Why video is important to news organisations

Niemen Journalism Lab have just posted this article about Watchup, a Knight foundation-backed news app that aims to be the “Hulu for news junkies.”

Essentially it’s a catch-up service for news video content. The user picks a selection of content from Watchup partners (including CNN, ABC and the WSJ), and then watches it stream as a kind of custom newscast.

News organisations with great video content could do well out of partnering with organisations such as Watchup for these reasons:

  • Exposing a limited amount of video is a great shop window for your content. If you can track click-through from the Watchup app to your site, you can also measure the benefits
  • Given the prestige of Knight foundation projects in the US, it’s likely that being available on this app would raise your organisation’s brand awareness there. This is particularly relevant to organisations such as the Mail and the Guardian, who have both been making a big push across the pond
  • Watchup intends to run pre-roll advertising on branded content. If it takes off, the revenue share might bring in a little cash

Newspapers are rapidly beginning to understand the importance of video as part of their online offering. The problem is that high-quality video can be expensive to produce and host, so it makes sense to squeeze as much benefit out of the content as you can.

Syndication and partnerships are part of that equation, and innovative apps such as Watchup could make the process a lot easier.

The video below, from Watchup’s website, explains a bit more about the service:

Meet Watchup from Watchup App on Vimeo.

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