Broadcast Interactive Media is offering station-clients a user-generated video service, YouNewsTV. Journal, Granite and Fisher stations will be the first to give it a try in the coming weeks, the company says.
The TV station Web developer announced this morning that its user-submitted video service YouNewsTV would begin appearing on the sites of client stations within the next few weeks.
YouNewsTV allows viewers to upload and share videos on stations’ Web sites.
“The whole purpose is to make local TV sites into local portals,” said BIM CEO Timur Yarnall.
“Stations risk losing contact with their viewership if they don’t embrace this concept,” Yarnall said. “Web users no longer want to have a passive experience.”
The service is intended to be advertiser supported. Local and national advertisers will also have the ability to sponsor all YouNewsTV videos with 8-to-15 second pre-roll video ads and display ads.
According to Yarnall, three current clients—Fisher Communications, Journal Broadcast Group and Granite Broadcasting—are ready to give YouNewsTV a try.
Altogether, Yarnall said, the service is now cleared in more than 30 markets, including three of the top 15.
Journal Broadcast EVP Carl Gardner said the Journal will roll out the service within the next week or so. “As soon as they are ready, we will go.”
Gardner declined to identify what station site would host the new service first, but said that three stations are currently BIM clients—WTMJ Milwaukee; WGBA Green Bay, Wisc.; and WSYM Lansing, Mich.
The Beta version of YouNewsTV for WTMJ can be seen at www.todaystmj4.com/younews.
According to Yarnall, BIM hopes to make money from YouNewsTV in three ways—through monthly licensing fees, by placing national ads on the local sites and by taking a cut of the local ad revenue generated by the sites.
Gardner said the Journal is eager to see what content and revenue the new service brings in.
“We do believe there may be sufficient interest to have a video ad that travels with this stuff,” he said. “We will have to see what kind of traffic we get.”
Gardner is also hoping that the submitted video will not only enhance Web sites, but also broadcasts. “Suitable” videos could be integrated into newscasts, he said.
If the user-generated videos reach a “critical mass,” they could be assembled into a sponsored special, Gardner said.
BIM is encouraging stations to promote YouNewsTV on air and to air video clips from the service whenever possible, said Yarnall. “They will have to use their own discretion.”
Gardner pointed out that the Journal station Web sites are already loaded with video from the newsroom, and that the sites will make “very clear” what video is user generated and what is station generated.
According to Yarnall, part of the BIM service is screening every video that is uploaded to make sure it is not indecent or otherwise “inappropriate.”
The screeners will also make sure no copyrighted material slips through, Yarnall said. To be safe, he said, no music will be allowed.
Gardner said that producers at the Journal stations will also take a look at each video before it goes up.
YouNewsTV stations will only invite clips that supplement the local news and information that they are already providing online and on air.
“We are not looking for the entertainment stuff—people singing karaoke,” said Yarnall.
On the WTMJ Beta site, clips are presented in just six categories: local news, events, high school sports, pets, weather and most popular.
“We will define what kind of content we want so that it stays between the fences of what our core mission is,” said Gardner.
BIM does not plan to collect the user-submitted video in one place in an effort to compete with YouTube, said Yarnall. “There is never going to be a younewstv.com, he said.
However, he said, BIM will track the most popular video from all the sites and make them available through links on all the sites.