Newspaper Sites Earn Higher Marks for Video Innovation

Newspaper publishers are becoming more proficient in their use of online video, both producing more content and garnering more views.

Video platform provider Brightcove said that between 2007 and 2008 newspapers increased the number of videos uploaded to the Brightcove platform from an average 186 videos per month to 638 per month. The total number of videos uploaded in 2008 increased by 1,500 percent.

Additionally, the number of video views has grown. In Q1 2009, the company’s newspaper customers streamed 42.8 million videos to their visitors, compared to 15.3 million video streams during the same quarter last year. That represents 365 percent growth in the number of video streams by Brightcove newspaper sites, the company noted in a blog post this week.

“The newspaper companies are becoming more capable of creating original content,” said Brightcove chairman and CEO Jeremy Allaire. “They are seeing as a real driver in the time consumers are spending on their site.”

The most common ad unit associated with this video content is a :15 pre-roll with a 300 x 250 companion banner. However many local advertisers won’t have a :15 spot and will run a :30 pre-roll in its place.

From an ad sales standpoint, Allaire noted the challenges are greater for smaller regional newspapers than for larger publishers. “What we’ve seen with video, especially with regional [papers], is initially they don’t have enough online inventory to immediately sell,” he said. “They might not get as much of a premium on the CPM.”

To produce video, many newspapers now have staff capable of being on camera, handling production, and creating multimedia presentations. Some papers are hiring former television producers and many are producing higher-quality video.

“There’s clearly a focus on increasing the production quality,” said Allaire. “The higher the production quality the more compelling it will be to users, the more interest and higher return on the product.”

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