Thursday, July 10, 2008

Lunsford '01: Bringing online video to papers

D. Lance Lunsford's Lancer Productions is creating online video platforms for community newspapers to let their readers and reporters upload video simply, like YouTube, but customized for each paper. Here's a writeup about the platforms:

With online video still developing and attracting audience, there is plenty of revenue to generate through online video platforms – especially when you consider availability of technology in the form of viral syndication and user submission.

Lancer Productions, based in Lubbock and owned by D. Lance Lunsford ’01, is allowing community newspapers to exploit the trend by developing online video platforms and customizing them to respective newspaper brands. Each video platform is outfitted with sign-in tools, branded headings, logo overlays, advertising inventory and embeddable video capabilities that allow newspapers to become the main source for online video in communities of any size.

As YouTube continues to grow, it becomes its own worst enemy as finding material becomes difficult. Lancer Productions and other online video developers see video breaking into genres as online video evolves. The genre breakup means value to community newspapers, whose dollars will still come at the hands of hyper local coverage schemes.

Of course access to audience is key to any venture. For community newspapers, the ability to reach an audience with little marketing investment puts them at an advantage over community entrepreneurs who might take the local newspaper’s dot-com and add “video” to the end of it, thus side-stepping the local newspaper.

The Lancer Productions system is much better than existing video platforms currently used through national agreements with newspaper chains. Multimedia operations like Brightcove have limited functions and overly burdensome uploading requirements that limit newsroom efficiency. Not built for the newspaper realm, systems like Brightcove are time-intensive and do not take into account the reporter’s need to tee up the video as well as 19 inches of copy for the next day’s paper.

Lancer Productions outfits the community newspaper’s website with the video platform, training staff and leadership on administration procedures to guard over unseemly video submissions. See more at www.lancerproductions.com/YourOwnYouTube.html.

The player may be purchased outright as a service with Lancer Productions building the product seamlessly into the website. Lancer Productions also leases and finances the video player.