Friday, March 12, 2010

Why video matters to a local news site

On Feb. 1 our company's new CEO, John Paton, promised on his first day on the job every reporter in the company would have a Flip camcorder within 30 days. He delivered ... and in a little over three weeks, our staff has shot, edited and posted 52 videos. (By comparison, prior to John's investment, we were shooting maybe 10-12 a month.)

Three video highlights: Nicholas Kaiser, who spoke about his accomplishments during his seven years as Troy police chief on his last day before retirement; several videos highlighting the win and post-game celebration by the Siena men's basketball team after defeating Fairfield in overtime to win the MAAC Championship and an NCAA tournament berth; and an announcement by a representative of the Franklin Inn and Suites in downtown Troy that the business is now affiliated with Best Western. A huge moment for local sports fans, a big milestone celebrated by a renown public servant, and a report on a business investment in Troy's economic center. This represents the ebb and flow of some of the many important moments in our community being broadcasted (most posted within minutes or hours of being captured).

Why the sudden emphasis on video? Well, to be frank, it is more to make up for lost time than any other reason. The public was ahead of our company in their desire to view news videos online (versus our ability to deliver). A recent study spotlights the audience we were missing.

The Pew Research Center and the Project for Excellence in Journalism released a report on March 1 outlining research on how Americans are consuming news, particularly in social context. I will blog more on the results down the line but one element of their research addresses which Web site features appeal to news consumers. Among all features, multi-media content including video clips is important to 48 percent of all online news users; preference is heaviest by younger viewers (57 percent of those age 18-29 and 51 percent of those ages 30-49 percent).

So overwhelmingly, our consumers - particularly those under age 50 - expect video at our Web site. If they don't find it here, they will go elsewhere for it and may not come back.

Currently, we don't have the opportunity for our viewers to upload video to our site, but that option is coming this spring. More functionality for where and how we can post them to our site, and more access to our archive (currently we only have links to our most recent videos) is also coming.

If you take our current productivity producing videos, assume we're going to get more efficient at this process, you can extrapolate that we could be on track to produce close to 1,000 videos in the next 12 months. That builds a foundation for our future as a multi-media company.

Happy viewing!

No comments:

Post a Comment