Online Video Initiative at The Economist: “Tea is Served”…but by Whom?

By on 10/16/2009 6:03 AM @beet_tv

The Economist, which has been quickly expanding online, is creating original online video with a weekly series entitled "Tea with the Economist."

In Washington last week, I spoke with Brendan Greeley, the publication's multimedia editor.  He is based in the Washington bureau, where he supervises the series and other programs.

The 10-15 minute videos are conducted by Economist reporters and editors around the globe who pour tea and query their subjects.  In keeping with the the longstanding policy of anonymity for editorial staffers, the journalists remain off camera, their voices heard with just a bit of a shoulder in the shot.

The series debuted on regular basis in April.

The had 25 million page views 3.6 million unique visitors in September, according to internal log numbers.

The Economist on the Apple iTunes Store

Brendan says that "Tea" is building up a following, particularly on Apple's iTunes  He said that Apple has been a strong supporter of Economist, featuring its video and audio downloads prominently.  He said that the Economist routinely has three of the top 100 most popular podcasts on iTunes.

We met at a technology event at the Embassy of Finland where Brendan interviewed Sir Tim Berners-Lee for an upcoming segment.  I also interviewed Sir Tim for Beet.TV.

Economist Raises Online Subscription on Monday  — New Web Strategy Introduced this Week

On Monday, the online annual subscription to the Economist in the U.S.  goes to $95 from $79. This is for the "premium" version, which has much more extended content than the free site.  Video and multimedia remain "ungated." 

More on the paper's  online plans by Robert Andrews at paidContent.  (These changes were implemented on Tuesday.)

Andy Plesser, Executive Editor

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