Video Killed the Radio Star, But Might Save Newspapers

What comes to mind when you think of newspapers? Whatever it is, it’s probably not streaming video. Yet one of the interesting facts in a new survey of the online video market (PDF link) from video-hosting platform Brightcove and analytics provider TubeMogul is that newspapers overtook broadcasters in terms of the total number of video minutes streamed in the third quarter of 2010. As news publishers of all kinds try to move their operations online, more and more seem to be getting the message that the future includes video.

The Brightcove and TubeMogul report shows that the number of video titles uploaded by newspapers climbed by more than 50 percent in the quarter to almost half a million, and that was more than double the number of videos that newspaper sites uploaded in the same quarter of 2009. The total number of minutes streamed rose to 313 million in the most recent quarter, the report says, compared with 290 million for broadcasters. As Brightcove and TubeMogul note in the study, their figures are not necessarily representative of the entire video market, but the data is still interesting.

Some of the growth in video streaming was likely a result of the major news events during the third quarter, including the World Cup soccer tournament and the mid-term elections in the U.S., but that doesn’t explain why newspapers outpaced broadcasters in terms of videos (although it’s possible some broadcasters no longer use Brightcove or TubeMogul and therefore aren’t reflected in the data). In addition to leading in total minutes streamed, newspapers also took the lead in terms of the total number of videos, with close to 500,000 uploaded — more than twice as many as the broadcasting group.

The one area in which broadcasters led the pack, however, is the average number of minutes watched, where broadcasters as a group were far ahead of newspapers. This suggests that while newspapers are uploading more video, readers (or viewers) aren’t finding that content as engaging as they do videos that come from broadcasters. That’s probably not surprising, considering many newspapers are still grappling with how to produce video, something that doesn’t come naturally to print publications, while most broadcasters have learned how to create video content that grabs viewers.

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Post and thumbnail photo courtesy of Flickr user Jim Kelly