Newspapers surpassed broadcasters for the first time in the third quarter in total video minutes streamed and the number of video titles uploaded, according to the latest data from analytics firm TubeMogul and video-hosting service Brightcove.
Newspaper sites had a total of 313 million minutes of video streamed compared to 290 million for broadcast sites. Meanwhile, the number of videos downloaded on newspaper sites surged 51% quarter-to-quarter (and 110% from a year ago) to 482,000, more than any other type of media company.
"This is an interesting development, and suggests that newspapers are rapidly adopting and producing video content for what was once a print business," notes the TubeMogul/Brightcove report. It also noted that in contrast with longer-format content on broadcast sites, newspapers are producing many more, but fewer, titles on a rolling basis. That approach likely has more appeal for advertisers, allowing them to run more pre-roll spots more often.
"Newspapers have a lot of battle scars from the digital crusades of the last decade, so they've become pretty tenacious when it comes to the Internet," observed Gordon Borrell, president of local media research firm Borrell Associates. A major part of that effort has been seizing on video in innovative ways to draw in online audiences. Because of concerns about cannibalizing TV viewership and ad revenue, broadcast companies have been more reluctant to embrace online video.
Thanks in part to the influx of video ad dollars, newspapers for the first time in five years have actually gained share of local online advertising dollars, according to Borrell. "Not much, but enough for us to say that they appear to be turning the corner and evolving from 'newspaper' companies to 'media' companies," he said. Outfits like The New York Times and McClatchy Corp. will get about 25% of their revenue this quarter from digital compared to 5% to 7% for most broadcast companies.
The TubeMogul/Brightcove study also showed Facebook's growing influence in online video viewing, surpassing Yahoo in referring traffic to online video content. Facebook now accounts for nearly 10% of all referred video streams, second only to Google, which accounts for more than half. But Google as a referrals source accounted for much higher engagement for newspapers at one minute, 57 seconds per session, compared to the category average of 1:27.
"This suggests that viewers look to the search engine as a source for the most relevant breaking and timely content," stated the report. "Facebook was the most engaging referral source for entertainment categories, including broadcasters (1:57 ) and magazines (1:34).
For brands, video referrals from Twitter provided the highest rate of engagement at 1:47. Twitter also accounted for the highest average engagement rate across all media categories, and specifically for broadcasters (1:57) and online media properties (1:40) as well as brands.
Completion rates for video from brand marketers continued to climb in the third quarter, reaching 47%. That's up from 35% in the first quarter. Completion rates also rose for broadcasters (44%) and online-only media properties (45.9%).
When it comes to devices, game consoles (such as the Wii and PlayStation) lead in average viewing time, at 2:45 per session, compared to 2:27 for online video and smartphones at about 2 minutes. This is not surprising, "considering that gaming consoles are currently the most common playback device connected to TVs and most closely replicate a comfortable lean-back experience," according to the study.
Brightcove said it expects the disparity to grow as media companies make more content available to viewers through connected TV apps and game consoles.