With the costs of video production and distribution dramatically decreased, we’ve seen many interesting entrants to the business of television — most notably, independent artists — and web video has begun to change the fiber of the media business.
Now that video is merely a component of a dynamic, multi-dimensional entertainment experience, the line between the businesses of print media and television is slowly blurring. Corporations are no longer distinguished by the medium they produce, but by the brands they create. This means more competition, more entertainment products, choice and flexibility for consumers and a rapidly evolving art-form.
Just as television producers are beginning to recognize that they must create interactive experiences to complement their videos, print publications are recognizing that video offers a dynamic element to their existing brands. Over sixty percent of magazines now offer video on their websites. Hearst-Argyle and Conde Nast have both set their sites on expanding their brands with video, and the New York Times has an impressive array of videos deployed with Brightcove. VBS.TV (Tizy Page), a spinoff of the popular Vice Magazine, has recently partnered with Viacom for even more interesting video.
It’s interesting to see how print publications are beginning to push television by offering products for each narrow niche. CosmoGirl and Seventeen, both Hearst properties, both appealing to young girls, have announced new video features that appeal directly to their separate constituencies of pop-culture-obsessed girls.
CosmoGirl, in a partnership with Raw Digital, will create an online soap opera that will feature a reader in a starring role. The high-school melodrama, delivered in 3-4 minute videos, will keep one spot available for a dedicated CosmoGirl reader. The series will be available online at Cosmogirl.com, with new episodes appearing three times a week for five weeks.
Seventeen Magazine has partnered with MySpace on a new show that chronicles the lives of freshman girls just starting their college careers. The show, called Freshman 15, is named so for the 15 girls it will follow.
So print publications are acting like TV producers. Will television companies respond by acting more like the magazines by appealing to niche markets? You better believe it.