How do you make money from video in journalism?

June 6th, 2016 - Written by Trint

Real-time commentary from the “Publishers vs. Platforms” debate on Day 2 of GEN Summit 2016.

Joined by:

Tony Emerson, Managing Director, Worldwide Media & Cable, Microsoft
Jan-Eric Peters, Deputy CEO & Editor-in-Chief, upday
Meredith Artley, VP and Editor-in-Chief, CNN Digital, CNN

Seven hundred of the world’s top journalists have come together at GEN Summit in Vienna to learn how to leverage the latest technology to make more from media. Video is a key theme throughout the first two days — but is it going to up your revenue?

Diversify your revenue streams

Emerson, MD of Worldwide Media & Cable Microsoft says it’s no secret that advertising is still the main revenue model for journalism. But Artley, VP and Editor-in-Chief, CNN Digital, has found it important not to rely on just one component to uplift your annual numbers — especially since the fall of the paywall. For Artley journalists should consider other streams such as Google sponsored links, corporate sponsorships and events to see a greater return. She also stresses the (now age-old-but-not-always-implemented) method of using intelligence to measure and monetize what already works with your specific audience.

Is video the “cash cow” it’s hyped up to be?

Peters cited that 50% of people with smartphones look at news five times per day — and in fact he has seen his revenue site traffic increase four-fold from video. That said, his audience spent less time engaging with his site once they had consumed the content. Emerson explains that’s down to video being more of an additional “entertainment” than a pure-play method of consumption. Peters still has reservations about placing such emphasis on one media — Artley on the other hand insisted that the answer to monetizing content is powerful storytelling. And that it’s down to the news organizations themselves to create and tailor content that’s right for the audience at hand.

Recycle your content

Artley reminds us not to reinvent the wheel: news organizations have infinite access to the most powerful stories in the world — use them! “Content can be edited and sculpted for different audiences and channels”, says Artley — she’s found it’s up to her newsroom to put themselves in the shoes of their audience. What do they want to see? How do they want to consume your news? Artley has found CNN’s audience to consume video without (or with very low) sound — so they’ve invested and found return from captioned video. They’ve also reported that manipulating video for different channels such as Facebook live, animated GIFs for Twitter, snapchat are all avenues proven to return higher engagement and revenue.

CNN and upday are already experiencing great return from video. It’s clear that video can live up to the hype it’s accumulated — but it’s how you use it that will ultimately reward you with revenue.

To learn how you can transcribe, sculpt and export social content in minutes, check out or come find us at GEN Summit 2016.

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