2016 predictions: Is this the year old media gets online video?

2016 predictions: Is this the year old media gets online video?

BBC3’s move online, with shows such as Don’t Tell the Bride, will present big challenges Photograph: Alexandra Fleming/BBC/Renegade South Ltd/Alexandra Fleming

YouTube stars such as PewDiePie and the multichannel networks that represent many of them will continue their youth-driven rise in 2016, but other media organisations will step up their efforts to get in on the game.

John Kampfner of the Creative Industries Federation thinks 2016 “could be the year when media organisations truly break out of their silos”. He explains: “Whether free-to-access or heavily paywalled, websites continue to struggle to produce the revenues required to invest in strong journalism. While TV advertising revenues are strong, income for online services remains variable, at best.

“A key to enhancing customer loyalty will be to combine old-fashioned must-have reporting with events for readers and other forms of collaboration, such as in television, radio, film and other art forms. Some media groups are doing this, to good effect. I find it heartening to see cross-sectoral deals being done, bringing together what might have been previously unlikely partners, from both public and private sectors.”

One of the biggest changes in the online content world this spring will be BBC3 becoming online only. Ash Atalla, founder of Roughcut TV – which finds new online talent via its Roughcut Presents website as well as making shows for the main broadcasters such as the acclaimed BBC3 mockumentary People Just Do Nothing (pictured left) – says: “BBC3 moving online is the key event in UK online content.

“Despite the cut in its budget from terrestrial levels, it will still represent a huge spend in online originations. Get it right and a vibrant home for new writers and performers will emerge. Shows that we make like Cuckoo will, for the first time, premiere online too.”

Pippa Glucklich, co-CEO of Starcom Mediavest Group, says: “At the beginning of November, BBC journalists were briefed to emulate the likes of BuzzFeed and Vice by making more informal and friendly short videos. So snackable, fun and informative content is certainly one area where the battle lines for eyeballs will continue to be drawn in the year ahead.”

How content makers, whether in broadcasting or advertising, work with the new media groups or social media apps such as Snapchat is also an area of focus for 2016.

“Short-form content, and specifically short-form video, is one area that many more brands will have to move into, as it is more popular with viewers watching on mobile platforms,” reckons Glucklich. “You just have to look at the rise in popularity of short video ads on Snapchat as a place advertisers are now successfully engaging with audiences.”


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