'Wall Street Journal' investing in video
By Sean Callahan
Last week, The Wall Street Journal launched a new online weekly politics show called “DC Bureau.” The video program is hosted by Washington Bureau Chief Jeff Seib.
The first show ran Friday on WSJ.com and WSJ Live. “DC Bureau” joined the most recent editions to WSJ's Live programming, such as “Asia Today” and “News Hub GMT,” shows originating in Hong Kong and London, respectively. WSJ Live now offers more than four hours of live programming each business day.
Alan Murray, the Journal's deputy managing editor and executive editor-online, said the brand is seeing gains from its online video forays and plans even more investments into producing video content.
In an internal memo, Murray, who previously was CNBC's Washington bureau chief, pointed to a recent video produced by the Journal's staff, “Unfriended: The Facebook IPO Debacle.” He said the almost 10-minute production “marks the beginning of an effort to produce longer, more in-depth videos that reflect [the] very best of WSJ journalism.”
In May, the Journal streamed 19.7 million videos, about three times what it streamed in January. Its YouTube Channel has almost 25,000 subscribers and has streamed 20.8 million videos. “We see Internet-delivered video growing very rapidly and growing very rapidly for us,” Murray said.
Advertiser interest is a key driver of the Journal's online video expansion, with b-to-b marketers such as SAS Institute running 15-second pre-rolls. “It's the highest CPMs we get, and there's a huge demand for it,” Murray said. “The demand from advertisers is very strong.”
The Journal is encouraging its reporters to produce more videos using iPhones with embedded HD video cameras. Murray estimates that about 400 Journal reporters are using iPhones to file video reports.
Many Journal reporters appear on CNBC to provide commentary on business news stories. (The Journal's relationship with CNBC expires later this year, and most observers expect the newspaper to expand its relationship with Fox Business, a News Corp. sibling). Although Murray acknowledged that the experience of appearing on CNBC had prepped many Journal reporters for online video, he said the newspaper's online video efforts were unrelated to cable television.
“We're interested in playing the new game,” he said.