Believe It: Niche Video News Producers like Beet.TV Can Succeed, msnbc.com Chief

By on 10/22/2009 6:49 AM @beet_tv

As an online video news source, msnbc.com has the enormous advantage of the resources of NBC, but opportunities exist for video news producers who focus on a niche areas and use low cost digital news gathering.

These are the comments of Charlie Tillinghast, president and publisher of msnbc.com.

We spoke on Sixth Avenue on Tuesday afternoon, just before we started our Beet.TV Online Video Roundable, which was hosted by Charlie at the msnbc.com Digital Cafe at 30 Rock. 

This is the first part of two interview segments with him.

Wow What a Great Event, Thanks to Everyone!

A special thanks to Charlie and his team for hosting our event, YuMe for sponsoring, Livestream for doing a great job streaming, and to our moderators and all of our fantastic participants. We will be posting excerpt and one-on-one interviews over the next several weeks. 

You can watch the show anytime on our page on Livestream.  The show had 3,200 unique live viewers.  We are getting thousands more each day, and it has been tweeted nearly 400 times!

The show is also running on paidContent.

Andy Plesser, Executive Producer

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Video Transcript

CharlesTillinghast: The strategy behind cross-media video is that we come up with show concepts that are intended to work both online and on-air at the point that they're conceived. So we don't take just what was figured out for on-air and try to make it work online, we work together with themes that work in both ways. So, for example, this last Monday we launched TODAY Moms, and TODAY Moms is a series that runs on the TODAY Show focused on mothers and parenting, and then we have a companion section on the todayshow.com site that includes a whole community feature so that moms can start to talk to each other and we even have blogger moms. So this is something that takes off on the idea of a show and then expands greatly online.

Andy Plesser: 
Tell us a little about the economics of video. You're in a unique position to be able to re-purpose a lot of great material. What about other people who are trying to create news content, video and news content? I don't know if you can sort of give an overview about your position and sort of the opportunities that exist.

Charles Tillinghast: 
Well we are in a very advantageous position because we have the entire video infrastructure of NBC with which to work and we're an important part of their stategy in terms of being able to monetize video in places other than just air. For someone that doesn't have a video content partner, obviously it's a much different situation. In that case, my reccomendation is that you focus on a specific niche area and use low cost digital methods to shoot that video.

So whereas we do have an advantage at NBC, they also are approaching it from a much bigger cost structure than somebody else necessarily would. We need to do that because of the quality that is necessary for on-air, but there are lower entry approaches for people who don't have a media partner using the latest technology.

Andy Plesser: 
That sounds like Beet.TV.

Charles Tillinghast:
  It does sound like Beet.TV.

Andy Plesser:  Alright Charlie, listen, thanks very much for hosting us today. Great to see you.

Charles Tillinghast:  Great to see you too, Andy, and we'll see you on the show. 

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