Publishers Use Politics to Jump-start Online Video

'New York Times,' BuzzFeed, HuffPo all planning Web coverage of national conventions

This summer looks to be absolutely huge for online video, and media companies are looking to use the upcoming conventions as their point of entry.

In only the past 24 hours, The Huffington Post, The New York Times and BuzzFeed have all announced plans to cover this summer's Republican and Democratic National Conventions via live online-only broadcasts.

The Huffington Post will look to use the conventions as way to jump-start its live streaming online network, HuffPost Live, which launches this summer, as The Hollywood Reporter reported last night. HuffPost Live is planning to broadcast the relaunch of Shadow Conventions, an alternative to the partisan conventions. According to reports, the streaming network has poached a fair amount of talent to serve as host/producers for the network's political coverage.

This morning via a tweet from editor in chief Ben Smith, BuzzFeed announced a partnership with The New York Times to expand the Times' political video coverage. Smith's political team will work in tandem with editors and reporters from The New York Times to do live analysis of the conventions, and the Times is no doubt relying on BuzzFeed's hypersocial editorial presence to drive some viral traffic to its online video section. “We think BuzzFeed’s energy and keen ear for how political stories play out in the social sphere will be a valuable and interesting contribution to the Times’ video presence,” said Jim Roberts, assistant managing editor.

Both announcements chart a developing trend as online publishers and even legacy media companies vie for a piece of the prime online election coverage real estate this year. It's expected that Larry King's online video venture,, will join the fray as well. Last month, King told Adweek that the broadcasting giant will be very involved in election and convention coverage with Ora, but no plans have yet been announced.