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Posts Tagged ‘video content’

Wibbitz: Turn Text into Video, ‘Readers into Watchers’

Video editors of the world, unite! Wibbitz is a new news application that turns text based articles into short videos using RSS feeds and smart algorithms, complete with natural voice narration and infographics. In five seconds. It’s either the next big thing or the next sign that we’re one step closer to ‘The Fifth Element.”

They’re backed by Horizon Ventures (Spotify, Siri, Summly, among others), so it’s probably both.

The idea behind the technology falls directly in line with the habits of “news snacking” on mobile devices. But don’t publishers have a problem with taking their content and aggregating it? Not really, Wibbitz co-founder Zohar Dayan told me over the phone this week:

Not once they understand our long term vision. Our consumer facing vision is to be a platform that allows third party content providers to produce their own videos out of their own content. It’s mobile friendly and generates higher CPMs, especially with mobile devices.

We all know that producing videos is expensive, and as Dayan notes, “there’s only a certain amount of videos you can produce on a daily basis.” He hypothesizes that on a medium sized website, about 15% of articles have videos, some produced in house, some grabbed from the internet. “We enable them to leverage their own existing content and turn that 15% into 80% percent. Once they understand that, they’re interested in using it on their own platform, and that’s we’re going to enable them to do in the coming months.” Read more

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Journos, Meet TubeStart: Subscription Based Crowdfunding

There are lots of reasons that crowdfunding makes sense to journalists. And there are lots of ways to go about it. Alas, there are also drawbacks to what’s become the standard on platforms like Indiegogo or Kickstarter. Mainly it’s the whole deadline, all-or nothing approach to the major platforms. It’s fun and splashy and intense, but it’s also stressful and often just as much work to run a campaign to raise money for a project than it is to actually complete the project.

That’s why Josef Holm and Claude Shires have created TubeStart, a YouTube centric crowdfunding platform. It makes sense for two reasons.

The first is that the audience is there, waiting to be tapped. Instead of making users come to you, you can reach the bazillion (that’s a technical term) users that already viewing content on YouTube.

And you can monetize that content in a sustainable way. That’s the second part. What makes TubeStart unique is that you can raise funds with a subscription model. Holm says, that “fans can subscribe to over many mnths as opposed to running a month long campaign with the stress of making the goal. You can focus on finding funding to sustain your production costs.”

That’s interesting. The hardest thing about making the foray into video content is that it’s an added expense, and it’s still difficult to make it profitable. A local news organization could create daily news shows and ask users to donate, say, $1 a month for the privelage of viewing — and maybe some exclusive bonus content or other perk. This way, your content is paid for, while still remaining free for the general public, and you can make a few cents with Adsense to boot.

The platform launches August 20 and if you sign up now, TubeStart will waive the platform fees.  

PostTV Senior Editor Talks Video Content: ‘Find the Right Voice and Be Authentic’

There’s more happening at the Washington Post than Jeff Bezos. Last week, they launched two new shows to PostTV, focused on getting in depth with politics. ‘In Play,’ and ‘On Background,’ were added to the lineup to complement the ‘The Fold,’ which launched last fall, a weekly sports show and original reporting videos. You can watch the shows live, in full on the web or snack on shorter clips after they air.

I was able to get senior video editor Andrew Pergam on the phone to talk about how the shows fit into the Washington’s Post’s overall brand of journalism.

Are People Watching?

He wouldn’t get into numbers, but he assures me that yes, people are watching. What’s more important to the video team is that they create good content and grow their audience.

It was really important in creating all of this that we create content that we ourselves want to watch, and that we would want to share with other people, and grow our audience. That there’s a way to bring people into it in a different way…That was a founding principal. Video is very ‘of the web,’ this is where our audience is, let’s go meet them there.


Sharing and engaging with audiences online is also very of the web. The shows are an extension of the traditional reporting the Post is known for and with video, it’s very easy to get caught up in the obsession to go viral.

The journalism and the story is still it. That’s what we’re after. What we’re doing is creating really good journalism that on top of it all, is also ahre-able. It’s pretty important that we create journalism that matches our reputation.

What were trying to do is have an ongoing conversation with our audience. We’re trying to be as flexible as we can and figuring out what works and what doesn’t. Now we know how people are watching and how they’re engaging with it and then we can adjust accordingly.


Trial and Error

As your own organization makes moves towards creating video (and if it hasn’t, it should be), there are two things to keep in mind. The first is to actually be a part of the newsroom. Video teams don’t need to be replacements for wordsmiths:

I think everyone should be exploring video, it’s a big way that a traditional news organization can enhance its brand going forward… The Post has been successful at integrating video into the daily activity of the newsroom. We’re very much a part of this newsroom, I’m a senior editor in the newsroom, we’re in the same editorial meetings, the politics team works closely with the video team. It’s an unprecedented addition to this newsroom, as opposed to the video group being outside the newsroom, we’ve added a whole new group of journalists to the newsroom, which is very cool.

Pergam also notes that your video content doesn’t have to be perfect, though it should be authentic:

It’s important to figure out what you’re good at and what your audience can connect to…One of the things that’s attractive about the web is that it doesn’t have to be fully produced. The unfiltered, the raw, the grainy, sometimes that appeals to viewers because they feel a connection to that. Find the right voice for your operation, and be authentic. That’s what it all adds up to.


How To Be Like The MailOnline: Make News, Make Video, Make Money

It was a shocker to read that the MailOnline is America’s third largest news outlet this morning, just behind and

But it’s easy to get ahead when you have chutzpah. As a tabloid, it appears there was no hand wringing about pay models or how to fit sponsored content between slideshows of Kate Middleton’s baby bump and unsolved crime conspiracies. Sort of like the New York Post doesn’t worry about fact checking before laying our their morning edition.

From AdExchanger

 We don’t produce the content for them. What we do is create content hubs where their content will naturally fit in with our editorial. They may provide information about their products, videos showcasing their service and content relevant to topics in their product category. So we bring years of content publishing experience and an understanding of what audiences want to read. The marketer brings years of category insight and product knowledge. The end result has to provide more value to the consumer than if we had done this on our own. It’s in everyone’s interest to create something that’s entertaining. On top of that, it has to be clear that there’s a sponsor involved.

You can prattle on about the quality of the content and journalistic endeavors all you want, but the reality of digital publishing is just do it. ‘It just has to be clear that there’ a sponsor involved.’  Read more

From Print to Broadcast: How Local News Transitions to Digital

We all know video channels are the next step for news. It’s one thing if you’re The Atlantic or The Huffington Post. But smaller, regional publications are making the move, too. And it has been a slow, evolving process., a Calkins Media Group website based in suburban Philadelphia, has been transitioning its print papers online for the past decade and it’s starting to get serious about video content. The Bucks County Courier Times, one of the group’s papers (and for the record, where my mother works), recently launched The Courier Times Update, a ten minute news broadcast that goes live on their website at 2pm every day. Rachel Canelli, the host of the update, has transitioned from a strictly print reporter to the Courier’s go-to video reporter over the past few years. She doesn’t have any broadcast experience, but like most mid-market journalists these days, she’s learned how produce her own video segments.

 Ever since we had a website, we’ve done video. But it was more random. Three years ago we started a weekly segment called Buzz In Bucks and that evolved from man on the street interviews and hard news to more feature content. Two years ago, we started doing daily news video. That’s when they started handing out iPhones and cameras – it was a big investment, and then everyone was expected to do video. And the photographers got in because the had the capability to shoot video. Within the last year or so, we hired the video consultant and bringing in new players – we hired a new CEO and general manager and we started to put an emphasis on moving to video, by investing in equipment and software to add advertisements into the videos.

How many of you are sitting in a newsroom struggling to stay relevant? It’s not easy. For the team at the Courier, it was about hiring Canelli to head the update, and repurposing other reporters and photographers in the newsroom to add more video content. It’s a bit of a scramble.  Read more