Slate.com Adds Daily Photos, Plans Video Offerings

In an attempt to beef up ad-friendly content, Slate.com on Thursday launched an offering of new and archived photographs from Magnum Photos.

Slate editors are working with Magnum--the half-century-old photo cooperative founded by such masters as Robert Capa and Henri Cartier-Bresson--to select a mix of six to 10 photos daily. The "Today's Pictures" page, where Magnum's material appears, is being monetized with banner advertising initially only by The History Channel. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Magnum's archives--from James Dean in Times Square to the solitary protester taking tanks head-on in Tiananmen Square--amount to more than 1.5 million photographs and 350,000 digitized images accessible online.

Slate is eagerly exploring any and all opportunities to beef up its offerings, especially with regard to broadband video, said publisher Cliff Sloan. "We're looking for multimedia opportunities, particularly in video," Sloan said. The addition of one or more video partners can be expected by early next year, said Sloan, explaining that it takes time to find content to fit Slate's "sensibilities."

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As broadband adoption proliferates, and advertisers and consumers expect ever more monetization and viewing options, online publishers are no longer content with text alone, some analysts say.

Indeed, Conde Nast Publications--a company with about as much experience in publishing video as Rubbermaid--this week said it plans to launch three new broadband video-heavy destination sites by mid-2006.

"A big part of this is about all the ad dollars going online right now," said Charlene Li, a Forrester Research analyst. "And publishers know that if they don't give consumers what they want, they'll just get it somewhere, so it's in their interest to add all the content they can."

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