How NewsBeat Social Used Video to Find Success

In January 2013, NewsBeat Social was a brand new, international news organization with minimal audience recognition or following. Our company was made up of a green screen, a handful of cameras, a few computers and a Facebook account.

Based out of our small Portland office, our challenge was to create an online news station comparable to the big name organizations, gain awareness of our brand and build a following. We had all the tools to produce high-quality news stories, but NewsBeat Social needed a platform to help share them.

To begin, we focused our news organisation on the production of “stackable news videos,” pieces designed to be short and informative.  Each video contained a single anchor, followed by footage and sound bites from reporters and news agencies based around the world. For our distribution strategy, we leveraged the power and global reach of Facebook and social sharing to send the content far and wide.

After the filming and editing process was completed, the finished videos are uploaded to Kaltura, a highly regarded, video platform and streamed via Facebook to audiences who were then able to view it on their news feed or mobile device.

How the Technology Works

Kaltura provided us with flexible and future-proof video solutions to fit our needs.We use Kaltura’s hosted platform, which includes the full range of video tools and capabilities, such as streaming and delivery on all devices, transcoding, analytics and support and maintenance services.  We leverage them for our video ingestion, management, publishing, distribution, syndication, monetization and analytics.

: Kaltura offers a range of software solutions to capture, manage and playout video.

: Kaltura offers a range of software solutions to capture, manage and playout video.

Although Facebook provides a captive global audience for the news items, traditional distribution via the site would restrict our ability to monetize original, non-premium content. In order to address the challenge, we use Kaltura’s CMS and ad server. Kaltura's platform allowed us to both leverage the Facebook global audience, while at the same time generate revenue from our content.

The Kaltura video player delivers a 15 second pre-roll at the start of each video, which is delivered via 3rd party ad servers, all within Facebook. This provides NewsBeat Social with the opportunity to scale up and incorporate additional 3rd party ad servers, as well as distribute our content in the same fashion on other social networks, such as LinkedIn and Twitter.

Finally, we collect and analyze data from the videos uploaded through the platform via detailed reports. The data from these reports includes which videos were getting the most attention and shares and which sparked the most user engagement, feedback that was crucial to our editorial planning efforts.

Product Benefits

Kaltura helped NewsBeat Social keep things simple and monetize our content, which is the core of our business model.By uploading our videos to Kaltura, we were able to send our news videos directly to our Facebook page, optimize the audience sharing experience and deliver ads via the 15 second pre-roll.

Although we started small, NewsBeat Social’s Facebook page went from zero to more than 200,000 likes during the first eight months of operation. Today, eighteen months later, NewsBeat Social has a monthly reach of over 150 million and delivers millions of streams to over 2,000,000 Facebook fans - both on desktop and mobile devices. NewsBeat Social is now also able to do direct sales to large brands for higher CPMs. We are now able to leverage both monetization strategies (ad-networks and direct sales), as opposed to relying on free solutions that integrate with ad networks and keep 30% to 45% of the ad revenue.

Also, NewsBeat Social is now reporting extremely high ad completion rates - 95% of users watch the entire ad and 5% (on average) click on the player to learn more on the advertiser's site. All of these parameters translate to very high CPMs and a seamless viewing experience for our viewers.

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