Online Video News Expanding, YouTube News Views Up 600 Percent

What is the state of news video online? Executives from online news services—YouTube, Vimeo, other big names—gathered yesterday in San Francisco to discuss exactly that. The panel didn’t focus exclusively on online news video, but Olivia Ma, news manager at YouTube, did let slip that the site’s news and politics video views grew 600 percent in 2008 compared to the previous year, an increase she attributed not just to the election year but to users’ expectations. Viewers now expect that they can watch video of speeches and other news on-demand, she said.

And from Charlie Tillinghast, president and publisher of “These times have caused people to realize what you don’t know could hurt you.”

But before you quit your job and buy a video camera, take heed: NewTeeVee’s report from the roundtable goes on to say (emphasis ours):

But meanwhile, nobody quite knows how to make news video valuable. News is by definition timely, so in this on-demand age it’s fostered a whole new industry of live online event streaming — and Ustream CEO John Ham was there to talk up his company’s new white-label live-streaming offering. The latest value-adding trend seems to be making video archives accessible. Zerega has told us gets traffic bursts when breaking news relates to archived speeches on his site. More interesting is what MSNBC is doing for political video with speech analysis software from Nexidia and what is doing for its conference speeches with the transcription framework dotSub — increasing the value of video by essentially turning it into text so viewers can pinpoint exactly what they want to watch and advertisers can better target as well.

In short? Online news video, like the rest of the online world, is still evolving.
(Want to read a liveblogged transcript of the session? Check it out at Beet.TV.)