These are challenging times for traditional media, newspapers especially. Journalists not already wondering about what their futures look like must surely be thinking in that direction now following the announcement by London Independent newspaper owner Evgeny Lebedev that he plans to close the publications daily and Sunday print titles to focus on a digital proposition. With the advent of smart phones and social media nowadays other key questions are who will create the news of tommorrow, and who will pay for it?
Lebedev is predicting that other newspaper closures will likely follow. Media owners are keen to come up with some sort of business model that compensates for the fact that mobile phone owners are buying less newspapers. What do you do? Close down? Try to make a go of digital? What does that even mean? Increasingly people seem to want a video component as part of their news mix and it seems that will be key to the newspaper future business model.
Providing broadcast quality video, Ballywire has worked with all Ireland’s major newspaper groups since the company’s foundation in 2007. Established with a traditional newsroom format, ironically in the time since we opened, despite the proliferation of mobile phones, it’s been the traditional journalistic model of a broadcast tv operator, reporter and producer that has sustained us over the past decade.
We’ve had several different business models with the newspaper groups as they sought to move with the times and add video to their revenue mix. At the time we started domestic video inventory in Ireland was quite limited. And while not a huge amount has changed nowadays some youtube versions of tv ads and amateur material captured on mobile phones makes up quite a lot of what appears on publication portals today.
Another video source utilised by newsdesks is when video is provided on behalf of sponsors who will heavily brand the video which they provide free of charge. A good example of that was a star studded Ballywire adidas predator suite of content from a Predator boot launch at Carton House. The material got quite a bit of pick up as you can see here.
Actual video news remains the hardest nut for newspapers to crack. Thats mainly because it’s very difficult to predict day to day where the news is going to make headlines. When The Irish Times took their first steps into the world of digital with Ireland.com, we supplied the first video material. A mix of news, sport, entertainment and culture. Even radio station launches like 4FM!
Several major tv networks now offer news in bite sized format, which is something we also introduced into the Irish market. Ireland in a Minute was published each morning at 8am on independent.ie
Seperate to that we also trialled a pilot morning video news on regional radio websites – Ireland/now.
Ireland is too small a country for major news providers to fight over and the global heavyweights haven’t bothered with us to date, but what will the future Irish newspapers look like in 10 or 20 years? Maybe it’s time to revive Ireland/now!