Looking back on a year of Reuters Live Online

13 Apr 2015

FullSizeRenderRob Lang started out at the BBC before joining Reuters 15 years ago. At Reuters he has worked for many years as an Intake Editor as well as a field producer on major stories across the globe. He is currently the Live Editor for Reuters Video News. We asked Rob to look back on one year of the Reuters Live Online service.

When Reuters Live Online launched last March we entered uncharted territory. We knew there were clients out there that wanted live video and we had ideas about the type of events they desired – but were we ahead of the curve and was the online world actually ready for live content?

It’s been a learning process, working out if our instincts for compelling lives covering breaking news, showbiz and sport were right. Thankfully, mostly they were, with just over 4.7 million plays on our hosted service of over 2,500 offered lives through the year.

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Over 300,000 of those plays came from one story alone – the Oscar Pistorius trial, a highlight of a what proved to be a busy news year. Other well used stories included the towing away of the Costa Concordia, the 70th anniversary of D-Day, the 100th Anniversary of the beginning of World War 1, the Charlie Hebdo attack, the conflict in Ukraine – including the downing of MH17, the Greek crisis, the rise of ‘Islamic State’, the disappearance of MH-370, the Ferguson shooting and its aftermath, to name but a few.

Over the year our clients have experimented with live content, just as video on demand took time to find its place on news portals, so live content is now settling in. We see our clients using dedicated live video pages, live blogs and banners to draw the audience to their live feeds.

Now with 12 months of data, we know more about what our clients want – and what works for them. We are who they come to for breaking news, big set-piece events like the Oscars, and anything space related – the comet landing was just one of many popular events. We’ve delved into the world of sports and showbiz and will continue to strengthen this part of the service in the future. In the past couple of weeks we’ve had great success with our UK clients who are lapping up our daily UK election live coverage.

Now that we have proved the concept of video over the Internet works, this week we have released a new premium product for broadcasters using much of the same infrastructure as RLO. Reuters Live Service Plus allows us to send in broadcast quality the same lives as RLO to our broadcast clients.

So the future is bright – we are moving forward, and building on our successes. We are providing the Reuters TV app with all their live content and we are starting to talk about what other features we can add to RLO. Online, and more particularly mobile news, is the future for video news and we aim to be at the forefront of what is becoming a radical transformation in the video news business.

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