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Newspapers,Online Video,Online Publishing

Newspapers Invest In Online Video

In a digital world where news and opinion are in plentiful supply, online video can help newspapers shore up loyalty and engagement among existing readers, while helping deliver additional subscription and ad revenue.

Some publishers are making substantial investments in-house though others are testing the water with less capital intensive options, buying readymade stories from news vendors such as AP while renting off the shelf delivery solutions.

Thanks to changes made in Google’s search algorithm this year, video is becoming more prominent in search results, making video news an increasingly effective way to boost search rankings and site stickiness.

There tends to be a surge of interest in video around breaking news, galvanized by social media, though newspapers need to be quick off the mark to benefit.

Falling Costs

Meanwhile, falling production and streaming costs, together with rising broadband penetration, are spurring greater interest in online video, which can play either a defensive or more aggressive role as newspaper owners plot future digital strategies.

Around the world, publishers are adopting a wide range of approaches, with some orienting their offering heavily around video while others continue to develop a relatively traditional product online.

“How you choose is not black and white,” comments Stig Nordqvist, executive director of emerging digital platforms and business development for newspaper trade body, Wan-Ifra.

“The key for a publisher is to make a balance of text, images and video based on their audience and brand culture, and in balance with the newspaper strategy based on their market and competition.

“You never venture into more video without clear KPIs for creating better content that can be monetized, either via more traffic for paid advertisements or unique content which could be paid for.”

Ad Challenge

In Asia however, there seems to be little appetite among consumers to pay for online video at present, while few advertisers are actively seeking out newspapers for video advertising.

“The inventory is treated the same way as any other online video inventory by most of the clients,” remarks Sunil Yadav, Asia-Pacific regional investment management director for media agency network Aegis Media.

“The key criterion for selecting sites is to follow audience viewing habits,” Yadav adds. “There are no clients yet who have specifically requested us to advertise on a particular video site.

Even in the case of a premium brand or corporate campaign, the only filter that may get applied is to exclude certain genres or networks. And based on audience behavior, YouTube is the preferred option for the majority of online video advertising.”

Even so, online video can help newspapers bolster their overall offering to advertisers, providing a richer palette of ad options for existing clients while opening the door to TV budgets that were once out of reach.

Revenue Generator

“I am starting to see video as more of a revenue generator,” says Ivy Wong, CEO of Next Media subsidiary Next Mobile.

“A few years ago, building online video was to sustain the business, complementing the decline of newspaper sales,” adds Wong, who also oversees digital ad sales across the publisher’s newspapers and magazines.

“To the company it’s more of an investment, because you have to produce the video to survive. A few years later, when the digital market becomes more mature, you see advertising dollars start to shift from the TV to the internet, because there are so many online videos.

"I see revenue growing a lot.”

In partnership with The Society of Publishers of Asia, Media Partners Asia took part in an event discussing these themes in greater depth, in Hong Kong on Thursday October 25.


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