Posted July 6, 2007 9:37 am by with 2 comments

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Now here’s something refreshing. The BBC is evaluating its liberal use of online videos to ensure that it’s able to provide quality content that adds to news stories. Pete Clifton, head of BBC News Interactive, told a London conference audience that simply uploading lots of news video clips without context, will lead to less people watching online videos.

His team conducted a trial to evaluate their use of news videos. They discovered that video should be used to compliment a story, not replace it. Likewise, stand alone videos had much less appeal than those embedded alongside written stories.

“The results from the trial we did with embedded video were hugely positive in terms of the conversion rate of people reading the stories and watching the video,” Mr Clifton told the conference.

“With the embedded video, up to 40 per cent of people were watching it. In its normal format, when you watch it in a different place [in a standalone player], it’s about two per cent.

Smart man. Ok, so you can’t say for sure that all videos need to be alongside some written content, in order for them to be appealing – YouTube’s success has proven that – but I like that the BBC is taking the time to say “wait a minute, let’s not just churn this stuff out for the sake of it, let’s see if we’re adding to the conversation.”

  • The fact that they’re thinking that is good. I’ve found that not everyone will watch video, it seems to be a time thing. I get more responses for articles with video than just video alone. And I see the trend in myself. In research mode, I want text so I can scan. In, shall we say, buy-inclined mode, I will sit through a video if it’s engrossing. Man. Maybe I’ve been trained by Madison Ave…

  • video is not right all time