It’s no secret that video is an integral part of the modern newsroom. Some of the biggest players in publishing have been shifting the focus (and the structure) of their newsrooms to incorporate short-form video content. Time Inc., Mic, and MTV are just the latest to contribute to the trend by cutting down on their editorial staff and making room for video experts who can overlap visuals with written content.
But there’s no need to worry! It’s all a part of the evolution of news. Journalists have been following the same processes to cover the news for many years, and now it’s time to adapt to the new digital market. Here are the biggest contributing factors to this new wave of newsroom shifts - and why it’s simply necessary to adapt accordingly:
1. Simplifying video production with emerging technologies
Publishers want to minimize resources for maximum results, so versatile staffers are the best candidates for the modern newsroom. A journalist who gathers research, crafts a story, and publishes an article is contributing to one part of a greater whole in the production process. Newsrooms want their employees to be able to write an engaging piece that can be complemented with visuals - and now that new technologies like Wibbitz are available, journalists can easily supplement their stories with shareable video content without any outside help. The final product can look like a short-form video, a swipe up story, or even a 10-second snippet that redirects the viewer back to the article. So it only makes sense for publishers to consolidate their editorial teams with their video teams - because in today’s landscape, both skills are essential for effective storytelling.
2. Reaching new audiences across screens and platforms
Have you stumbled upon a video on Instagram or Facebook, became hooked within the first few seconds, watched it until the end, and found yourself wanting more? Social media allows this form of engagement. Everyone can be reached through social media, and publishers are formatting videos to fit in every crevice of the digital world. Gone are the days when publishers could write and circulate a single story through print for one devoted group of consumers. Now, with just one click or swipe, video views expose audiences to mini-stories that connect them to larger ideas, influence further interest, and create a loyal following.
Millennials and Gen-Z are undoubtedly the most important demographics for publishers to reach, and this demographic is already known for using video to convey ideas, elicit social movements, and influence cultural changes. In fact, Warc reported that 62% of millennials prefer watching video over reading text, and that video even influenced their decisions to purchase products from a brand or subscribe to a newsletter. Newsrooms have realized they need to cater to these visual learners with, well, visual storytelling - especially now that so much content is competing for their attention.
As trends change, publishers need to keep up with consumer demands. And today, people are no longer depending on long-form, journalistic writing to get their daily news - because it’s quicker, entertaining, and more convenient to consume the same stories through visual means. That’s not to say that long-form text content is no longer necessary, it’s just been moved further down the funnel, when a user becomes intrigued by a story and wants to learn more. But even so, whether it's through original, scripted, or live content, viewers want video to work alongside what they are reading.
The news consumption funnel will only continue to become larger and more complex as new platforms and screens are introduced, along with new methods of visual storytelling that work best on each one. But so far, video has proven to succeed on every major platform, and allows publishers to tell their stories in a plethora of ways. Facebook is restructuring to offer short-form video series in different formats, and Fox Sports is using Twitter to give live coverage of NFL-related events. These are great examples of pivoting to video because viewers want to be immersed in a visual story that uses images to paint a more creative and imaginative version of text.
4. Profiting from the increase in video ad spend
Video ad spend has jumped drastically over the past two years, and is expected to reach $9.4 billion by the end of this year, marking a significant rise in this industry trend. Digital ad revenue on both desktop and mobile already surpassed television back in April with a whopping $72.5 billion, and should reach $129 billion (with mobile as a primary focus) come 2021. Audiences are already immersed in the digital realm of their mobile devices, so the potential for video on mobile platforms is a no-brainer for advertisers. Why not join the movement, attract new audiences, and have your company profit handsomely?