As Viewers Increase, What Is The Future Of Online News Video?

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The audience for news on television may be shrinking, but that doesn’t mean that news video is losing its appeal; MSNBC.com is reporting that last month had its highest video viewership yet (158 million views), and the Associated Press has found a new audience on YouTube, with 645 million views since launch. Brightcove and Beet.TV held a roundtable discussion about this shift to online video yesterday, and the one takeaway seemed to be Be Yourself – But Be Yourself As Many Places As Possible.

With representatives from the New York Times, Associated Press, MSNBC.com, CNN.com and others present, the discussion covered what online news video should be (Namely, consistent with your brand; Ann Derry of the NYT said that video should “be organic with the journalism and… come out of the journalism [you] are doing”) and, perhaps more importantly, where. The AP’s Kevin Roach said that “40% of our streams from YouTube come from embedded streams” in social media, while Steven King of the Washington Post emphasized the importance of expanding audience through syndication (Although he later talked about the importance of the Post creating more video content exclusively for itself). Mobile apps were also cited by multiple participants as ways they’ve increased their audience.

But television news still offers some things that don’t necessarily resonate with online audiences, according to the discussion; online news video tends to be pre-taped – Representatives from CNN, Yahoo and the NYT all talked about the lack of “need” for live video at this point – and shorter, although MSNBC’s Stokes Young and Reuter’s Mike Stephanovich suggested that audiences might stick around for longer video if the topic was interesting enough. Testing that theory is the roundtable itself, available as online video here – if you’re curious to see what the future of internet news video might look like, of course.

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