STREAM ’13: NYT to invest more into video

Conde Nast's chief digital officer talked about being nimble with his brand's digital properties during a STREAM session in Santa Monica, while The New York Times' video division revealed plans to ramp up its video this year.
June 4, 2013

Conde Nast’s chief digital officer talked about being nimble with his brand’s digital properties during a STREAM session entitled ‘Meet the Newest Heavyweights to Enter Original Online Video,’ while The New York Times’ video division revealed plans to ramp up its video this year.

Talking at the Fairmont Miramar Hotel today (June 4), The New York Times general manager of video Rebecca Howard explained how her team is looking at the Times’ online presence as if it were a network. The team produces 250 videos a month, and Howard said they are currently trying to figure out better ways to package their offering so as to align with the newspaper’s journalists and columns, in order to become a “recognizable experience.”

“When we think about videos, they should have life outside of the article and be experienced outside of our own site,” she said. “It [shouldn't be] one minute of stardom with an article. We’re making videos that have more pipes and distribution outlets. You’ll see that changing with our company more.”

In addition to the plans to get NYT videos onto other sites, Howard said the company is also planning to invest quite heavily in original video this year.

“We realize we’re coming late to the game. Just this year we started selling video to advertisers we hadn’t been six months ago,” said Howard. “We’re going to keep the quality high… on par with our award-winning team. It’s an important part of our strategy.”

Elsewhere, Fred Santarpia, Conde Nast Entertainment’s EVP and chief digital officer, said that over the next five months his firm will be in the process of launching more channels based on its properties – including Vanity Fair, Teen Vogue, Epicurious and – to add to its current stable of digital channels, which includes GQ, Wired, Glamour and Vogue.

“Conde Nast’s web properties together have tens of millions of followers across Facebook, Google Plus, etc,” he said. “Our strategy is that we don’t want to play to people already following brands. We’re investing heavily in marketing outside of our pay platforms and the idea is that we can find users who are interested in fashion, celebrities, food and culture and introduce them to brands they’ve heard of and recognize but aren’t subscribing to [via] the magazine.”

He added that the digital video channels aren’t literal translations of the print magazine, so Santarpia and his team work with the brands and editorial teams to come up with concepts and content inspired by the brand and, at the same time, accessible to those not reading the magazine. Some of its content was unveiled at the NewFronts in May.

“You have to be nimble and pull shows that aren’t working. We’re seeing what works and killing what doesn’t and doubling down on what does.”

Gabriel Lewis, the co-creator of HuffPost Live, which launched last year, said his company is producing 12 hours of content a day, and with partners like AOL and YouTube, the opportunity is greater for a consumer to find and stay on HuffPost Live’s content.

Lewis said his digital channel is basically a 12-hour streaming network, running five days a week, with eight hours produced by the New York team and four out of the LA office.

“We’ll leverage editorial as much as we can. It’s important to us that HuffPost Live does high and low content: drones and side boob. We want to reflect that.”

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