Digital Innovation Digital Publishing
4 mins read

“Numbers are growing every day”: Publishers continue to place their bets on video

‘Pivot-to-video’ ended up hurting quite a few publishers but many continue to bet on the format. They range from global publishers like Condé Nast to region-specific ones like the Argentinian company Editora Perfil. 

This confidence in video is driven by the continued upward surge in mobile video consumption. According to a Cisco study, video will make up 80% of all internet traffic in 2019. A 2018 Reuters survey had 70% British publishers, including News UK, the Telegraph, Hearst UK and Buzzfeed UK stating that video content would be a top priority for their business in 2019.

Video is such an engaging format, as we know. As more and more video is being consumed on social and mobile, it is a great medium and platform to actually get that message across, not only with our brand but also with our advertisers’ brand.

Adam Ochman, VP, Content and Strategy, The Foundry, a visual effects software development company

“We’re just scratching the surface”

Hearst launched a streaming video service last month. The product called All/Out Studio offers access to 35 hours of workout classes and is available for $15 per month, or $100 per on iOS and Android devices as well as Apple TV. 

The other publishing giant, Condé Nast’s new CEO, Roger Lynch is bullish about the prospect of video. In a company-wide meeting last month Lynch said, “When I joined, I knew we had good prospect to grow video and I only have more conviction in that today. We’re just scratching the surface.”

He added that the segment could eventually be worth $1B for Condé Nast. This would mean doubling the publisher’s current estimated revenue. 

The interest in video is not limited to the global publishers with sufficient resources to invest in video production. Relatively smaller publishers are also exploring the format. A cautious approach may be the need of the hour, as reflected in Editora Perfil’s video strategy. 

“Video is something that our audience is looking for”

Editora Perfil publishes several weekly magazines that separately cover entertainment, lifestyle, sports and history. It reaches 27% of the Argenitinian market and 21% of Brazil. The company’s digital properties reach 30 million people each month. 

Guilherme Ravache, Content Director at Editora Perfil told International Journalists’ Network that he found video challenging. He said that while they had a profitable digital operation, starting something new, like video was expensive. 

But he couldn’t ignore the format’s importance as he saw opportunities for online video continue to expand with new tools like Instagram’s IGTV. 

Overall, video is something that our audience is looking for. It can improve the experience for them and increase engagement with our brands.

Guilherme Ravache, Content Director, Editora Perfil 

After attending Facebook Journalism Project’s video accelerator program in April this year, he got his team to revamp their video strategy. They ditched the big cameras and shifted to a mobile-focused approach. Reporters are now given mobiles phones to create videos, Skype is used for interviews, and frames adjusted to leave space for graphics. 

“Our numbers are growing everyday”

Initially the team was nervous about reducing the production quality. They feared it might cost them their audience. But according to Vitor Balciunas, Head of Content at Editora Perfil, “We actually got a surprise, and people started liking, commenting and sharing our videos so much more. Our numbers are growing every day.”

The new video strategy has helped the publisher record significant growth across social media platforms, and increased traffic to the publications’ websites. Its magazines, CARAS and Ana Maria’s Facebook following grew by nearly 50% each in July. 

According to Camilla Queiroz, Executive Editor at Editora Perfil, CARAS now has the most engaged Instagram news profile in Brazil. The publisher monetizes its video content through advertisements. The growing engagement has helped increase its website views, making it more attractive to potential advertisers, says Queiroz.

“Develop your own voice”

Many publishers are finding success with a carefully planned approach to video. Bloomberg’s Instagram account Bloomberg Business (@bloombergbusiness) achieved significant growth in audience and video views in 2018. It saw a 391% increase in followers and 617% rise in video views last year

Bloomberg uses videos to explain the stories behind the headlines and has seen high viewership numbers for minute-long digests of topical issues, according to its Senior Social Editor, Kevin Young. He adds, “We’ve found that the key to success on Instagram is to be yourself and develop your own voice.” 

Where publishers faltered in the “pivot to video” was they rushed into it with considerable investments. Video is a growing format whose potential cannot be ignored. Paul Verna, VP, Content Studio at eMarketer writes, “There are an estimated 235.1M video viewers, or 82.8% of internet users. Just over half of them watch live streaming video on platforms including linear OTT services, sports, live events, social media and news publisher streams.”

That’s a huge number, the potential audience looking for the next story.

Download WNIP’s comprehensive new report—50 Ways to Make Media Pay—an essential read for publishers looking at the multiple revenue opportunities available, whether it’s to reach new audiences or double down on existing super-users. The report is free and can be downloaded here.

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