by Carlo Longino

Magazines Want To Cash In On Web Video, Too

from the it's-more-fun-with-moving-pictures dept

While newspapers flounder as they try to figure this whole internet thing out, magazines have been slightly more adept. Now, there's apparently growing interest among magazine publishers to try and cash in on the web video craze by rolling out their own video content -- but it's not driven by a desire to offer users better content, but rather simply to provide video inventory to sell to advertisers. It's almost as if these sites are assuming that because something like YouTube is popular, there's a great untapped demand among the online audience for any sort of web video, and they'll be able to capitalize on it by offering up any old content, as long as it's moving pictures. However, the rise of YouTube and other video sites simply means there's more competition for users' attention, so magazines will have to ensure that their video content is actually compelling enough to attract viewers and hold their interest. While some publications are devoting significant resources to video, others are just issuing cameras and microphones to their reporters, who often have no background in broadcast media. The assumption seems to be that video instantly makes a story more interesting, but that's not necessarily the case, particularly if it's not executed well. It's all well and good that magazines are trying to expand their online operations, but just throwing content out there solely as a vehicle with which to move ads, with little consideration of what it offers the audience, isn't a sound strategy.

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  1. identicon
    Peter, 14 Sep 2006 @ 3:03am

    Quality is everything

    Audio and video for websites is clearly the "next big thing" in website enhancement and content. But Carlo's point is right about quality. Will it enhance or damage mag brands?

    I reckon it's about the way you tell 'em! There are loads of "record it yourself" technologies flooding the marketplace - many of them extremely effective, very clever, low cost and generating massive volumes - YouTube being a very good example. Long may it continue because all of these technologies have a massive contribution to make.

    But when it comes to mag or newspaper websites, I think the rules change. In general terms, they have websites which showcase the written stuff. They'll have spent as much as they can afford in making the design and content reflect their brand. Now they're adding audio and video and it's here that good branding can turn bad.

    I recently saw a Google ad for a piece of web audio technology that said "sound like the professionals in just three minutes". Erm no! Professional voiceovers, scriptwriters and producers are employed for a reason - they are professonals!. Writing for voice, recording and producing audio and video scripts, understanding marketing, brand values, what to say and even how far to stand away from the mic are all essential skills to add to the technology. If you can package the whole thing in one, even better.

    Let's see how long it is before web users start to understand the difference between quality videoto really enhance a website and stuff that's just there because the mags think their visitors/readers will acept anything they put up.

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