LineMarketing

Remixing the routes

News events that involve user-generated video attract more traffic?

Posted by annplugged on May 18, 2007

Obviously, we cannot assume that all sorts of news that are supplemented by users’ self-submitted video films (or vica versa) attract more visitors, but based on the latest Hitwise data, we may fairly assume that really shocking or outstanding events generate a, keener attention in general b, more urge for users to put up their precious videos if they have witnessed such an event c, more urge for news sites to seek users’ video shots in the hope of getting more eyeballs for their in-depth coverage.

Likewise, in all probability, news sites wish to keep users inside their domain, so it is a somewhat unwanted side effect that they are referring more traffic from their own news sites to video sharing sites where readers can check what their fellows actually took part in (even though this independence may earn more credibility for the video snippets). So why aren’t they expanding their own online services with video sharing features with a foolproof uploading procedure – or even a human editorial team? Or are they? Do you know an example for this? (I don’t think that only independently, out-of-news-site uploaded videos can be authentic enough for readers, while if they are uploaded to some mainstream news sites that would decrease the value of conveying personal experiences.) If social networking is just a common feature, video sharing option should be a default feature for news sites for their own benefits (maybe for readers too, if they get their fair share from the revenue).

I cannot imagine that huge news sites would not benefit from hosting UGC video content in connection with specific articles, news bits etc.

As Hitwise writes:

“The share of traffic leaving News and Media websites and going directly to Entertainment – Multimedia websites increased by 196% from April 2006 to March 2007. Events which involved user-generated video,
such as the death of Steve Irwin and the execution of Saddam Hussein, served to drive the increase in traffic between News and Media and Multimedia websites. ”

With News and Media sites receiving more than one fifth of their traffic from search engines (see LeeAnn Prescott’s comment), search engines appear to be now increasingly the first step for users when they search for info about breaking events. “Relevant results from video sites and blogs now appear high in search results, thus exposing new users to these non-traditional sources of news and spurring the growth in online video consumption. ”

All in all, video sites offering news coverage – whether UGC or official – attract more and more visitors both directly from search results pages and indirectly through news sites.

I got to the Hitwise blog through Amanda Watlington.

Update on 24 May:

CNN is advertising its News To Me as “the first cable news program comprised of user-generated video.” It debuted on Headline News on Saturday, May 19. But that’s not at all what I thought of as UGC getting into the news. News To Me is rather a somewhat weak attempt to make users send in the current or even stale viral videos to an isolated test program of mainstream CNN – whereas I thought of UGC video recordings actually getting into serious and entertaining news, preferably uploaded by users themselves on the news channel’s video sharing site, and then highlighted by editors, for which users get paid on a CPM basis.

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