It has taken two decades of internet evolution, but, little by little, the old web – led by text and static images – is being taken over by a world of video… at least, in the mind of publishers eager for new ways to package up stories, and advertisers keen to find new eyeballs.
Few publishers are experiencing the change more than Hearst. With brands like food’s Delish, what once was a magazine publisher has rapidly upped its game to produce more and more digital video – not just for its own websites, but for a new multitude of new consumer touchpoints.
In this video interview with Beet.TV, Hearst Digital Media digital global president Troy Young explains the company’s embrace.
“Web pages were never particularly good as a distribution point for video,” says Young, speaking at the NewFronts, where Hearst pitched its video roster to advertisers. “What we’ve seen in the last couple of years is the slow maturation of new distribution points for great brands and publishers like Hearst.”
Hearst is taking video seriously. In two years, the company reportedly put $300 million in to video platforms, including investments in BuzzFeed, Roky, AwesomenessTV and Vice Media.
At the recent Social Media Week, Hearst editors told how they are reinventing traditional practices to tell stories in video.
“The distribution’s becoming more predictable and the ad models are coming in to focus,” Young adds. “Unlike the cable ecosystem, there was never any systematic monetisation opportunities. So the answer was always to do it in partnership with a brand, and create a native product with it.
“But those environments are maturing, appetites for different types of shows are maturing and we’re moving along with that.”
Two decades after publishers embarked on their digital journey, they are finally emerging from replicating their text products, in to a more moving medium.
Says Young: “We’ll sit here in a couple of years and half of it will be video.”
This video is part of Beet.TV’s coverage of the IAB’s Digital Content NewFronts 2017. The series is sponsored by the IAB. For more videos from the #NewFronts, please visit this page.