Will The Rise Of Video News Open A New Era In The New Media Sector?

摘要: New media itself is all about innovation. In some way, innovation is about experimenting the new realms, about constantly having the chance to find errors that lead to failure. With a new experimental wave, comes the rise of another.

(Chinese Version)

In October, Jianchang, the long-brewed short-form documentary brand from Jiemian, has entered the final countdown of release. Former director at Dongfang Daily and Thepaper.cn Qiu Bing’s short-form video news product targeting entrepreneurs, Lishipin, is also about to roll out. It appears short video news is going to bring up a new wave of new media uprising after the emergence of the live show streaming sector.

The interesting part is that the first video Jianchang put on the website is “What Would We Do If YY Shuts Down One Day?”. The 2015-born earliest forerunner in the live streaming sector, Meerkat, has recently announced to end its service. The Chinese market is in fact facing a similar situation as the market starts to cool down. There is in fact a growing number of negative news on live streaming show celebrities and the reward system, a system that allows viewers to give money to the show hosts. The upcoming short-form video news sector is probably now turning a new page in the new media industry.

The truth is, in some way, innovation is about experimenting the new realms, about constantly having the chance to find errors that lead to failure. With an experimental wave, comes the rise of another. It’s hard to tell how long this wave of short video news will last, but it’s evident that new media like Newsy, Vice, and NowThis etc. are highly thought of by the investment community.

NowThisNews is a sub-product from Huffington Post, with seasoned and experienced journalists from ABC, CNN, The Washington Post and Huffington Post, focusing on the fields of politics and technology etc. Its video news feature short but fun content. Videos on NowThisNews are recently boasting a high growth of views and fans.

Some people translate Newsy into something like News Pack For The Lazy in Chinese, since it aims to tell the story in the shortest time. This model is also popular in Chinese speaking regions as many players are using the same model. Vice on the other hand is a traditional news video provider that can match up to CNN and BBC.

Many traditional media outlets are developing their own video news brand, but the most praised one is probably Al Jazeera’s AJ+. In China there are similar brands, like Beijing Time and Kankan News. But unfortunately, Kankan News didn’t go for short-form video, but chose the 24-hour news form instead.

Although these video news providers differ in forms, communication and concept, they represent a new wave of new media. Still, the focus in this new wave shouldn’t be copying from each other, but experimenting and testing the waters. These sites share a common ground, that is they stick to creating original content or building a content making platform that appeals to content makers.

These media mainly rely on other channels to spread their content. Their attitude towards data flow is pretty similar to all the Internet companies out there. With the support of capital, it’s surely a good option to start a brand new company. Everything can start from scratch since there’s no limits. But for companies like TouTiao, they won’t miss out the chance to be a part of this wave.

After the One Thousand People and Ten Thousand Yuan project, TouTiao gives out another ¥1 billion to subsidize short-form video makers. Basically, TouTiao is burning money to make it happen. However, the reality is whether it’s TouTiao or other websites, their production budget is quite low, so they can only focus on the important contents like TV stations.

I know that different platforms will have a different standard for budget, but the thing is if videos themselves are making money, then there won’t really be a standard budget for making them and the priority issue would be how to make good contents. So far video sites still rely on big viewer traffic to cash in since we are in an early phase. Therefore, how to achieve profit with short-form videos is something that investors need to figure out.

When I was talking to Lishipin, I learned that they are betting their hopes on the ecosystem. Lishipin’s investor also invested in Whaley TV because Internet smart TV will definitely be an important channel for video news, which makes it a path towards profit. The profit model is at nature reliant on advertising, but it’s more flexible and appealing.

For instance, an advertisement bidding system based on real-time rating can be more efficient when the advertisements will be played before and after different video play. This will also bring more profits to video news makers.

But of course, most private news startups are avoiding sensitive contents and choosing to make preaching contents or life hack contents that many users like, which has proven to be effective worldwide. If you really want to dig some gold out of this sector, you could pay some attention to this category of contents. Perhaps, you can also be an Internet celebrity in this wave.

And of course, the rise of video news will definitely make it easier for those that are still working for TV stations and newspapers to enter this exciting new media realm. But still, no matter what the form is, the content is always the centerpiece of every content-related product, and the core of new media innovations. Finding the most suitable contents, and refining them to the extreme, is the same goal shared by content entrepreneurs.

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[The article is published and edited with authorization from the author @Fang Shitong, please note source and hyperlink when reproduce.]

Translated by Garrett Lee (Senior Translator at PAGE TO PAGE), working for TMTpost.

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