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Online video gains focus

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B-to-b marketers are using online video more often in an effort to cultivate existing customers and locate new ones. Finextra, a newswire that covers technology news in wholesale and retail banking, the capital markets and insurance, produces online video to generate traffic for market research, lead generation, editorial content and events registration. At marquee events, such as Sibos, an annual meeting catering to the financial services sector, Finextra sets up a studio to interview speakers, sponsors and exhibitors about the event and the topics that are being discussed. “When you're producing videos in near real time at events, you need to be able to get the videos up and live within an hour of the interview taking place,” said Nick Hastings, publishing director of Finextra. The newswire is now able to accomplish that by using Thomson Reuters Multimedia Centre, an online video platform that specifically targets business. By integrating the video platform into its content management system , Finextra can quickly upload new video content, which has significantly increased the number of videos the company can produce. What's more, the company is no longer limited on video file size, “so we have also significantly improved the quality of our videos,” Hastings said. “This has helped to increase distribution and increase page views.” Thomson Reuters Multimedia Centre, which debuted in March, allows marketers to upload video content directly from their desktops, publish it to their websites and distribute it to the appropriate audiences. Users can upload their videos, sort them into playlists, add tags and share them on social networks. Each video player has a customized URL that marketers can embed across their Web properties and partner sites. The content can be managed through an online library hosted by Thomson Reuters. The platform includes a suite of analytics, enabling marketers to monitor which users have watched a video, how much of it they've seen and how often, and on which social sites they have shared the video. In addition to including interactive features, such as real-time polling, marketers are also able to meld existing assets into their video programming. For example, if they want to incorporate slides or other types of content from a previous presentation into the video, the slides can run at precisely the right moment using time codes, said Shaun McIver, global director of Thomson Reuters' multimedia solutions. Thomson Reuters, with 5,000 accounts worldwide, is the world's largest webcaster, distributing more than 20,000 webinars per year. McIver said an important feature of the video platform is its ability to manage video content and other assets in multiple languages. Depending on their target market—and their message—marketers can also distribute their video content via Reuters Insider. The Web-based video service, which debuted in May 2010, offers a number of channels featuring content produced by the company's 2,800 worldwide reporters and more than 150 content partners, such as CNBC and Forbes, plus dozens of financial services companies. Finextra's Hastings said that distributing video content on Reuters Insider gave the company access to a larger audience of senior bankers. He said the video platform has been a benefit to the company's top line. “Given the increased site traffic these videos offer, we are naturally seeing an increase in page views on ad space, which is helping to increase CPMs,” he said. “We are also seeing a large increase in demand for commissioned sponsored videos, which has opened up a new revenue stream for us.” The proliferation of more, sophisticated online-video platforms parallels the growing investment marketers are placing on online-video advertising. Sixty-nine percent of marketers plan to increase their spending on online video advertising this year, according to a study by the Interactive Advertising Bureau. The study, “An Inside Look at Demand Side Perceptions of Digital Video Advertising,” was based on an online survey of 148 marketers and 352 agencies, and was conducted in November and December. According to the study, spending on online video advertising is expected to grow by 22% over the next year; marketers said they will spend 17% of their total online ad budgets on video ads this year.
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