Colorado’s Ballantine Communications has been aggressively producing video content for its newspapers. One of the most important takeaways, says CEO Doug Bennett, is that audiences gravitate to the topics they’re interested in far more than navigating a limited and prescribed slate of online “shows.”
Media companies need to look beyond traditional news formats if they want to build an audience in the digital era. One way for newspapers to capture younger audiences where they live — mobile devices — is to build an online video channel. But that path is not easy. Doug Bennett, CEO of Ballantine Communications: “The challenges in building a new channel from scratch could only be overcome by focusing on relevant content creation and by providing local advertisers with strong opportunities to market to these prospective customers through video.”
When building a video strategy, the most important question publishers should ask themselves is, “Who are we trying to reach?” Ballantine Communications CEO Doug Bennett: “If the answer is a new audience such as a younger demographic, then the process of producing video must begin with collecting and reviewing data that supports the interests of this audience.”
Orange County Register has found that weekly, two-to-three minute TV-style “shows” and a highly interactive daily feature are key drivers to user engagment in its much-watched attempt to re-create the evening newspaper on a tablet app. Doug Bennett, president of Freedom Interactive, talks in-depth about the ambitious experiment with NetNewsCheck Editor Michael Depp.