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!