nScreenMedia OTT multiscreen media analysis

Newsy and Net2TV create 30 minute headline news show online

Last week, I mentioned that competition for all the categories available through a traditional cable TV subscription are beginning to appear online. One area in particular that is being mined by online providers is news. Wall Street Journal, Huffington Post, Reuters, Yahoo! News and others are all providing video news throughout the day, very often covering the latest breaking topics and issues. Until now, there has not been a 30 minutes top news stories show for online viewers along the lines of Headline News. That’s about to change with Newsy on Portico TV.

Net2TV, the creator of Portico TV, announced last week that it is working with Newsy,  a multi-source video news service, to create a 30 minute news show covering the hot topics of the moment, called Newsy in 30. The company will take the 2 minute Newsy articles and stitch them together to create the show. A user simply goes to the news channel in the Portico interface and selects the show from the list. The show immediately starts playing from the first story.

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The new Portico smart TV interface

Jim Monroe, head of programming at Net2TV, told me that the list of Newsy segments can be changed in real time. He said that, although the creation of the playlist could be completely automated, with news there is simply no substitute for the human editorial process. That means if you’re watching the show and an important event happens, Net2TV editors will grab the relevant Newsy article and insert it so that it will be the next segment that you see.Portico TV is free to viewers and is advertising supported. Newsy in 30will have an ad break about every 7 minutes. Each break will include two dynamically inserted ads of up to 30 seconds each. That means the entire show will carry 6-8 ads. Although upon launch the inserted ads will be simply video, the company will launch advanced features such as targeting, click-through, RFI (request for information) and telescoping in September or October of this year.

Mr. Monroe said that the company had an ad revenue sharing arrangement with Newsy although he did elaborate on this. However, it is likely the arrangement is similar to how cable shares in advertising revenue with cable TV channels. Typical, a certain number of ads per hour are given to the cable company to sell.

Net2TV’s Portico TV already has agreements similar to Newsy in place with a variety of video providers including CBS Interactive and Revision 3. The company is also working with non-traditional and niche brands such as Popular Science and CINEQUEST films. Unlike the many on-demand video sites available online, Portico TV is seeking to create a more TV-like experience. Taking on-demand assets and stitching them together into 30 and 60 minute shows allows the viewer to put down the remote and just enjoy the experience.

Why it matters
Programmed, free-ad-supported TV is an essential component of the TV experience, even online.

Solutions such as Net2TV are helping the web quickly fill out the content options in a format consumers will have no trouble embracing.

Niche providers as well as premium brands need to leverage programming as well as on-demand as tools to attract new viewers.

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