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​​​Newspapers Are Facing the Change: Online-News-Videos Are Emerging

When embedded properly, online-news-videos strengthen journalistic content, brand and advertising opportunities. To support such process, the “Video-Impact-Lane” was created.

by Herwig Gangl, Marian Gerster and Patrick Halek


- For news-media, going digital means a sustainable shift of competition. Be it newspaper, TV or online-platform: users do not ask for the difference anymore.

- Therefore, a significant growth of integrating news-videos into online-newspapers is gaining importance throughout various genres and regions.

- When embedded the right way, news-videos strengthen journalistic content, brand and advertising opportunities.

- To support such embedding-process, the “Video-Impact-Lane” was created.


A Shift of Competition

Within the media market, going digital leaves no stone unturned. Presenting news online does not only mean going digital and presenting a website. Going digital means entering an entire new age of news and information. Most important: a shift of competition. Users do not select media by traditional genres or categories. Be it newspaper, TV or online-platform: users do not ask for the difference anymore. It is all about substance and content, attention and attraction. Journalistic aspects and brand aspects need to melt into one authentic offer expected to deliver what users are looking for – reflecting different needs of different target groups.



At the core of this development, there is one crucial tool: the online-news-video. In many regions and genres, newspapers have already understood the importance of embedding news-videos when it comes to both content- and brand-attraction as well as advertising opportunities.

- Integration of news-videos into online-newspapers is increasing constantly. In different genres and regions, such as the English-speaking world, Germany and Switzerland news-videos have become a part of online-newspapers.​​​​​​

- Some newspapers even offer a dedicated section for viewing news-videos online.

- Especially when it comes to breakings news, summaries and content teasers, videos can strengthen journalistic content.

- Online-video consumption is increasing, and the projected trend shows up.

- This is fuelled by strong growth rates of mobile use (expecting 25% growth in 2018 and 29% in 2019), while growth in desktop is around 1% and 2%. (Source: zenithmedia.com/mobile-devices-lift-online-video-viewing-20-2017; viewed 23th Oct 2017)

Videos Gain More Attention and Get Shared More Often Than Text

Due to both emotional aspects and their specific explanation-power, videos gain significant attraction in the world of online-media. Online-videos are shared more often than text which leads to higher attention and website traffic. On average, videos are shared 7 times more often (Source: digiday.com/media/publishers-facebook-videos-shared-7-times-links/). This increases opportunities for brand-attraction and multi-channelling via social media.

To gain both more attention and shares certain aspects should be considered

Content: Videos help users to identify with content more intensely, especially stories that trigger empathy.

Format: Videos need a well-designed story (fade-in - core - fade-out) to gain attention in their first seconds. If videos are not designed properly, users are leaving the page. The better the viewing experience the more probable are likes, comments and shares.

Target group: Videos need to address their target groups clearly and without blur. Therefore, target groups need to be defined properly based on expectations, life-style and mindset criteria.

Hard vs. soft news: There is no clear distinction between publishers using hard news vs. soft news. Soft news can be transferred in short videos much easier. Hard news need a clear information benefit according to its target group expectations.

Social media 1: According to a Facebook IQ study, participants are watching videos 5 times longer than static content on Facebook and Instagram.
(Source: tubularinsights.com/facebook-users-video-more-engaging-images/)

Social media 2: Facebook’s scale is high and enables to attract audiences to go to their own, original domains. (Source: digiday.com/media/ny-times-buzzfeed-others-stack-video/)

 “We've got some of the most talented video-journalists working today. I think we're telling stories better than some of the TV networks.” Micah Gelman, Video Chief, Washington Post


Videos Strengthen Journalistic Content

Besides the aspects of attention and sharing, news-videos can strengthen journalistic content significantly. Although there is still an old fear of some text-oriented media that video could be a threat to text, more and more newspapers show how the coexistence of video and text can fuel attraction (see cases below).

Following a couple of basic rules, publishers are using videos on their own pages to support news visually to increase awareness and deepen information benefits.


...work best for breakings news, summaries, content teasers and topics with a greater need for pictures

...need to have a clear content-connection to an attached text-article

...need to have a well-working story to be followed up and deepened in the connected text-article

...need to be physically embedded into the text-article, preferably at the top

This way, certain topics, points of view and stories can be presented more detailed, emotion and information can find a well-balanced appearance and text-articles can focus on add-on perspectives. This creates additional room for a stronger position of both journalistic content and brand. So, news-videos are no threat to online-newspapers but can offer a wide-open field for opportunities when used and embedded properly.


Videos Create Advertising Opportunities

Understanding certain rules, news-videos create additional commercial and advertising opportunities. Since online-news-videos are emerging, in highly developed markets, there is a clear shift in advertising towards online-videos.

In the United States

- Advertisers spend more than 9 Billion US Dollars on average for online-video advertisement

- There is an increase of 67% from year 2015 to 2017

- 50% of online budget are invested in video

- There is a high willingness to increase spend within the next 12 months

In the United Kingdom

- In the first half of the year 2017 advertisers invested about € 800 million (£ 699 million) in online-video

- 46% YoY growth of video spend (display only 2%)

- Therefore, video is the fastest growing ad-format and already accounts for 35% of total spend in display

- Advertisers are still in the learning stage and are distributing budget evenly across all channels (online TV-series, news-series etc.)

- To win a bigger share, channels must prove effectiveness​​​​​



The Economist (UK)

The Economist has found a strategy for both an editorial and a commercial perspective. A crucial question to be answered was if video should be in addition to the text or a ‘video-version’ of it. Deputy editor Tom Standage said: “It doesn’t have to be related to the print product in any way. It doesn’t have to be derived from it. It can just be what it is.” Being a weekly magazine, it was essential to leave the weekly period. A dedicated video unit was created - being a merger of the team behind economist Films and a team specialised on short explainers targeting social media. (Source: Reuters Institute (2016), The Future of Online News Video, Digital News Project)

The Washington Post (USA)

- Video-Team: 70 members
- There are 20 video editors for “quick turn content”, including own coverage and a mix of others (AP, Reuters)
- 367 million views through first eight months of 2017
- Awards: 4 Emmys, 4 Murrow Awards and 3 Emmy nominations
- The Washington Post sees Facebooks News Feed as a key to reaching the platform audience (multi-channelling)
   (Source: digiday.com/media/ny-times-buzzfeed-others-stack-video/; viewed on 23th Oct 2017)

Süddeutsche Zeitung (Germany)

- Süddeutsche Zeitung is using news-videos especially for breaking news and special topics.
- In most cases, news-videos are connected to a text-article.
- Heribert Prantl (one of the editors in charge) uses videos for comments on political topics on a regular basis.
- In many cases, the news-videos embedded are provided by press agencies.
  (Reviewed between Sept – Nov 2017)


Workshop and Process-Design: The Video-Impact-Lane

To offer a well-structured process when embedding online-news-videos, the Video-Impact-Lane was created by management & advisory services mas ltd. Following a specifically designed check-list, the Video-Impact-Lane describes a 5-step-process supporting online-media, explicitly newspapers, when integrating news-videos. These 5 steps are:

Raising attention

videos address emotions more clearly
videos explain certain content more effectively
online-share of videos rises – not using videos means falling behind

Increasing shares

“network-economy” beats “stand-alone-position”
videos get shared more often than text
videos tend to trigger dynamics more significantly

Increasing traffic

getting shared more often means increasing traffic
multi-channelling is crucial when it comes to traffic
traffic creates a solid base for content-awareness and -attraction

Expanding the community (users)

increasing traffic means more users
sharing by peers raises credibility
credibility raises the share of target-group-matching

Creating advertising opportunities

more users mean more views and “clicks”
both content and brand-attraction rise


The Video-Impact-Lane follows 3 major goals:

1. Supporting and strengthening journalistic content
​​​​​​​2. Strengthening brand-attraction
3. Creating additional advertising and commercial opportunities

Based on different needs, the Video-Impact-Lane is offered to clients in 2 versions:

1. Workshop: introducing dos & don’ts, rules and cases
2. Well-structured process-design: defining and supporting a process based on individual client-needs



Ignoring that formerly different media genres are moving towards each other creating one overall news-market is one of the most dangerous mistakes. Especially for online-newspapers, it would mean ignoring their additional competitors knocking on their doors already. Integrating news-videos into online-newspapers does not imply a threat but offers multiple opportunities. Integrating videos into online newspapers properly can strengthen substance and content. Even for high-end-newspapers, the fear of losing quality does not reflect reality. Real cases prove it (stated above). Therefore, embedding news-videos is not a fight between text and video. It is about connecting both, to grow and get ready for a new competitive situation. Done the right way, integrating news-videos meets users’ values, attitudes, expectations and educational backgrounds.

​​​​​​​To put it all in a nutshell:

For newspapers, ignoring online-video opportunities will result in falling behind and losing news-competence, users and commercial options.

Videos strengthen journalistic content, brand-attraction and advertising opportunities.

Using a well-structured path such as the Video-Impact-Lane can help to integrate and embed news-videos into online-activities properly and successfully.


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