Most newspaper hacks and PR flacks are creatures of habit. They didn’t learn about YouTube or online video in the top journalism schools or the best colleges for communication majors. But the first YouTube video, Me at the zoo, wasn’t uploaded until April 23, 2005, long after many of these hacks and flacks had graduated.
And even if they’ve seen MOVIECLIPS’ “Out of Sync Scene – Singin’ in the Rain Movie (1952) – HD),” a large number still can’t imagine that their journalism careers or public relations jobs might be going through the same kind of difficult transition that Hollywood went through in the late 1920s when silent films were replaced by “talkies.”
Can I back up this assertion?
About two-and-a-half years ago, ReelSEO issued a press release that said, “Video SEO Can Save the Newspaper Industry, Says New Study.” It was about a first-of-its-kind, in-depth report that was entitled, “Business Models for New Realities: The Newspapers Industry’s Video SEO Opportunity.”
And two-and-a-half years later, most newspapers are still struggling with harsh economic realities and are still seeking creative new revenue sources, while making the difficult transition from their traditional print-centric business model to the where their audience has migrated — the Internet.
For example, look at the YouTube channels for the top 10 newspapers in the United States by daily circulation, compiled by the Audit Bureau of Circulation for the six month period ended March 31, 2011:
- The Los Angeles Times‘s channel has 60 million total upload views and 14,500 subscribers.
- The New York Times’s channel has 41 million total upload views and 53,000 subscribers.
- The New York Post‘s channel has 16.9 million total upload views and 6,800 subscribers.
- The Wall Street Journal‘s channel has 11 million total upload views and 6,300 subscribers.
- The Chicago Tribune‘s channel has 10.9 million total upload views and 3,700 subscribers.
- The New York Daily News‘s channel has 8.2 million total upload views and 2,200 subscribers.
- USA Today‘s channel has 7.5 million total upload views and 3,500 subscribers.
- The Washington Post‘s channel has 5.7 million total upload views and 4,400 subscribers.
- ‘s channel has 99,000 total upload views and only 60 subscribers.
- The San Jose Mercury News – Bay Area News Group‘s channel has only 5,400 total upload views and just 6 subscribers.
In contrast, CBS’s channel on YouTube has 1.2 billion total upload views and 369,000 subscribers. The Associated Press‘s channel has 918 million total upload views and 231,000 subscribers. Heck, even The Young Turks‘s channel has 554.5 million total upload views and 276,000 subscribers.
Now, can you have a successful Video SEO strategy without also having a strong presence on YouTube? Well, according to the DoubleClick Ad Planner, YouTube.com had 800 million unique visitors worldwide in July 2011. By comparison, NYTimes.com had 28 million, WSJ.com had 14 million, LATimes.com had 12 million, WashingtonPost.com has 12 million, and USAToday.com had 11 million.
So, trying to peddle your news videos without YouTube these days is as difficult as trying to peddle your papers without “newsies” was back during the newsboys’ strike of 1899 in New York City.
If newspaper hacks mistakenly believe that creating their own news videos is too hard, then they can easily ask more PR flacks, “Do you have a YouTube video to go with your story?”
But savvy public relations pioneers aren’t waiting for the mainstream media to “get it.” They’ve already discovered that you can pitch a YouTube video to news bloggers like the ones at HuffingtonPost.com, which had 35 million unique visitors worldwide in July 2011, according to the DoubleClick Ad Planner. And some PR gurus have also figured out that they can use Video SEO to get their stories found when someone conducts a relevant search on Google or YouTube.
For example, if you conduct a search for the term, Google+ project, on Google, you’ll see a YouTube video entitled, “The Google+ project: A quick look,” ranks #6 on the first page of search results.
If you conduct a search for the same term on YouTube, “The Google+ project: A quick look” ranks #1.
If you look at the “As Seen On” page below “The Google+ project: A quick look,” you’ll see the YouTube video was embedded in BuzzFeed. So, do Google’s PR flacks really need to wait for newspaper hacks to ask, “Do you have a YouTube video to go with your story?” I don’t think so.
If you conduct a search for the term, Xerox CiPress, on Google, you’ll see a YouTube video entitled, “Xerox CiPress, World’s Only High-Speed Waterless Inkjet System, Opens New Revenue Streams,” ranks #10 on the first page of search results. And it was only uploaded on Sept. 9, 2011.
If you conduct a search for the same term on YouTube, “Xerox CiPress, World’s Only High-Speed Waterless Inkjet System, Opens New Revenue Streams” has the #1 organic ranking, although it does appear underneath one of the Promoted Videos from Xerox.
So, maybe it’s time for PR flacks as well as newspaper hacks to watch Singin’ in the Rain again.
Remember how the movie ends? If you don’t, then watch the “Switch-a-Roo Scene – Singin’ in the Rain Movie (1952) – HD.”
In other words, Don Lockwood (Gene Kelly) does make the transition from silent films to “talkies,” while Lina Lamont (Jean Hagen) doesn’t.
Get it? Got it? Good.