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The newspaper industry’s struggle to adopt video

The newspaper industry has been reporting on itself for the last few years. The forecast is generally grim. Newspapers and magazines aren’t doing very well, largely because the ad-driven business model the industry has relied on for years no longer brings in the revenues it used to.

Most newspaper hacks and PR flacks are creatures of habit.  They didn’t learn about YouTube or online video production in the top journalism schools or the best colleges for communication majors.  But the first YouTube video, Me at the zoo, wasn’t uploaded until April 23, 2005, long after many of these hacks and flacks had graduated.

And even if they’ve seen MOVIECLIPS’ “Out of Sync Scene – Singin’ in the Rain Movie (1952) – HD),” a large number still can’t imagine that their journalism careers or public relations jobs might be going through the same kind of difficult transition that Hollywood went through in the late 1920s when silent films were replaced by video editing “talkies.”

About two-and-a-half years ago, ReelSEO issued a press release that said, “Video production SEO Can Save the Newspaper Industry, Says New Study.”  It was about a first-of-its-kind, in-depth report written by Senior Analyst Grant Crowell that was entitled, “Business Models for New Realities: The Newspapers Industry’s Video SEO Opportunity.”

And two-and-a-half years later, most newspapers are still struggling with harsh economic realities and are still seeking creative new revenue sources, while making the difficult transition from their traditional print-centric business model to the where their audience has migrated — the Internet.

For example, look at the YouTube video editing channels for the top 10 newspapers in the United States by daily circulation, compiled by the Audit Bureau of Circulation for the six month period ended March 31, 2011:

  • The Los Angeles Times’s channel has 60 million total upload views and 14,500 subscribers.
  • The New York Times’s channel has 41 million total upload views and 53,000 subscribers.
  • The New York Post’s channel has 16.9 million total upload views and 6,800 subscribers.
  • The Wall Street Journal’s channel has 11 million total upload views and 6,300 subscribers.
  • The Chicago Tribune’s channel has 10.9 million total upload views and 3,700 subscribers.
  • The New York Daily News’s channel has 8.2 million total upload views and 2,200 subscribers.
  • USA Today’s channel has 7.5 million total upload views and 3,500 subscribers.
  • The Washington Post’s channel has 5.7 million total upload views and 4,400 subscribers.
  • The Chicago Sun Times’s channel has 99,000 total upload views and only 60 subscribers.
  • The San Jose Mercury News – Bay Area News Group’s channel has only 5,400 total upload views and just 6 subscribers.

In contrast, CBS’s channel on YouTube has 1.2 billion total upload views and 369,000 subscribers.  The Associated Press’s channel has 918 million total upload views and 231,000 subscribers.  Heck, even The Young Turks’s video production channel has 554.5 million total upload views and 276,000 subscribers.

Now, can you have a successful Video editing SEO strategy without also having a strong presence on YouTube?  Well, according to the DoubleClick Ad Planner, had 800 million unique visitors worldwide in July 2011.  By comparison, had 28 million, had 14 million, had 12 million, has 12 million, and had 11 million.

So, trying to peddle your news videos without YouTube these days is as difficult as trying to peddle your papers without “newsies” was back during the newsboys’ strike of 1899 in New York City.

If newspaper hacks mistakenly believe that creating their own news videos is too hard, then they can easily ask more PR flacks, “Do you have a YouTube video to go with your story?”

But savvy public relations pioneers aren’t waiting for the mainstream media to “get it.”  They’ve already discovered that you can pitch a YouTube video to news bloggers like the ones at, which had 35 million unique visitors worldwide in July 2011, according to the DoubleClick Ad Planner.  And some PR gurus have also figured out that they can use Video SEO to get their stories found when someone conducts a relevant search on Google or YouTube.

Visit ReelSEO for the full story.

If you would like to use the powerful mediums of video production and video editing to help your business, visit Video One Productions’ website to see what we can do for you.

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