MSN News is the latest high-profile news/information site to partner with Newsy for high-quality, short-form, customized video news clips. In a deal announced today, Newsy's editors will work collaboratively in real time with counterparts at MSN News to create and deliver up to 20 videos/day across categories including world, U.S. politics, science & technology, crime & justice and pop culture. Many videos are already live here and here. They will be distributed across all MSN News platforms.
For Newsy, the MSN News deal is the latest in a string of partnership wins with big news/information sites. In March, Newsy landed a deal with Mashable to create customized videos, which followed other partnerships with AOL/Huffington Post and National Journal. In total, with the MSN News deal, Newsy is creating 200+ custom videos per week for partners, which is part of the 2,000+ videos it creates each month for its own web site, mobile apps and syndication partners such as 5Min, DBG, blinkx, Grab Networks, ClipSyndicate and others. Newsy videos generate over a billion views per year. Newsy uses multiple partner models including revenue sharing and straightforward fees.
Recently I spoke to Jim Spencer, Newsy's president, who explained how the company has developed core systems and processes - matched with human editorial expertise - to produce its high-quality, short-form (under 2 minutes) videos. Jim highlighted a critical distinction in Newsy's production approach - it creates original content, but does not do original reporting.
That means you won't see a Newsy staffer reporting on location where news is breaking. But by curating/synthesizing the best multimedia coverage of a story from various sources, writing an original script, including a host/narrator, and presenting it with attractive graphics, Newsy delivers a high-impact original news package. All of the underlying news sources are clearly identified, and transcripts are published with links back to them. In a sense, the more fragmentation of news coverage there is, the more Newsy benefits by boiling a story down to its essence.
Though its videos are all available online, Jim describes Newsy as a "mobile first" company, with 80% of its video views via mobile devices. The company has invested heavily in its own free apps and at SXSW 2013 won its second Appy Award. Videos are also available via Pulse, Frequency, Vodio and other mobile apps.
Newsy is killing it because it is operating at the intersection of 3 key video trends: soaring mobile video consumption, a thirst by publishers for high-quality, branded videos that are highly monetizable through advertising and momentum behind syndicated video. Equally critical to Newsy's success is that it has figured out how to cost-effectively produce a massive quantity of short-form news videos. Finding the right balance of technology and human editorial involvement isn't easy, but Newsy has clearly nailed it.
With the 3 above trends gaining speed going forward, Newsy is in a very strong position to keep growing.