Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Newspapers Upload More Video Than TV Broadcasters

Here's the best news of the year... so far.

Newspapers have surpassed TV broadcasters in the number of online video uploads and total minutes streamed.

Now we're not saying that all those videos are any good. Most, alas, are dreadful. Or nothing more than raw footage of local high school teams.

But it's significant that newpapers are growing to appreciate the irrefutable allure of video as part of the journalism storytelling mix.

All the juicy details are in a report that has nothing to do with newspapers vs. broadcast video. Instead, it's a white paper about "Peak Video Engagement By Days of the Week and Times of Day" -- i.e. when we watch video -- jointly commissioned by Brightcove (the most ubiquitous videoplayer platform for media companies) and TubeMogul (an online video analytics platform used by advertisers).

Their third-quarter report divulges these fascinating discoveries:
• Newspapers saw significant growth in the number of titles uploaded (51% growth) and surpassed broadcasters in total minutes streamed for the first time this quarter. This is an interesting development, and suggests that newspapers are rapidly adopting and producing video content for what was once a print business. This data also bears out the distinct differences in the content between the two verticals: broadcasters have fewer but longer titles, while newspapers are producing many more, but shorter titles on a more regular basis.

• Online media properties (which includes pure-play Web properties and blogs) also had a strong growth quarter in player loads (127% growth) and titles uploaded (23% growth), suggesting that video adoption and production activity is on the rise across the growing media category.

• Newspapers have surpassed broadcasters in the total minutes streamed this quarter, with 313 million minutes streamed, compared to 290 million for broadcasters. This is an interesting turning point because while broadcasters tend to have longer-form content, newspapers lead the group in sheer number of titles uploaded. It’s likely that spikes in news video production coincided with large events of the quarter, including continued coverage of the World Cup that finished up in July, and of the mid-term elections in the US.

• Q3 saw a significant increase in titles uploaded for newspapers, with a quarter to quarter growth of 51%, and a 110% growth compared to the same quarter last year. Newspapers lead the number of titles uploaded for media companies with 482,000 titles uploaded in the quarter.

• This quarter, we also saw significant growth (23% since last quarter) in title uploads from the online media category, which has now surpassed broadcast uploads, a first this quarter. This represents a 188% increase in video uploads year over year for online media.
The future of videojournalism is here. Now for our collective New Years resolution, let's work on allocating more resources towards improving the quality of those video stories, so we can attract more eyeballs to them. That in turn will woo advertising revenue, which can then be reinvested in further improving those videos, leading to a big happy upward spiral for everyone.

Oh, and if you're still wondering about when folks watch video, here is the report's conclusion: Wednesday is the most popular day for total video views, but people spend more minutes watching videos on weekends (including Friday). So lots of shorter videos mid-week; fewer but longer videos during the weekend. As for optimal times of day for viewing video: "Magazines peaked during working hours, while newspapers had more steady engagement into the evening hours. And, as expected, broadcasters total daily views peaked during traditional 'prime time' hours from 6-11PM, mirroring their television counterparts."

Read the full report here.

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