New York magazine, the go-to-source for in-the-know New Yorkers, has relaunched the video section of its web site using the Magnify.net platform. What separates the magazine's effort from others is its plan to actively augment video it produces itself with other video sources, including users. By "curating" others' video, New York is looking to beef up the video section of its site by tapping into others' energy. Michael Silberman, the magazine's GM, Digital Media, explained more to me last week.
Michael said that as a print publication, New York was unlikely to ever have a large staff devoted to video production (it currently has just one dedicated person). However, the New York team has been watching broadband video's surging popularity and wanted to capitalize on this by making video an integral part of its web site. A key goal was to cost-effectively bulk up the volume of video it offered. That led the team to focus on how to aggregate and intelligently curate video from other sources so that the magazine's sensibility would be maintained. And all of this needed to be done in a "Hulu-like" user experience with accurately tagged videos presented in a logical flow.
In a prior post about Taste of Home magazine, I wrote about curation and how it can be a powerful editorial lever for print publishers' sites that have lean video budgets. The reality is that there is a lot of really interesting video being created that would be quite valuable to mainstream publications. In the Internet era, timeliness and omnipresence are important calling cards. Tapping into video-enabled readers, who often find themselves at the right place at the right time with their cellphones, digital cameras and Flips on hand, can produce real value if incorporated the right way.
New York plans to bring on a producer who will, among other things, run the curation process. No doubt there will be plenty of trial-and-error in the hunts for and includes appropriate 3rd party video, including users' submissions. But as I explained in the Taste of Home post, curation's potential suggests the emergence of a new editorial model for video that is particularly relevant in these penny-pinching economic times. It's the kind of break-from-tradition that may be jolting to editorial purists, but which reflects pragmatic - and strategic - thinking about how print publications can evolve and succeed in the broadband video era.
What do you think? Post a comment now.
Welcome to October. Recapping another busy month, here are 3 key themes from September:
1. When established video providers use broadband, it must be to create new value
Broadband simultaneously threatens incumbent video businesses, while also opening up new opportunities. It's crucial that incumbents moving into broadband do so carefully and in ways that create distinct new value. However, in September I wrote several posts highlighting instances where broadband may either be hurting existing video franchises, or adding little new value.
Despite my admiration for Hulu, in these 2 posts, here and here, I questioned its current advertising implementations and asserted that these policies are hurting parent company NBC's on-air ad business. Worse yet, In "CNN is Undermining Its Own Advertisers with New AC360 Live Webcasts" I found an example where a network is using broadband to directly draw eyeballs away from its own on-air advertising. Lastly in "Palin Interview: ABC News Misses Many Broadband Opportunities" I described how the premier interview of the political season produced little more than an online VOD episode for ABC, leaving lots of new potential value untapped.
Meanwhile new entrants are innovating furiously, attempting to invade incumbents' turf. Earlier this week in "Presidential Debate Video on NYTimes.com is Classic Broadband Disruption," I explained how the Times's debate coverage positions it to steal prime audiences from the networks. And at the beginning of this month in "Taste of Home Forges New Model for Magazine Video," I outlined how a plucky UGC-oriented magazine is using new technology to elbow its way into space dominated by larger incumbents.
New entrants are using broadband to target incumbents' audiences; these companies need to bring A-game thinking to their broadband initiatives.
2. Purpose-driven user-generated video is YouTube 2.0
In September I further advanced a concept I've been developing for some time: that "purpose-driven" user-generated video can generate real business value. I think of these as YouTube 2.0 businesses. Exhibit A was a company called Unigo that's trying to disrupt the college guidebook industry through student-submitted video, photos and comments. While still early, I envision more purpose-driven UGV startups cropping up in the near future.
Meanwhile, brand marketers are also tapping the UGV phenomenon with ongoing contests. This trend marked a new milestone with Doritos new Super Bowl ad contest, which I explained in "Doritos Ups UGV Ante with $1 Million Price for Top-Rated 2009 Super Bowl Ad." There I also cataloged about 15 brand-sponsored UGV contests I've found in the last year. This is a growing trend and I expect much more to come.
3. Syndication is all around us
Just in case you weren't sick of hearing me talk about syndication, I'll make one more mention of it before September closes out. Syndication is the uber-trend of the broadband video market, and several announcements underscored its growing importance.
For example, in "Google Content Network Has Lots of Potential, Implications" I described how well-positioned Google is in syndication, as it ties AdSense to YouTube with its new Seth MacFarlane "Cavalcade of Cartoon Comedy" partnership. The month also marked the first syndication-driven merger, between Anystream and Voxant, a combination that threatens to upend the competitive dynamics in the broadband video platform space. Two other syndication milestones of note were AP's deal with thePlatform to power its 2,000+ private syndication network, and MTV's comprehensive deal with Visible Measure to track and analyze its 350+ sites' video efforts.
I know I'm a broken record on this, but regardless of what part of the market you're playing in, if you're not developing a syndication plan, you're going to be out of step in the very near future.
That's it for September, lots more planned in October. Stay tuned.
What do you think? Post a comment!