Sunday, October 18, 2009

NYT video section: doing as always but in a different way

The New York Times was one of the very first print newspapers in producing specific video content for the web version. In 2005 they started to create their own videos, ranging from breaking news to in depth reports. Most of the content were created by NYT staff, including interviews conducted by some of their better known journalists.

My feeling as an user is that they've always tried to meet the quality and excellence of their written stuff. Although it took some time to adapt their style to an audience used to shorter pieces than the ones they use to deliver at first, now their archive ( is really a video world in itself. A place for both the casual user and the one that thinks that looking for something interesting at Youtube is a loss of time.

Text and video are complementary
The company has made a great work trying to make video and text sites compatible and complementary. Just to put an example, anyone interested in business information sure will have time to spend at their video section, that offers both interviews, analysis and help discovering innovator ideas.

Two of the most popular columnists of the printed version, David Pogue and Mark Bittman, have their own spaces in the video site, where they show (each on in his own style) that an information video doesn't need to be a simple visual translation of a text and create formats that are not just well fitted for the internet, but make their videos perfect for watching with a mobile device as a video podcasts.

Since 2007 The New York Times is one of Brightcove's investors and uses their software to manage most part of their site.

For the last two years, the video section of The New York Times has also tried to create or use formats that would set apart, both from the content and the formal points of view. That way they came out with Blogginheads (a deal with in order to showcase all kind of debates), or the Screen Tests, where popular actors talk in a minimal and intimate way.

Finally I guess that creating content in a similar way that a magazine does (entertaining, somewhat timeless, not mandatory tight to the breaking news) they have create a pure internet experience, where any of the videos can be considered a piece in its own or just a part of something else.

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