Quartz gets serious about experimenting with video

Adam Tinworth
Adam Tinworth

Interesting [announcement from Quartz editor Kevin Delaney, explaining why the business site is about to get serious about video:

We’re now entering into video production, with a small team of experienced digital video journalists experimenting ambitiously with new formats, techniques, and distribution.

That final word – distribution – is key. That suggests that Quartz will be pushing its video onto Facebook and YouTube as much as trying to drag people to the site to watch it. And they’re not just thinking about computer and mobile use, either:

[…] the over-the-top video disruption means unprecedented opportunities for upstart media players to distribute their content to users’ television sets and computers.

Pays for plays

The question, of course, is monetisation. Delaney explicitly says that the video production team won’t have to worry about that at first:

We’re liberating them for an initial period from ad inventory requirements and preconceptions about what they produce should look like.

However, they do have a revenue agenda:

We believe that respecting our users and their time means not placing 15- or 30-second pre-rolls in front of videos. We’d prefer to do the hard work of tackling the creative and business challenges of inventing non-preroll forms of sponsorship that maximize both user satisfaction and revenue.

In other words: “Go away, experiment, and when you figure out what works, we’ll figure out how to monetise it.”

It’s a good approach – I’ve seen some terrible video produced simply because there was money on the table from advertisers that needed video inventory. This way the product will lead the revenue.

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Adam is a lecturer, trainer and writer. He's been a blogger for over 20 years, and a journalist for more than 30. He lectures on audience strategy and engagement at City, University of London.