Newspapers Can Do Video, Too

By RJI on July 2, 2007 0 Comments

by Mary Collins, President - Broadcast Cable Financial Management Association,

In a June 29, 2007 on the TVNewsday website, Broadcast Cable Financial Management Association president and TVNewday columnist Mary Collins writes that daily newspapers around the country are aggressively offering video on their websites, scooping their local TV counterparts and grabbing a disproportionate amount of online advertising revenue.

Collins writes:

“Stop looking at your company as a [broadcast transmission] tower. Local stations are in the information business, not the TV business.”I am reminded of these words from Steve Safran, SVP of media 2.0 at the consultancy Audience Research & Development, whenever I read the latest data about the growing popularity of online video.

A national online study conducted by Magid Media Futures in March found that daily usage of online video rose by 56% over the last year. And approximately 52% of Internet users are viewing online video once a week or more, as compared to 44% a year ago, the study found.News stories were the most frequently viewed online video category, representing over a third of online video consumption by the entire group and an even higher percentage by 45-64 year olds, according to the study.

At a BCFM/BCCA Conference panel, “Making a Real Business Out of a Local Media Web Site,” Safran noted that newspapers are making more revenue through video classifieds and other forms of online advertising than TV stations.Newspapers control 36% of all locally spent, online advertising, well ahead of TV stations’ 7.7%, according to a study from Borrell Associates.

What makes this even more troubling is the data showing that Web traffic on many local station sites actually outpaces that on local newspaper sites.

What’s more, Broadcasting & Cable magazine recently reported that newspapers are becoming increasingly aggressive is offering video news on their sites.

The Roanoke Times offers a daily afternoon news program that’s produced using a multimedia studio and control room. The Naples (Fla.) Daily News produces 30-minute daily “VODcasts,” and Gannett’s Wilmington (Del.) News Journal offers Delaware Online, a twice-daily Webcast featuring a dedicated news anchor.

Many of the news directors interviewed for the B&C article weren’t that concerned with the online newscasts. However, we should remember that we’re not talking about the online newscasts as competition to the on-air broadcast, but as competition to the stations’ own online efforts.

Newspapers aren’t going against CNN or MSNBC. Print journalists are using their video to add the emotional element to the probing and in-depth analysis found in their newspaper stories, Safran said...

Click here to read Collins' article in its entirety on the TVNewday website.