Print vs Player: The Role of the Web Video in Journalism



“Your video will play in 30…29…28…27…”

Dreaded is the idea that us, the consumers, have to drag ourselves through an advertisement just to provide an exceptionally large company with a seemingly minute amount of revenue in order to absorb some news… but is it all that different from conventional print advertising? (Which, by the way, is understandably suffering.)

The movement from print journalism to digital journalism over the last few years has been quite rapid, however, as revenue from print newspapers decline, how do news companies generate revenue? Firstly, like they normally did with physical newspapers, they have paid subscription/membership services for online content, however, subscription numbers are declining, so the next step for many news outlets was to introduce videos into their online service, and generate revenue through advertisements before the video plays; some ads are short and infrequent, such as the Sydney Morning Herald –

The Sydney Morning Heralds' Video Player, with an advertisement playing.

The Sydney Morning Heralds’ video player, with an advertisement playing. (Click to enlarge)

Or, outlets such as Fox Sports (Australia), which have frequent, long advertisements every time the user plays a video –

Screen Shot 2015-05-26 at 3.09.30 pm

Fox Sports Australias’ video player, also with an advertisement playing. (Click to enlarge)

So what is the role of the web player? Firstly, to generate revenue for the company, and secondly, to report the news in a visually interesting way. But referring to one of my original points – is it all that different from print newspaper ads? While digital players have broken through and are now commonplace, the ads that precede the videos really aren’t all that different from the good old newspaper; for example, on the front page you see an exciting story listed on page 11, but then you have to flick through 11 pages, each bombarded with ads…and some pages with nothing BUT ads.

As is always the case with advertisement issues, the debate will never end.


J. Lynch, May 2015 []

A. Stadd, June 2013 []

B. McNair, May 2015 []

A. Mitchell, March 2014 []


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