News Corp.’s Fox News group, in an overhaul of its online video strategy, is expanding the quantity of video content on FoxNews.com and plans to debut enhanced “community” features on the site of the forthcoming Fox Business Network channel.
The strategy aims to increase video volume – to more than double what’s currently offered – as well as allow both sites to provide Internet-only content and provide new ways to let users watch and share clips, according to Fox News Digital general manger and vice president Jeff Misenti. The expanded content and features will be introduced over the next 60 to 90 days.
“We’re going to harness the energy of the user base that follows us,” said Misenti, who joined the News Corp. group in July. “We see the convergence of television and the Internet as essential to our future…This is one of the largest strategic initiatives for us in the next year.”
One of the biggest changes is that video content will be more directly integrated into FoxNews.com pages. Whereas today the site today pops up a separate video player, clips will be queued up in an embedded media player and based on the content of a page, Misenti said.
Fox News also expects to make clips from FNC’s popular shows and news programs easier to search for and find, “so that if you miss the first few minutes of, say, the interview with Fred Thompson, you can watch it later online,” Misenti said.
Furthermore, the group intends to expand original content available online. “If we do an eight-minute interview with someone and it’s two minutes on the channel, we can put the rest of the interview online,” he said.
Other planned enhancements include community features that will let users rate and recommend videos, and let them embed Fox News Channel video clips on their blogs. The community features will be introduced first on FoxBusiness.com, the online companion to FBN, which is set to launch Oct. 15.
“It’s a YouTube model: They can take the code and embed it into their site,” Misenti said.
He added that Fox News Digital has the ability to monitor the usage of clips and can revoke an individual’s ability to embed video. “There’s a percentage [of Internet users] who will do something inappropriate,” he said.
According to Nielsen/NetRatings, FoxNews.com gets just under 9 million unique visitors per month.
The Fox News Digital group is using a video-publishing system from Maven Networks to roll out the new features. Other Maven customers include CBS’s CSTV, TV Guide and Univision Online.
The new platform also will allow Fox News Digital to sell different kinds of advertising sponsorships, such as an in-clip ad along the lower third of the screen. “Allowing the video to be more engaging to users will let the advertisers change the model, too,” Misenti said.
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