News Orgs Rethinking Their Brief Fling with Live Streaming Video


Read (don’t watch) all about it

The Internet may have killed the newspaper star, but live streaming video is looking less and less like his savior.

This morning we link to POLITICO for a rare moment of media insight. Over the past five years, nearly every major news organization has dropped a lot of money into live streaming video with little or nothing to show for it. As much as some of us may dislike the “talking head yells at other talking heads” model, producing that sort of stuff (not mention convincing viewers and advertisers to pay attention) can be quite challenging.

Even Business Insider couldn’t make it work.

So while The New York Times and other outlets will continue to get well-deserved attention for “experiential” multi-media pieces like this one on American skier Ted Ligety, you can expect to see fewer “man reads from teleprompter” news round-ups (if you ever saw them in the first place).

As consumers who prefer to read their “serious” news than to watch it online, we appreciate this development. Unfortunately, TV remains a more viable business than paper/digital journalism in almost every case—and no matter how the big names in print tweak their models, it looks like we’re stuck with 24/7 cable for the foreseeable future.

POLITICO’s own EIC John Harris says “something big will eventually happen” in the online video news field, and we have some humble opinions on the matter: short, unique, well-targeted video content works best. Here’s a good quote:

“…more than half the people who watch HuffPost Live content don’t actually watch it live: they watch repackaged segments…”

In other words, we’re not going to watch hourlong “debates” or news rehashes on cable, so why would we do it online?

@PatrickCoffee Patrick Coffee is a senior editor for Adweek.