online video

5 Emerging Content Opportunities Your Newsroom Should Be Trialling Now

SOURCE: Poynter SOURCE: Poynter

Facebook has been coming under fire for how it describes itself recently along with its handling of trending topics and showing (or rather not showing) specific content.  Big questions are being asked about the future of the big blue misery machine but for many newsrooms just being seen would be a great problem to have.  All content is created equal on Facebook but that’s sadly where the truism ends once it goes into the endless content sausage factory.  After content is lovingly crafted in the status editor box and sent into the ether, numerous answers to questions are applied so that Facebook can determine where in the Newsfeed it should be “shown”.  Knowing and understanding what is working then becomes mission critical for many news outlets.  It would be unfair to say however that the various platforms aren’t offering newsrooms an array of tools to help newsrooms.  Below are five such tools that newsrooms are failing to jump on (for a wide variety of reasons).  With clear strategies I believe the following tools offer the next way outlets grow audiences, find news ones, make new revenue and reduce risk:

1) Facebook Live…as a programme
Reuters UK is doing a great job of extending the news product runway with Facebook’s live streaming platform, Facebook Live. Beyond simply entertaining a somewhat captive audience the team are smart and mention other products and areas of interest for the viewer during the broadcasts about the markets. Timed well in the morning with a good pace and level of depth the team has a great opportunity create a new audience and then push them around the Reuters ecosystem.  NPR, The Verge, The Young Turks and Digiday are also worth a look for inspiration.   Telescope.TV and Groovy Gecko offer teams a variety of set-ups should your strategy go beyond simply point and shoot.
ADDITIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Sponsorship, Product Placement, Branded Content, Partnerships, Ads…it all depends on what your brands is comfortable with… and that you don’t break Facebook’s community rules.

2) Instagram (and Snapchat) Stories…as a story

A huge opportunity springs from corporately owned Facebook in the guise of the shockingly copied Snapchat feature but with a few tweaks. Quartz, Cool Hunting and others all show the potential for this sort of reporting tool and reaching the audience that Snapchat and Instagram boast is important for any news organisation.  No-one is getting it right straight away but the numbers are impressive.
ADDITIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Terms of Service for Snapchat are different to Instagram but it’s somewhat the Wild West still out there at the moment.  So long as anything paid for is labelled ‘promo’ or ‘ad’ (however faint!) it is usually ok. Naturally partnering with either of these monsters (should they ask you) isn’t a bad strategy either.

3) Animated infographic video…as an entire news product
Different brands report different amounts but between 50-85% of videos viewed on Facebook are viewed without sound. A growing trend in the newsfeed is being based around silent video products (audio costs and people are generally using Facebook in a variety of scenarios where sound is undesirable (toilet, bus).  GOOD Magazine’s ‘Data Vizeo’ series is a good example.
ADDITIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: In-house or externally this can be done efficiently.  Companies like Wibbitz (FD: now working with Reuters) offer to create high-quality videos for very little extra work once the story has been created by the editorial team at the news organisation.

4) Facebook 360 Photos/Video…as an extension strategy
You don’t have to buy the $30,000 camera that Facebook have open-sourced to create beautiful and useful videos of news you are covering. Instead, a regular smartphone, Go-pro or a mid-range drone often will create a high-enough quality product. 360 Video projects need to be carefully thought out (sometimes a fly through adds little) but as the cost continues to fall, these interactive products can add new dimensions to reporting.
ADDITIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: From sponsorship to product placement – it’s all a question of ethics and transparency…

5) Messenger Chatbots…as a hook to other places
My experience with Chatbots has been clumsy to date but the technology is improving fast and will not always be so creepy and lackluster.  A good experiment, with the right product push strategy, could see some significant traffic pushed into downloading an app for example. Chatbots will also likely see a lot of attention now that Facebook has begun allowing payments to be taken through Messenger. Perhaps a new subscription model looms?
ADDITIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Chatbots have the potential to revolutionise the way we consume news…if we let them. Instead of a ‘show us everything and let us decide’ model we could morph news consumption into something entirely new. Perhaps a more ‘choose your own adventure with some weighting’ type scenario feels right or maybe even as a way to personalise your reactive website experience.

Creating a valuable editorial product remains a hard thing to achieve at scale and speed especially for the “snack-news” world we increasingly live in.  While there remain some obvious focuses (video) and simple wins for Publishers, it is increasingly clear Facebook wants Publishers to pay to play in their sandbox.  While this may be grating, Facebook clearly owns the sand and sandbox – Publishers can get angry and be cautious but you could also choose to create exciting things which, if used correctly, could help you get your target group to want to exit the sandbox.

Paul Armstrong, guest writer for Inside Agency, runs HERE/FORTH an advisory that helps business leaders decide how to best use rapidly changing, disruptive and emerging technologies. Follow Paul on Twitter @paul__armstrong or contact him on

This article does not express the views of Thomson Reuters. The views and opinions expressed are those of the author.

Looking back on a year of Reuters Live Online

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.

Find out more about RLO

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. (more…)

Announcing the launch of Reuters-TIMA Location Services

Watch a video about Reuters TIMA Location Services

Reuters, the world’s largest international multimedia news agency, and TIMA, a global content service provider, today announced a major new global partnership designed to offer location services including studio facilities and logistical support to broadcasters and online media outlets. Reuters-TIMA Location Services combines Reuters unparalleled global editorial content, seen by over a billion people every day, with TIMA’s cutting-edge technology and considerable experience of service delivery for the international media industry.

The new service, created in response to the increased demand for live content in a shifting media landscape,will form a vast news and editorial network providing every aspect of news gathering facilities and support services. It will combine invaluable local knowledge with strategically placed broadcast and satellite resources in regional hubs. The service will launch at the 87th Academy Awards ceremony on 22nd February 2015, where live positions overlooking the red carpet will be provided to clients.

Watch an interview with Tim Santhouse, Reuters Global Head of Video Products and  Alla Salehian, CEO of TIMA.

Reuters-TIMA Location Services will offer experienced production and editorial staff on the ground at key global events, rapid access to events of regional significance, logistical services and dedicated customer support. The service will also give clients access to high-tech live studio facilities around the world, many with stunning city backdrops. (more…)

Reuters-TIMA Greek Elections Diary

IMG_2568Reuters-TIMA Location Services, which officially launched on February 11th, was on the scene for this year’s general elections in Greece. TIMA’s Operations Coordinator, Samuel Perriman, joined the team in Greece and documented his experience over the 4 days on location.

Samuel is in charge of booking and coordinating a range of TV services for international broadcasters worldwide, as well as being involved in planning and coordinating special events coverage, such as the Greek Elections.  From the initial setup to final results, Samuel’s entries give an in-depth look at exactly what is involved when covering an historic event on location.

23 January

Greece is heading to the polls on Sunday 25th January as the country votes in an election that may have wider consequences for the Eurozone. We arrive in Athens a few days early to set up the Reuters-TIMA live facilities.

The live position is located on Syntagma square, right in the heart of Athens, and the balcony position has a great backdrop of the Greek Parliament building. Due to access restrictions, the uplink dish has to be placed on the opposite side of the square, on top of the Reuters building.

This event has been a good opportunity to try out the new fly-away unit. Packed into 15 flight cases, the system is relatively compact and travels easily. With the help of the rest of the crew, Mark, our engineer, quickly sets up the dish as crowds gathered in the square below for a political rally. We’ll be transmitting live from the balcony in HD and SD and also offering tape playouts on the dual path uplink. All that’s left to do is wait for polls to open on Sunday. (more…)

Reuters and Perform partner to syndicate Sports Video News Services

Reuters, the world’s largest international multimedia news agency, and PERFORM, one of the leading digital sports content groups, are proud to announce a long-term global strategic partnership that will see the two companies syndicate and distribute content across their respective platforms.

The ground-breaking alliance will see Reuters sports footage integrated into Omnisport Ready, PERFORM’S digital sports video news service. Omnisport journalists will select several stories per day from Reuters output and voice it in multiple languages – providing Ready customers with world-class footage as the biggest stories break around the world. Reuters content is created by 2,600 journalists in more than 200 locations around the globe, providing unparalleled international and national news coverage with speed, impartiality and insight.

Content will also be available via ePlayer, PERFORM’S market-leading embeddable video player for publishers and Reuters will also have its own non-sports video news channel within ePlayer.


Q&A with Kathey Battrick, Director of Operations, ITN Source

Kathey Battrick TW242small (2)ITN Source has been Reuters archive video licensing partner since 1998. They recently opened up the Reuters video vaults and discovered a goldmine of rare and unseen archive material and have just completed digitizing 69,000 clips. We spoke to Kathey Battrick, Director of Operations to find out more.

Thanks for your time Kathey. Could you tell us a little about ITN Source?

ITN Source is the footage licensing division of ITN and represents some of the world’s largest and most diverse archive footage libraries across the globe, including Reuters (and its historic newsreel collections), ITV Studios, NBC, Fox News, Fox Movietone, Asian News International and many specialist collections. ITN Source is a gateway to an incredible source of moving imagery, from news to drama, celebrity, comedy, music, wildlife, natural history, entertainment programmes and film, captured over three centuries. The archive is vast, with over 2.8 million clips online and growing at a rate of over 20 hours of digitized content a day. We are an international business, our headquarters in London and main sales offices in New York, Paris, Sydney, Tokyo and Singapore.

Could you tell us about your role at ITN Source?

As Director of Operations for ITN Source, I plan, define, develop and lead the operational and technical strategy for the business. This incorporates management of the archiving and cataloging teams and the workflow and infrastructure associated with the Reuters video management services.

How does  ITN Source work with Reuters? (more…)

Hackday Insights: How to make the most from online video?


Reuters partnered with the Global Editors Network on two Hackday events this year. Each winning team from the series was invited to the Hackdays Final, ‘The World Cup of Newsroom Innovation’, during the GEN Summit 2014 in Barcelona.  In this post we speak to Josh Boswell from The Times, the overall series winners.

Could you tell us a little bit about your Hack Day team?

We were all in teams of three: a journalist, a developer and a designer. Aendrew Rininsland was the developer in our team. He’s fluent in several server and client side coding languages, but he’s also a pretty darn good ideas man. Eoin Tunstead was our designer. He does more than just make things pretty – he’s got a good eye for UX and UI design too, and when it comes to making straplines for a project he’d give Don Draper a run for his money. Then there’s me. I’d enough coding knowledge to help build the front end, and my other big responsibility was the presentation of the idea. As well as being colleagues on the same desk, we’d worked together in a team of five for the regional hackathon in Dublin. Between the hacking and the whiskeys, I think we cemented a pretty good team, which meant we were all on the same wavelength when it came to the Barcelona hackathon.

How was the Hack Day experience different to your usual working day? (more…)

The Rise of Online Video: Getting The Edge

Featuring Suzie Reider, Head of Industry Development, YouTube and Andy Plesser, Beet.TV.


Online video consumption is on fire!  Since 2009, advertising spending around online video has doubled each year and is set to continue. In this environment, almost every publisher is investing in compelling video content, and figuring out how it can drive value.

So what does it mean for a news publisher who wants to enter this exploding online marketplace? The right model? Go on YouTube? Use a pay wall? Host your own video content delivery network and ad sales?

We sought guidance from two experts –   Suzie Reider, Head of Industry Development, YouTube and Andy Plesser from Online Video journal, Beet.TV.

First, the context. We asked Suzie to describe what’s happening with YouTube and how behaviors are changing:

“Consumption has become fragmented and viewing patterns have changed – it’s no longer about scheduled programming but now about content on demand. It’s becoming increasingly difficult to reach the millennial market through a single buy. If you look at Pew Research, less than one-in-five adults under 30 watch cable television news, while over half of people over 65 do,” Reider  says.

“From a publisher perspective, we’re now making nearly as much money per viewership hour showing your content in the U.S. as cable networks make showing their content on TV — without sending anyone a cable bill,” she insists.

Reider is right – viewers are coming to YouTube (see the info-graphic) – and it’s a great leveler. The platform’s incredibly low cost of distribution brings together cute animals or a child’s first steps alongside breaking news content and serious documentary to anyone in the world, on virtually any device.

Recently YouTube has even tried to spark a real content economy by funding start-ups, but news publishers haven’t fared well.  The competition for eyeballs is fierce For news publishers, this is a challenge, but for marketers it may be a dream come true – no more competing for advertising space on prime-time TV – you can reach your target audience directly.

Distribution is so cheap advertisers can create their own content, rivaling what video channel could do on its– think about Red bull and its High Altitude Space Jump.

“YouTube has become a powerful platform for brand marketers because we’re connecting brands to the pulse of what their audiences care most about. We like to think of YouTube as the heartbeat of the marketing plan. It gives you instant feedback, you can collaborate and create free from the confines of a 30 second spot, and our audience can amplify the messages that resonate with them”, Reider says.

Of course news publishers love marketing too, but they need dollars to create content. Can platforms like YouTube deliver?


Reuters Digitizing its Long Tail to License to Marketers

Check out Greg Beitchman, our Global Head of Multimedia, speaking with Beet.TV about our “major” program to digitize 25,000 hours of analogue video content.

“It’s sitting in a basement,” Reuters’ global multimedia head Greg Beitchman told Beet.TV in this interview. “If you want that content today, you’ve got to wait three to four days.

“We’re going to bring to bear in the market a lot of stuff over the next two to three years. This is going to help digital publishers and brands tell stories and reach audiences. Publishers want inventory.”