‘Over-the-Top’ Content: Could It Be a Key to Future Success for Local Newspapers?

Local newspapers

According to A16Z.com, newspapers and video content creators are now in direct competition, which makes for an interesting publishing landscape. Video has suddenly become very important to news publishers as users demand more video content. But simply posting a video to YouTube is not enough anymore. Many rural and smaller newspapers are going Over-The-Top and the results are very promising.

SEE ALSO: How Mobile Can be a Second Change for Newspapers

What Is Over-The-Top?

The movement to “cut the cable” and use streaming Internet services to replace cable television costs has created such popular options as the Roku. This is a device that takes streaming channels and delivers them to the viewer’s television. In some cases, they are the big channels everyone is looking for and they come with a monthly subscription cost. But the Roku offers access to thousands of free television channels and that is where news publishers are being seen. Creating a television channel on the Roku is called going Over-The-Top and it is catching on all over the country.

Newspapers Already Have The Resources

According to CJR.org, small and rural newspapers with online subscribers are already in a good position to start showing broadcast news because they already have the resources. These newspapers have been training their reporters to capture stories on video so they can be shown on the publication’s website or YouTube channel, and most of these newspapers are staffed with people qualified and ready to go out and capture the area’s news. With the resources already in place, all these papers have to do is shoot and upload the content to have a functioning Roku channel.

Local newspapers
Streaming television is the future for local newspaper publishers.

Reaching Audiences That Want The News

The biggest advantage that local newspapers have is they deliver comprehensive local stories that the regional and national outlets won’t touch. Before the Over-The-Top sensation started, those stories were limited to just Internet and mobile phone access. But now people living in areas where they normally do not get the local news broadcasts can stream free television channels from local newspaper publishers and get the local news in video format. The video is sometimes shaky and the professional narration may not be there, but people can still enjoy watching the local news in ways they never could before.

These free channels can be picked up by devices other than the Roku, but the Roku is the most popular. Many local newspapers are giving out a Roku with each subscription and increasing their streaming television audience. The newspapers can sell advertising on their channels, and they can do whatever they want because FCC rules do not apply.

It sounds like television’s version of the Wild West and it can sometimes be a bit unpredictable. But as more rural and small newspapers start to launch their own television stations, they are offering a layer of service to the local audiences that the larger publications are not offering. This is just another way that the local papers are using their ability to report the local stories to their advantage and squeezing out the regional and national players.

George N Root III is a professional freelance writer who has expertise in topics such as Internet marketing, business, advertising, and personal finance. Want more like this? Subscribe to Recruitment ADvisor and get the best news straight to your inbox!

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