As a result of the growing success of online videos as a means of advertising, more news publishers are hoping to streamline the production of videos by means of a technology that aims to partially automate the production process. Due to the comparatively paltry revenue afforded by web advertising and the continued decline of revenue from printed media, a variety of news publishers want to rely on online video advertisements to maintain consistent revenues, and therefore want a system of automation to be in place that helps them bring out and post online videos at much faster rates.
The majority of automated video production on the Internet is provided by two competing video creation platforms: Wibbitz and Wochit, both based in Israel. Each company has received a large variety of reputed clients, such as the Weather Channel for the former and CBS Interactive and Time Inc. for the latter, and both have reported enormous gains in the number of clients using their tools to publish videos since the start of the year. The two companies have suggested that the increasing demand for video on social services such as Facebook is at least partly responsible for their recent fortunes.
The primary function of each of the similar services is to analyze text fed into it and then proceed to find videos and images from elsewhere on the Internet based on what it interprets; this media is typically derived from royalty-free sources like Getty Images as well as established news agencies. Users may allow the majority of the work to be automated by the services' technology, but are more likely to opt for using them as supplemental tools to hasten the production process of their own work.
A lot of optimistic comments have been made by various executives in regards to the relevance of online video as a means to provide quality content and receive quality revenue in return, and have likewise been enthusiastic about incorporating video automating services such as Wibbitz and Wochit into their available tool sets in the interest of achieving these goals. Facebook's own Mark Zuckerberg claimed that his site could be entirely driven by video in a matter of years, while the chairman of Tronc - a publisher of printed media such as magazines and newspapers - commented that his company should probably be producing many more times as many videos as it does currently.
Chris Pirrone of USA Today commented that automation services have reduced the expenses involved with having separate teams shooting, editing, and producing videos, though he also stressed the importance of having people on hand to manually take part in the video production process; Pirrone stated that allowing a service of this nature to completely automate the process of producing video based on text can otherwise turn out material that readers will consider low-standard among the kinds of videos that news publishers ideally provide.
Though news publishers are hopeful about the effect that video production automation services will have in reducing the expenses and time that current duties require of their journalists, they also understand that the advantages afforded by these tools will dissipate as the services themselves become more widely available over time - a process that typically happens with any recent online format, and quite quickly at that.
Nonetheless, news publishers are eager to provide these supplemental tools to their employees so that even those not part of teams dedicated to video work can produce videos of their own when needed. With companies like Tronc reporting that news articles without video content generate far fewer advertising rates than articles that have video content, there remains a continued surge of interest by news publishers in automated video production even as they continue to have employees generate videos through their own work, regardless of whether or not the latter type of video becomes less efficient by comparison.
Image by: Bill Rice