More Live Video for WSJ Digital

The Wall Street Journal Digital Group is increasing its original live video output with the launch of Digits, a live weekday series focused on technology.

The series, which will stream live each weekday at 1 p.m. EST beginning today, is an offshoot of the Journal’s Digits blog, which was launched in late 2008. The news and analysis-oriented series will feature talent from several Journal properties, including host Stacey Delo of MarketWatch, WSJ.com technology editor Julia Angwin, WSJ personal technology columnist Walt Mossberg and AllThingsD.com co-editor Kara Swisher.

The show will be distributed on WSJ.com, Barrons.com, MarketWatch.com, AllThingsD.com and Dow Jones Newswires.

Digits follows the company’s aggressive push into live content last September when it rolled out News Hub, a twice-daily news series. Since then the firm has produced up to five live video segments each day tied to breaking news events, as the Journal audience has embraced video viewing. According to Alan Murray, deputy managing editor and executive editor, online, The Wall Street Journal Network delivered a record 5.5 million streams in January, with about 1 million or so views generated by News Hub.

“We’re really pioneering here,” said Murray. “We’re doing significantly more than we have before.” And while 90 percent or so of News Hubs views occur on demand, he believes viewers are attracted to the show’s live feel that “creates a certain kind of energy, a sense of immediacy.”

Advertisers are attracted to the live aspect as well, according to Brian Quinn, vp and general manager of ad sales for the Journal’s digital network. “For us, our viewers have a real relationship with WSJ.com, and they want to be in the know,” he said. “This has a different vibe to it.”

Quinn said Charles Schwab had recently signed on to sponsor News Hub, while his team had just started selling Digits in the market.

Murray said that technology news is a natural for a daily show, given the heavy reader interest and sheer number of stories breaking in that field each day. Plans are in the works for several other original live series, he said.

In fact, he sees the Journal as having an economic advantage over traditional news players when it comes to live video on the Web. “A lot of TV networks that have tried this haven’t been able to justify the expense,” Murray said. “But we’re giving our reporters $200 Skype kits. They just need a broadband connection and they’re on. We have a very low cost model here but the quality is still good.”