Broadcasters Turn To Short-Form Video To Reach Younger Audience

Who's got time to sit through 30 minutes of TV news these days? Not everyone, that's who. So no surprises that broadcasters are now resorting to mini-video services to tell you what's going on.

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The BBC is experimenting with broadcasting the news using Instagram Video, as part of what it calls "Instafax". There's no voiceover, just news footage and some captions.

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The BBC's News at 10 regularly gets five million viewers - so it's not as if TV news viewing is in much of a crisis. But the Beeb is looking for new ways to find reach viewers, particularly young, mobile-obsessed people.

The animations are very well done.

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They have relaxing music, much like Enya, but slowed down.

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Some commenters have asked why the vids don't have any links, in case people want to click through to the full news story. But Instagram doesn't yet allow URLs in picture and video posts, so that's a drawback.

We want the process to be organic, and we're keen to trial new ideas on how we can use our video content to reach new audiences.[BBC News director] James Harding has been clear in his vision to find innovative ways to bring the best of our journalism to new audiences, something our team has been looking at for some time.

The Beeb isn't the only news organisation trying this. NowThis News impressively manages to fit entire news stories into 15 seconds for its 76,000 Instagram followers.

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It also has a good mixture of still images and video on Instagram.

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NowThisNews is a big deal on six-second video platform Vine too, mixing Monty Python-style animations...

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... And the more traditional people-talking-to-a-camera, performed by staff and Vine celebrities such as Cody Johns (who has just the 1.5 million followers).

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It's quite a challenge to get all these facts into six seconds.

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While it may seem faddish, there's a serious point to all this. Last week NBCUniversal announced it has bought a minority stake in NowThisNews.

Patricia Fili-Krushel, chair of the NBCU News Group, says: "We know that news consumption among younger audiences continues to grow, but in order to reach that audience, we need to continue to create video for the platforms they use most. NowThis News does exactly that — delivering relevant news stories for the mobile and social platforms that resonate with this audience...

"Short term content is an area we have to play in... In the same way you get text alerts, you need video news alerts."