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Print media embraces video in a big way

In an interview with BeetTV, Rick Berke, recently named senior editor and director of video content development at the New York Times, noted that video was becoming increasingly relevant as a journalistic tool, rocketing the media industry into a visual future. It’s certainly the direction the New York Times is headed.

Last month the Times dropped its paywall around videos, while this month the Gray Lady has upped the ante and is reportedly expanding its video news programming. Some of the features in the expansion include experimenting more with live news events, as well as commentary and analysis and quick-turnaround news coverage, Berke told BeetTV. “What we’re trying to do is make video central to what we do at the New York Times so it’s as central as text on our website, as the printed newspaper, so when people think New York Times they’re not just thinking reading a story they’re thinking of watching something,” said Berke.

The Washington Post is also in the game of video expansion and is slated to launch a dedicated political channel this summer that would provide at least 30 hours of programming a month, the Post reported in January. Meanwhile, the Poynter Institute last month ran a story on the Bakersfield Californian, which apparently does “good video.” According to the report, the newspaper teamed up with local radio station KERN-AM to put on a News/Talk morning show called “First Look with Scott Cox,” which is aired live on the paper’s website.

Gannett recently began modifying its television broadcasts to appear on USAToday.com and other newspaper properties, while AllThingsD reported that the Huffington Post’s streaming video news service launched last summer was set to serve up to 48 million streams as of March. Nieman Journalism Lab recently profiled the Wall Street Journal’s video initiatives, mainly WorldStream, a revamped version of Tout, a video sharing app/website that makes it easy to upload and share short videos. According to the article, WSJ staffers equipped with smart phones, tablets and other handheld devices have been able to file thousands of video clips because of the app. Indeed, Tout has partnered with various other media partners, including Condé Nast, and plans to host roughly 200 outlets by the end of 2013.

This brings us to Condé Nast, which has been busy expanding its video plans by creating video networks around Glamour and GQ magazines, which now air shows available on the magazines’ respective websites as well YouTube. Meanwhile, earlier this week USAToday.com reported that Condé Nast’s Wired had also expanded into its own channel with three news series: The Window, Angry Nerd and Game/Life.

Outside single media entities, startups like Media Program Network, which produces food videos in partnerships with newspapers, have emerged. According to NewNewsCheck.com, the McBride Group is another company that has launched a video production agency, calling it the Newspaper Network. Tout isn’t the only app service available either. In January, Twitter launched Vine, a mobile service that allows the user to take and share short looping videos.

Although utilizing video opens up more advertising opportunities, the Wall Street Journal reported in March that online video advertising rates have actually fallen. The reason all comes down to supply and demand. The marketplace is now exploding with online video, thus creating more space for advertisers. The inevitable price drop for online ads, however, will put it on similar ground with the cost of television advertising, which could ultimately shift dollars back to online video from television and offset the overage in space, reported WSJ.

While a booming marketplace of video may not bring in as many ad dollars as publishers originally may have hoped, it does put print media into the forefront of today’s viewing culture. As long as traditional media continues to evolve, its audience will continue to read, listen and watch.

–Katrina M. Mendolera

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