About Those Cat Videos

Yes, cat videos do score.

CNN Newsource and SPJ teamed up for a recent webinar to talk about best use of video – and it was power packed with trends that digital space practitioners need to know. Here’s what CNN’s Danay Faulkner shared.

By 2020, 75 percent of the world’s data traffic will be video (so Facebook predicts).

Breaking news drives usage via alerts, messages and notifications with 2 out of 3 people actively engaging video.

Smartphone users are 3 times likelier view video news while PC video views are declining.

Twitter is the news user’s choice with 74 percent of Twitter users accessing news daily (and engaging in the content they see with RTs and comments).

Ninety-four percent of Twitter users get news by scrolling through their timelines, while only 34 percent get news from trending topics. But, Twitter doesn’t drive much traffic for news organizations – only 1.5 percent of traffic from typical news organizations comes from Twitter (and averages only 3 clicks per tweet.)

Facebook is maintaining its lead for video views – with Facebook video being viewed 8 billion times a day.

Alexa’s recent ranking of top news sites (provided by CNN) – 1. Reddit, 2. Yahoo News, 3. CNN, 4. Huffington Post, 5. New York Times. These change regularly, so didn’t exactly match when I checked the site.

The best platforms for video today – 1. Facebook, 2. Twitter, 3. Instagram and Vine.

Like many Big Media companies, CNN uses Chartbeat for analytics – which means moving content and video around. It’s also a tool in using sponsored content and non-news viral video like those cat videos. If you haven’t seen Chartbeat in action, here’s a demo link. Other analytic tools used by newsrooms include the basic tools from Google and Adobe’s enterprise product Omniture.

As for best video content (ranked by top views and covering the cat video), Faulkner puts them in this order.

“Surprise” videos rule – like a welcome home surprise for a member of the military. “Secret” videos come next – where the viewer is in on the surprise marriage proposal, for example. “Surveillance” videos, where something extraordinary is caught on video such as a meteor falling to earth, are third on the list. “Animal” videos come in next – and then “Unique Topics” to a local area, such as a winning sports team.

Guess what doesn’t do well? Stories where people are bullied, news showing serious injuries and general good news stories that don’t have a compelling narrative. In other words, the CEO touting some great charitable contribution vs. an individual whose life was turned around because of a special event or link to a charity.

Now go find a cat!

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