and Hyundai, who don’t sell their goods on Amazon, have recently come around to advertising during Amazon’s telecasts of Thursday Night Football. In October, the company also began inviting merchants to create product videos to run on Amazon.com to compete with YouTube this holiday season. The idea is to keep consumers from straying elsewhere to get product info. Expect Amazon to continue to tighten its grip next in 2018.

6. More personalization. Personalization is an ad industry mantra that’s more spoken about than executed upon. Video in particular has been tough to personalize since it isn’t customizable the way a banner is. But as addressability and video technology continue to improve, expect to see more efforts at personalizing content in 2018. That could mean more relevant videos or even videos addressed personally to you, like this ad for Alien Covenant on the UK’s Channel 4 that addressed consumers by name.

7. The introduction of 5G. The next-generation wireless network will make its debut to the world during the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympic Winter Games in February and we’ll see sporadic 5G implementations throughout the year. The industry will need to prepare for a sea change, though, as higher-speed wireless’ long-term effects become evident. 5G will be a catalyst for everything from mobile VR to cord cutting to even greater consumption of mobile video. Smart marketers will spend 2018 laying the groundwork for 5G by boosting their VR efforts and taking advantage of the continued erosion of linear TV.

What else? It’s impossible to predict how much advances in AI will affect the marketing world and whether 2018 will be a breakthrough year for other game-changing technologies, like IoT. The only constants will be the continued evolution of technology overall and its effects on how consumers experience brands.

James G. Brooks is CEO and Founder of GlassView.

Video streaming research

Many publishers, societies and institutions are in the process of exploring ways to incorporate video into their websites and publishing platforms, whether as new product lines, for teaching, or to offer more value to existing products and services. Some may be unsure about how to go about developing a video strategy whilst others have a clear idea of what they need and are in the process of implementing video content.
This is an area which Simon Inger Consulting are increasingly asked about and thought it would be useful to survey the current state and thinking about streaming video.  With the support of GVPi (a digital publishing solutions company) they would like to find out from publishers, scholarly societies, professional associations and higher education institutions where they are in their video development plans, what they see as the main challenges and barriers to delivering video content online, and what opportunities they think streaming video offers.
They would like to invite you to take a very short survey (less than 5 minutes). The results of the research will be shared with the community. 

How The Washington Post is training video polymaths

As The Washington Post continues to make investments in video, the publisher is ensuring that its video journalists can handle everything from short-form vertical videos to live broadcasts to longer news documentaries.

The Post has big plans for its video business in 2017. Earlier this year, the publisher opened a new outdoor studio at its K Street headquarters and announced plans to nearly double its video team to 70 people by the end of 2017. Key content initiatives include doing more longer-form documentaries, personality-driven shows, scripted series and even a Snapchat Discover channel. This sort of effort requires video creators that have expertise in multiple types of storytelling and video formats — a skill set that is still hard to find today, according to Phoebe Connelly, deputy director of video for the Post.

“When we were sitting down for open positions and looking at hundreds of resumes, we were seeing candidates who were coming from top news organizations, who had incredibly impressive resumes, but were still narrow in their focus and skill set,” Connelly said.

For instance, some candidates who were talented when it came to shooting and editing videos were only familiar with shooting and editing for mid-form videos or a traditional broadcast news package. On the other end, interviewees that had more of a web background could easily demonstrate their knowledge about what kind of video makes sense for Snapchat or Instagram — and understood the audiences that watches videos on those platforms — but did not have the shooting skills required to create those videos.

To fix this, the Post started to cross-train its video team across all of the different video platforms and storytelling formats it focuses on. “Cross-training came out of our realization that the talent that we needed just wasn’t out there,” Connelly said.

The video polymath is a necessity in the current environment, where platforms like Facebook often drive video strategies. One minute the algorithm favors short videos, then long ones the next, then virtual reality.

Today, the Post’s video team is broken down into several different units: There are video editors embedded within desks across the newsroom; a universal news desk, which focuses on breaking news videos for the homepage, apps and Snapchat Discover; and a third team focused on long-form storytelling. More recently, the Post has also built out an on-camera team for personality-driven shows and a scripted team, which is working with the Post’s opinions desk to create shows.

The Post regularly rotates its video staffers from one group to the next: Video staffers embedded within various news desks will spend some time every month doing shifts on the universal news desk, where they can become more familiar with breaking news and live video. “When they go back to the politics or world desk, they’re taking that sensibility back with them — should something be a quick edit or a more thought-out package?” said Connelly.

The approaches other news publishers take vary. Reuters, for instance, is primarily focused on mid-form and live video within its mobile and TV apps, which means having its producers focus on more traditional video formats. Both Vox and Quartz prize video polymaths. NBC News, meanwhile, has a 30-person original video team that’s organized into several units: an “enterprise” team focused on longer form features and documentaries; a news team creating shorter breaking news and human interest pieces; and a couple of staffers focused on emerging video formats. NBC News also just launched a new 12-person digital studio — similar to CNN’s Great Big Story — that focuses on longer, less newsy and more cinematic storytelling. There is very little criss-cross between these divisions.

At The Washington Post, the broader newsroom is also getting involved with its video efforts. Reporter David Fahrenthold and other journalists will frequently do video interviews and field pieces, which require working with different parts of the video team. “The idea that maybe we can do a short vertical video piece [for a story] becomes part of their vocabulary and how they pitch story ideas,” Connelly said.

Supporting all of these efforts is a database of guidelines for different video formats and features. Routinely updated, these guidelines cover everything from how to upload 360-degree video to the assets any video staffer needs for publishing short videos to Facebook.

“It’s bananas as an industry if we expect and teach our talent to think, edit and report for a single platform,” said Connelly. “We have to set the expectation that the platform you’re using is going to change based on assignments, months or the audience you’re targeting for the story.”

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Newsonomics: In Norway, a newspaper’s digital video startup is now generating more revenue than print

— Yes, there’s even a Trump Bump in Oslo.

Take 56 million, the number of views VGTV has gotten so far on its “satirical masterpiece” of “tupéfabrikk”, the company’s discovery of Donald Trump’s secret wig field in Tromsø, Norway’s Arctic Circle city. But that bump is just a collateral benefit of VGTV’s innovation engine.

In the three and a half years since its founding, VGTV has become a global model, with its leaders speaking at numerous media forums.

This spring, the latest spun-off Schibsted division passed an important milestone: VGTV, the video operation of the leading Norwegian daily VG, now produces more monthly revenue than does VG’s seven-day print product. VG, like many dailies, is losing double digit percentages of print revenue each year, but that revenue loss is being made up by the video operation. Of course, the new money is not nearly as profitable as the old — but for Schibsted, it’s all about the all-in bet on the longer-term digital future.

“What I hear [from journalists at conferences] is that people get inspired…that we are optimistic of the fact that we think we are going to manage to monetize video,” explains Helje Solberg, VGTV’s CEO and editor. Solberg moved over to VGTV more than three years ago, after serving for nine years as VG’s executive managing editor.

In 2016, VGTV pulled in 83 million Norwegian kroner, or about $10 million in total revenue. Into early 2017, it’s now seeing a steep ramp in growth, with a 51 percent increase year over year in the first quarter.

It’s not simply a maturing of the market — it’s audience growth. Year over year, VGTV grew audience 29 percent, accounting for 420,000 daily unique users in the first quarter. It can count more than 25 million video streams started per month, or almost a million a day.

That’s a good number given the sparsely populated northern terrain — Norway’s only got 5 million people.

Given that small, well-read population, why do so many publishers buttonhole Solberg at media events?

First and foremost, it’s the unique story of Schibsted’s serial and widening innovation. Schibsted is the biggest publisher most other publishers have never heard about. Based in Oslo, with strong newspaper publishing positions in both its home country and Sweden, Schibsted has become a Top 10 global company in revenue among legacy news providers, with operations in 30 countries and three continents, employing almost 7,000 people. As one executive of the now hyper-innovative Washington Post recently told me: “We like Schibsted. Some smart people there.”

Today, Schibsted’s media houses (publishing) contribute about 25 percent of its overall revenues, with the company’s marketplace/classifieds business and “growth” divisions still generating good growth. (We’ve chronicled Schibsted here at the Lab for years.)

It’s the innovation at Schibsted’s media houses that compels attention — for its early impact, its restructuring, and its results, with VGTV only the latest installment. The most recent critical result: Schibsted’s Norwegian news businesses now show small growth. In the first quarter, revenues were up 4 percent, with earnings (EBITDA) up 8 percent.

Overall, for VG (a popular Oslo daily, which operates alongside Aftenposten, Schibsted’s “quality” daily), the numbers show that investments in innovation are paying off. In the first quarter, VG saw 27 percent growth in digital subscribers (to 108,000) and a 28 percent growth in digital advertising, a good amount of that attributable to VGTV. Another good print-to-digital crossover number: Operating expenses were down 7 percent.

As it crosses over, the video strategy fits well with Schibsted’s vision of a next-generation platform vision. That plan emphasizes a signed-in engagement that seeks to compete against the always-signed-in world of Facebook.

For innovation watchers, the short story of the Schibsted model is clear: Transforming the news business means separate and reintegrate, separate and reintegrate. That’s what Schibsted did in 1999 when, ahead of its peers, it funded a separate — and competitive to print for audience — digital operation. Later, it did the same with mobile.

Then, in late October 2013, it applied the successful model once again, to video and VGTV. Both “digital” and “mobile” have been folded back into the VG mothership. Solberg says she expects that VGTV will be soon as well. Once innovation is well enough established, resourced, and acculturated, it folds back into a bigger, smarter, and now digital savvy newsroom and company.

Today, VGTV includes a staff of 65. They remain organizationally separate from VG, though the operation is housed in the VG offices and works often as if the two are one — which is the point.

When I first wrote about VGTV three years ago, then-VG CEO and editor Torry Pedersen told me of this and other Schibsted forays: “Make sure you lose money for at least three years.” In fact, VGTV first became profitable in April, a few months past its three-year anniversary, says Solberg, though she doesn’t expect 2017 to be in the black overall.

It’s telling that both Solberg and Pedersen have held both top editorial and business-side titles simultaneously. The Schibsted model seems to recognize and promote shapers, and some of those shapers should come from the editorial side of the business as well. Earlier this year, Pedersen, well known and respected in the broader media world, became head of Schibsted’s media house businesses in Norway overall.

Live news, and the challenge of a Facebook-like integrated experience

In those three years, Solberg, a long-time VG news executive, has learned lots about what works and what doesn’t in digital video. She’s now intent on better integrating the VGTV experience into VG’s wider news delivery, and wants to apply lessons from its Snapchat and Facebook tests.

She’s had to make ongoing decisions about the kinds of video VGTV emphasizes. The site offers a lively mix — its offerings translate fairly well with Google Translate — of news, interviews, and popular culture. News and sports lead viewing time, with a variety of other programming, created and licensed, filling out the picture.

Given VG’s overall pre-eminence as a breaking news site, VGTV prizes its advances in live programming. “In the terrorist attack in Belgium last year, it was the first time we documented a major breaking news story with live images before still images,” she says. “Now, that happens again and again. On U.S. election day, more people followed our live coverage than read the most-read article on VG.no.”

For global coverage, VGTV uses both wire services and its own correspondents, transmitting live images from the news spot. Its anchors also host news programs.

“We don’t necessarily go live every day,” says Solberg. “It’s very important for us to go live if there is news that we have to report. All we need to go live is a journalist and an iPhone. The technology works with us. It’s easier and easier to go live.” By the numbers, viewers responded, with “live” viewing more than quadrupling in 2016 over 2015.

At this point, somewhat surprisingly, more viewers watch VGTV on their desktops than on mobile, though in April, mobile topped desktop. Why is desktop so strong? Solberg believes getting the mobile user experience right is one of her greatest challenges. A prime goal: “integrated native video.”

“We need to integrate video much better into the news journey. I used to say that you have peer-based video, [where] users go to the platform to watch video, [and] push-based video. Users go to the platforms again to get updated. Both are served video seamlessly like Facebook. For us, the big question is: Is it possible to challenge the peer-based platforms such as YouTube, that established play channels on time spent? We think we need a different approach. Facebook did some smart moves — it’s muted, it goes very fast, it has no ads interrupting the content — while we have a click-to-play model and interrupting ads.”

So, Solberg’s team studies Facebook, and its new partner, Snapchat. VGTV began producing VG’s first-in-Norway Snapchat Discover channel in January. “Snapchat is a good place to learn and experiment what makes a good video on the mobile phone. We really like it as a place to publish stories. It’s also a good carrier of advertising. It remains to be seen, however, how easy or how difficult this will be to monetize. It’s still an investment case for us. The test period for six months was sold out within two weeks.”

Steady, above-web digital ad rates

In its short history, VGTV has managed to gain healthy ad rate for its video ads — a CPM of 180 kroner, or a little more than $20. That’s better than VG’s average non-video digital ad yield, says Solberg.

Digital video ads come out of digital ad budgets, she says, so in this arena, VG is up against Facebook and Google. Together, the two dominate Nordic digital advertising, with a two-thirds share of the market.

At this point, 15-second pre-rolls predominate, but VGTV is experimenting with shorter forms less than 10 seconds.

“It is possible to tell a story, even in six seconds,” she says. Storytelling is key: It’s noteworthy that, along with VGTV’s increased ad revenues, it’s branded content that has also helped make up for print losses. Initiatives such as The New York Times’ T Brand Studio have found that combination of branded storytelling and video, the virtuous mating of two post-display ad formats.

Solberg hopes to find other ad rhythms that work, just as VGTV is doing editorially. “We saw two years ago most of the clips were, like, two and a half to three minutes. Now they are less — about one minute. But the time spent on VGTV has increased. So we make shorter news videos, but people spend more time with us. We also have a higher completion rate,” says Solberg. “We make the short videos and then we make the longer videos and documentaries and programs.”

“It’s possible to tell a smart story in 43 seconds,” says the former political journalist. She shows me one video — a quick-moving, graphics-centric piece, one that indeed tells its story well in less than a minute.

Very short, or longer and explanatory. The web isn’t a medium medium.

One goal: The digital news leadership

For long-time print journalists like Solberg and Pedersen, “TV” learnings have opened unexpected doors. Yet, all the efforts remain focused on a singular goal, which Solberg puts simply: “If VG is to keep and strengthen our No. 1 position as Norway’s largest online news site, we need to succeed with video.”

As it strategizes, VG also makes interesting use of old-fashioned linear TV. VGTV runs several channels on cable and satellite and gets payments from companies for carriage. Solberg is quite clear that Oslo’s two major TV news providers — commercial TV 2, and public broadcaster NRK — will remain the near-term linear TV choice of consumers. As strong as VG is for breaking digital news, consumers haven’t transferred that habit to old-fashioned TV. “What we learned was that, when there is big news happening, people go to VG, digitally, and to established TV channels. That didn’t turn out — that people would also watch us on linear TV,” says Solberg.

How likely is that to change? “I don’t think that’s possible to change,” acknowledges Solberg. “We have said from the very beginning with the linear TV channel, that everything we do has to gain us digitally. Our core strategy is digital.”

And that strategy includes ad revenue that is now “broadcast,” even if current VGTV revenues largely are bought out of the digital bucket.

“Traditional TV is still very strong in Norway,” says Solberg. “Norwegians like TV and watch almost three hours a day on linear TV. I think it’s just a matter of time before this shift [to digital video] in consumption will pay off.”

Put it all together and linear TV is a means to VG’s digital end. Those cable and satellite distribution payments represent the majority of linear TV revenue, with advertising a secondary source there.

After testing news on linear TV, VGTV now runs largely documentaries on the channel around the clock. “It’s about six to eight documentaries a day,” says Solberg. “Some news — a news loop and a sports loop.”

Intriguingly, it is these same documentaries — about 20 were produced last year — that have now moved behind a digital paywall. Documentaries such as “Stuck,” a series on human trafficking, used to be largely free via the web; now they support that significant digital subscription growth. And yet they remain free on VGTV’s linear channel. Consumer confusion? Not really — just a different distribution channel.

As VG and Schibsted’s other dailies in Norway and Stockholm work through the possible delivery channels of 2020, they have to deal with the economics of 2017. How well is that big overall strategy going — the establishment of VG, a brand established out of the ashes of World War II, as a digital brand of today and tomorrow.

In 2017’s first quarter, digital revenues — including VGTV’s — totaled 48 percent of all VG income. That’s close to a real crossover, and the highest percentage of any daily-based operation of which I’ve heard.

‘Focused on profitability’: Why The Atlantic is shifting its focus to YouTube

Forget food videos on the feed: The Atlantic is sailing against the winds, opting for longer videos as part of series that are distributed through YouTube.

The 160-year-old publication, which has a small video operation compared to the distributed-media publishers that get billions of monthly views on Facebook, is focusing on creating longer videos that dive into serious topics such as science and politics. This includes weekly video series featuring its lineup of star editors and reporters, as well as animated videos and documentary features. At the same time, The Atlantic is prioritizing YouTube as the platform to distribute this content. The reason: Not only is YouTube the place where this type of content performs best, but YouTube is still the best place for publishers — especially smaller ones with a limited amount of resources — to reach a lot of viewers while also generating consistent revenue from pre-rolls. (YouTube typically takes a 45 percent cut of ad revenue from pre-rolls.)

“We tend to be pretty focused on profitability — new investments require that revenue comes along with them,” said Kim Lau, vp and gm at The Atlantic. “The big shift for us is the realization over time that while our audience at TheAtlantic.com is interested in and increasingly aware of our video, being able to grow [our video business] with just that audience is a little bit of a limitation.”

With a billion daily users on YouTube and countless videos to watch, YouTube certainly offers a reach that few others can match. It also offers a lot of noise.

The Atlantic’s approach to standing out is focusing on distinctive content that works well on YouTube’s platform, rather than pushing out as many videos as possible. Today, it’s launching a new science video series called “You Are Here,” which will feature The Atlantic’s science, health and technology writers exploring topics such as why Americans smile so much, the science of cool and whether social media is changing friendships. “You Are Here” joins other weekly video series such as “The Atlantic Argument,” a commentary series covering the latest news and political issues, and “Unpresidented,” which explores the new American political landscape. These shows follow a weekly release schedule.

“We know YouTube rewards consistency,” said Kasia Cieplak-Mayr von Baldegg, gm and executive producer for Atlantic Studios, “but we also try to jump on the news cycle, especially with ‘The Atlantic Argument,’ when there is something of huge interest for our audience.”

The Atlantic is also focusing on animation and explainer videos. These can be a combination of animations placed within existing editorial video series as well as animated interviews with interesting guests like Bill Nye. Both formats have performed well on YouTube; CNN’s Great Big Story, for instance, has an entire team devoted to creating cartoons, while Vox has grown a substantial YouTube following by focusing on in-depth (longer) explainer videos that frequently feature animation.

While these shows aim to bring more regular viewers — and subscribers — back to The Atlantic’s YouTube channel, they are also in the service of a handful of longer documentaries The Atlantic puts out every month. The publisher typically releases two or three documentary features, typically running for 10 minutes or longer, every month. These go in-depth on topics ranging from Nazi Richard Spencer to American towns that welcome refugees.

With this approach, people are beginning to come to The Atlantic’s YouTube channel and spend time watching videos. The average watch time among The Atlantic’s 41,000 subscribers was more than three minutes last month, the publisher said.

“Among the distributed video platforms, YouTube is so strong at creating an experience where people are watching longer videos and with the sound on,” said Cieplak-Mayr von Baldegg.

Of course, many scale-seeking digital publishers are still prioritizing Facebook because that still remains the best place to grab a lot of views in a short period of time. The Atlantic, like other publishers, is not ignoring Facebook. But it’s honest about Facebook’s limitations right now. The Atlantic will cut shorter versions of its videos — and include captions — for Facebook.

“Focusing on YouTube now allows us to bring monetization and high-quality storytelling all together in one place,” said Lau. “We’ll continue to dabble on Facebook.”

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How Video is Changing the News in the Czech Republic

Video Czech Republic

Czech news video

DVTV, a popular independent online news site, is one of two Prague-based sites reinventing news in Czech Republic: its content is entirely video-based.

News organisations in the Czech Republic have made significant investments in video content in the past three years. While most include video as part of their news package, two Prague-based online news platforms have made video central to their business model.

DVTV, a popular web-based TV platform, and Seznam Zprávy, a daily news site, use video almost exclusively. Using the format to tell stories, report investigations and broadcast interviews online.

The popularity of these two sites, as well as growing evidence that video attracts audiences and advertisers, is leading others to follow their example.

DVTV – video interviews and debates

Czech audiences like interviews. They like to read interviews with well-known personalities, and also to watch them, online or on television. DVTV (Drtinová-Veselovský TV), the first Czech news site entirely based on video content, has capitalised on this.

The platform broadcasts studio-based interviews with politicians, artists, and public figures. They also produce news stories, combined with interviews, on location.

Live streaming is an important part of DVTV programming. DVTV uses various streaming platforms, such as Facebook and YouTube, as well as its own website, to stream programmes such as DVTV Forum, an hour long, live-streamed interview or debate with a broad range of guests from different fields. The audience submits the questions asked in the Forum, via social networks.

DVTV was launched in 2014 by journalists, Daniela Drtinová and Martin Vesolovský, and their editorial team. Drtinová and Vesolovský had resigned from their jobs at Czech TV, the public broadcaster, following a 2013 presidential election coverage controversy: Drtinová was one of 23 Czech TV journalists who had complained to the government’s broadcasting watchdog about threats to Czech TV’s independence during the elections.

In 2015, a year after its launch, DVTV started a successful crowd-funding campaign which earned over two millions Czech crown (approximately 80,000 euro). The money was used to develop and extend the content, and to hire new staff.

According to Jan Rozkosny, DVTV’s editor, the investment paid off. He reported that, according to metrics from Google Analytics, the site reached 5.5 million unique users in January 2017. The average time spent on one video page is 11.5 minutes, Rozkosny said.

Seznam Zprávy – mobile journalists producing video news

In November 2016, leading Czech search engine Seznam.cz launched the news site, Seznam Zprávy (Seznam News). The site is also video-based, although it uses a ‘hybrid format’ with articles also appearing on the site in text form.

Seznam hired Jakub Unger, an experienced journalist, to run Seznam Zprávy. Unger was one of the original founders of Aktualne.cz, the Czech Republic’s first digital-native independent news project. Before that, every Czech news site had been supported by one of the larger news publisher or broadcasters.

Jakub Unger drafted other respected journalists, such as political commentator Jindřich Šídlo from daily Hospodářské noviny, foreign correspondent Martin Jonáš, financial journalist Zuzana Hodková from Czech TV, plus investigative journalists Jiří Kubík and Sabina Slonková. With these experienced reporters, Seznam Zprávy now produces a wide range of online video programmes – from short newscasts broadcast from a studio, to longer – 20 minute – investigative features.

Seznam Zprávy broadcasts regular, scheduled news programmes. For example, every evening at 6pm a news video summing up the major events of the day is posted. The site also posts several news stories each day.

Seznam Zprávy innovates in other ways, including using mobile journalism to make its video content. Using only a smartphone or tablet, the site’s journalists not only write and narrate the videos, they are also cameraperson, editor and producer. The devices are used for filming, live streaming, sometimes even for editing.

A recent examples of mobile journalism on Seznam Zprávy is a journey by reporter Pavel Cyprich. He travelled to Poland with a US army convoy in March this year. His report of the journey was produced, filmed and edited on his mobile device. Seznam Zprávy published his video news reports and Cyprich was also a remote participant – via his mobile – in a live interview with the presenter in the Prague studio.

A video news report made entirely on the reporter’s mobile device as he travelled through Poland with a US army convoy.

 

Additionally, Seznam Zprávy produces investigative programmes such as Special Investigation in which  political or business scandals are uncovered and reported.

According to a Czech metrics site, Netmonitor Online, which monitors traffic to news sites, Seznam Zprávy had 3,530,953 unique views in January 2017.

Better mobile networks

The growth of video in news has been enabled by improving Czech mobile networks, which now provide sufficient download speed for video content.

Another contributing factor is the increase in media advertising spend in the Czech Republic overall (up 8% overall in 2015). Online ad spend has become a significant proportion (20%) of the total media market – the same level as print, which is on a downward trend, according to the Reuters Institute Digital News Report, 2016.

 

Other EJO stories you might like: Media Predictions Survey 2017, Facts, Quality, Revenue and Video

and

Online Video News Driven by Technology, Publishers and Platforms, not Consumers

 

Images: screen shots, DVTV and Seznam

 

 

The post How Video is Changing the News in the Czech Republic appeared first on European Journalism Observatory – EJO.

A Tale of Two NewFronts

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As the IAB NewFront presentations got underway this week, there was little in the way of consistency between legacy publishers Time Inc. and Hearst. The magazine giants may face similar constraints as print revenues dive and digital audiences demand nontraditional content; but when it comes to meeting these demands, the two companies are taking vastly different approaches.

Time Inc. is a mobile-first company with a video-first advertising structure. At least that’s what Time Inc. COO Jen Wong said in her NewFronts presentation early Thursday, speaking to a room of nearly a thousand advertising-industry folks who were thirsty for new products.

While the IAB NewFronts presentations are explicitly for brands that create digital video, it is quite a declaration coming from the largest magazine publisher in the country.

So what does a mobile-first Time Inc. look like? From the stage of NYC’s Hammerstein Ballroom, Time Inc. CEO Rich Battista announced an OTT Sports Illustrated video channel, which will include familiar content, such as the Swimsuit franchise.

Michelle Ebanks, president of Essence, announced a live video partnership with Twitter. A similar—though perhaps more extensive—24-hour news channel with Twitter was announced by Bloomberg earlier in the week.

Essence is also launching a video series called “The Boss Lady Project” which connects young black women with people who have succeeded in their chosen field. It’s a feel-good series, which presumably will appeal to advertisers.

While “The Boss Lady Project” is a big step toward relevance for Essence, it’s one of many new video projects coming to Time Inc. InStyle, Time, People, Entertainment Weekly, and Life VR all revealed upcoming video projects, though given the major de-siloing of editorial at the publisher, these projects aren’t likely to stay in one place.

Among these projects is “The Pretty,” a standalone video brand which will run across Time Inc.’s large beauty portfolio and social media. By running one video across multiple brands, Time Inc. is able to promise advertisers an audience of 52 million unique visitors per month, nearly 20 million of whom are Millennials. It’s a strong example of the One Time Inc. strategy the publisher has been working toward in the last few months.

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Over at Hearst Digital Media, things were remarkably more brand-focused. At the Wednesday evening presentation held at NYC’s Skylight Modern, the publisher revealed several new projects and verticals, which were comprehensively integrated into their various magazine identities.

Cosmopolitan, for instance, is launching a new 10-episode Snapchat series with “Blackish” actor Yara Shahidi, called “Keep Calm & Yara On.” Likewise, Seventeen is partnering with musical.ly to launch a series of beauty and fashion videos.

Delish revealed a brand-new vertical, Delish Kids, which will include video, as we well as how-to’s and recipes for a younger set. Interestingly, editor Joanna Saltz also revealed DelishTV, which she explained as Hearst’s attempt at creating the first-ever viral food show. The show will debut with A+E Network this year.

As advertisers and creatives wandered about the open bar, and enjoyed an artistic installation of sky-high ice cream sandwiches, and floor-to-ceiling macaroni’n’cheese wallpaper, Hearst Digital also announced two completely new brands.

Glo is a video-first brand which is supposed to take a humorous approach to wellness. Harness, co-founded by actor America Ferrera, is a multi-platform content partnership which focuses activism and community role models.

Two more previously announced brands, Airbnbmag and CR Fashionbook, are set to come out this month.

So what’s the takeaway?

Video is big for magazine publishers and advertisers alike, but that can mean a lot of things. While Time Inc. is focusing on high-production series, Hearst Digital is focusing on smaller projects with chewable content that fit seamlessly in their existing products.

The post A Tale of Two NewFronts appeared first on Folio:.

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