News companies: Allow embeds of your video!

By Steve Outing

I was reading an article on NYTimes.com this morning: “Team Turns Unsung Runners Into Elite Marathoners.” Included in the article is a NYT-produced video sidebar. (While I would term it a sidebar to the story, it can stand on its own; someone viewing it who had not read the story would not be confused.)

Take a look and see if you can tell what’s missing from that video. …

The answer: embed code!!! There’s no way for anyone to post this video on their own website (other than a simple URL link).

Here we have — from an award-winning newspaper website that clearly is ahead of the curve in many ways — an example of a traditional media company missing a simple opportunity for expanding its reach.

One of my company’s websites is YourRunning.com. I wanted to post this video to share with YourRunning.com readers. Sorry, no can do. This article potentially could be shared on lots of running-related websites and blogs. Ditto, of course, for the many other videos that NYTimes.com produces on other topics.

I guess this is another example of the news industry still not getting on board with the unbundling of media. There is opportunity by allowing bloggers and others to post video on their sites:

  1. Potentially large new audience for the content, marketed on your behalf by a volunteer army of bloggers and other website owners
  2. New clicks through to your site (including from caption link to accompanying story, in the case above)
  3. Opportunity to include short ad in video (monetize off-site video viewing)

I don’t want to paint with too broad of a brush, however. Some news websites do allow embeds. Kudos to WashingtonPost.com, for example; here’s one of its videos that the site does permit sharing of:

I don’t think telling people to link to your videos with a text hyperlink is enough. Allow them to post your video.

Author: Steve Outing Steve Outing is a Boulder, Colorado-based media futurist, digital-news innovator, consultant, journalist, and educator. ... Need assistance with media-company future strategy? Get in touch with Steve!

4 Responses to "News companies: Allow embeds of your video!"

  1. Howard Owens
    Howard Owens 10 years ago .Reply

    we’re doing it … check out a video on rrstar.com.

    Eventually, this is how it will work on all of our sites.

  2. Howard Owens
    Howard Owens 10 years ago .Reply

    we're doing it … check out a video on rrstar.com. Eventually, this is how it will work on all of our sites.

  3. Dan Pacheco
    Dan Pacheco 9 years ago .Reply

    This is all academic, of course. I don\'t assume for a minute that what works in one place will automatically work somewhere else. The difficult thing about \"niche\" is that every niche audience is different.

    I can appreciate the concerns around cost. Even for an exsiting media company like the Californian that has its own presses, the startup costs for printing and distributing of a new printed product — even one with 10,000 – 20,000 copies that comes out every two weeks — is daunting. Those costs require a longer \"runway\" than most small startups probably have. Don\'t assume that you need your own printing presses to do this, though. Many of the niche publications I mention that are managed by Mercado Nuevo are now printed outside of the Californian because its\' cheaper for them, based on the number of copies and type of print stock that they require.

    I have thought for some time that there must be a way to let anyone publish a printed publication using online content, starting with PDFs and then moving to home printers, Kinko\'s and — for the right type of content — a larger press run.

    We submitted a concept to the Knight News Challenge for this which is going to the next round. If we win (a longshot given the number of entries), maybe the next citizen media startup will have more options when it comes to print. And if we don\'t, I think this idea is so compelling that we\'ll keep looking for a way to make it happen.

  4. Dave Bullard
    Dave Bullard 9 years ago .Reply

    I\'ve always thought that print would help hyperlocal news sites like mine (Steve was kind enough to write about us, oh, half a million years ago in E&P). Let\'s face it — web-only is a tough place to be. And it runs counter to the advice being given to print-only media — diversify, embrace all platforms.

    We\'ve been working on a partnership with a print company in our markets, believing that it would help us grow. Our advertisers like us well enough, but print is just a habit and the first thing they think about when they need to get a message out. But the partnership idea is stalled, as the publisher has about the same thinking Steve said he ran into with magazine publishers.

    We\'ve also thought about Dan\'s notion of printing our own publication, but Dan doesn\'t identify the real problem. Getting the printing done isn\'t the issue. The cost of printing, at Kinko\'s or even in-house, is relatively low. Rather, distribution is the issue. A distribution network is expensive.

    When we opened our third hyperlocal publication, we backed it for a time with a morning one-sheet newsletter that summarized the day\'s headlines. I put it together at 6am and e-mailed it to Kinko\'s. That part was simple. The cost was low. But, lacking a distribution network, the job fell to my sales manager to pick up the sheets and take them to convenience stores and Burger King\'s and such. The one-sheet drove online readership and became a desirable publication in its own right. But it was a two hour a day drain on resources. We had to shut it off.

    I do believe that print is part of the answer for web publications. The web and related technologies have decimated the cost of production. It\'s the cost and method of distribution that remains the barrier to entry.

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