BuzzFeed, in a partnership with CNN, will invest in and expand its video operations and build a social video studio, designed to create news and entertainment video content exclusively for YouTube.
Led by Ze Frank, web video pioneer and BuzzFeed’s Executive Vice President of Video, the video team will apply the same types of strategies that have made BuzzFeed a hub for some of the internet’s most viral content to create shareable, emotionally compelling video content for a highly-mobile, video-driven generation.
“There has been a massive cultural shift in how people – particularly young people – consume news and entertainment and Ze and his team are tapping into the next generation of video production and consumption. Over 70% of BuzzFeed’s traffic is social, almost half is mobile, and we are seeing these huge shifts earlier than others because the majority of our readers are 18-34. We are thrilled to partner with YouTube to bring a new generation of video content to a BuzzFeed audience that lives on social media and mobile phones,”” said Jon Steinberg, BuzzFeed’s President & COO.
‚””BuzzFeed has built a remarkably engaged audience and their YouTube channels are a testament to their understanding of news and entertainment. They have a very special way of telling a story,‚”” said Jed Simmons, YouTube’s Director and Global Head of News Content Partnerships. ‚””BuzzFeed’s decision to double down on their YouTube channels is incredibly exciting and we look forward to continuing to work together and helping them grown.‚””
As part of its expansion initiative, BuzzFeed has partnered with CNN to launch the ‚””CNN BuzzFeed‚”” channel on YouTube. Powered by CNN’s current and archival video footage, BuzzFeed will create unique mash-up news videos tailored for the social web. The content will appear on both CNN.com and the CNN/BuzzFeed YouTube channel. In addition, the two organizations will collaborate on original list posts that combine the strength of CNN’s newsgathering and BuzzFeed’s signature voice. The lists will be published to CNN.com starting today.
‚””By pairing the journalistic strength and reach of the CNN brand with BuzzFeed’s unique editorial approach and young audience, our partnership will enable both organizations to engage new audiences,‚”” said KC Estenson, SVP CNN Digital. ‚””It’s the perfect modern day media collaboration.‚””
“”From web video’s infancy to a massive shift to mobile video viewing, the community and ecosystem of YouTube is at the heart of the social web. BuzzFeed’s massive audience is hungry for new, interesting video formats, YouTube gets that better than anyone and we’re elated to be working with them,”” said Ze Frank, BuzzFeed’s EVP of Video. “”CNN.com is one of the biggest, strongest news sites in the world. We are thrilled to work with their talented team and to tap into their incredible archive of footage as we try to crack original news video for the social web.””
Production will be headquartered in a newly constructed social video studio in Los Angeles which will have a coffee shop and store where influencers, thinkers and celebrities will be able create informal videos made for the social web. The team will grow to over 30 people in the coming months. BuzzFeed Video will have a dedicated, prominent placement on the BuzzFeed homepage that will bring new forms of social content to the site’s 60MM unique visitors. Expansion plans include creating new channels, including recreating a video news format that is shareable.
Since September, over 400 years of BuzzFeed video has been watched on YouTube with over 170M views over 500 total videos. Forty-eight videos have gotten over one million views including “”The Angriest Babies In The Whole World,”” “”What 2000 Calories Looks Like”” and “”True Facts About The Angler Fish,”” a part of the popular “”True Facts”” series.
Telcos want one face
The investments that telecommunications service providers are making in reshaping their online properties into customer-centric portals reflects the growing maturity of self-service and Internet uptake in the industry, says KEVIN MELTZER of Consology.
Many telcos around the world are overhauling their websites to offer customers more holistic portals that give them a single point of entry into the organisation.
They are doing so because they recognise that service will be a key point of differentiation for their businesses in a market that is becoming increasingly competitive. They have also realised that they have a major opportunity to shift customers away from expensive contact centres towards low-cost electronic channels.
In the past, most telecommunications operators ran multiple sites across multiple domains and subdomains. These web-based properties were built around the way that telcos structured their own businesses rather than around the needs of the customer. But we are now seeing the leading operators take a more user-centric approach to the way that they design their web and mobile sites.
This coincides with a change in the industry from slicing customers into numerous segments and then serving them across a range of functional and product areas. For example, many operators split customers into prepaid and postpaid segments or voice and data users, distinctions that are becoming less meaningful in a world of technology convergence. They now want to present a single face to the customer rather than servicing the subscriber through silos.
These changes are starting to percolate through to operators’ customer service and sales strategies. Telcos are starting to pull together disparate products and services that once resided across multiple sites into customer service portals.
These sites put a wide range of information at the subscriber’s fingertips, he adds. Increasingly, for example, subscribers can log directly into their accounts from the operator’s homepage and then access a wealth of services and information. This marks an evolution from the fractured and inconsistent customer experience of the past.
Leading operators are even thinking about how their Self-Service platforms should be integrated with social media strategies to allow customers to pay their electronic bills or top up airtime with a single click from within a social network.
Whereas Self-Service portals on telco sites were once purely about account management functions, they increasingly offer far richer functionality. In addition to allowing subscribers to pay their bills and check their account information, they are also increasingly becoming the first stop for service and commerce.
Operators have started to recognise that splintering their e-commerce, service and account management functions simply makes no sense. Customers want to be able to do everything through one interface rather than needing to visit two or three Web sites, or eventually possibly needing to phone a call centre or visit a store for certain transactions.
Integrated and easy to use online customer service channels will be central for telco operators who want to be competitive in the markets of tomorrow. They form an advantage in an industry where it will be customer relationships rather than cost or service that drive loyalty and purchasing decisions.
Talk for less with MWEB Talk
Today, MWEB announced its consumer VoIP package called MWEB Talk, which allows users to make free network calls and get discounted rates made to landlines and mobile phones.
MWEB, today launched its new Voice over IP (VoIP) offering to South African consumers. The service, MWEB Talk, will offer users’ free on network calls to fellow MWEB Talk users’ and cheap calls to landline and mobile phone numbers. This follows the success and demand of the ISP’s existing VoIP products in recent months.
‚”We have seen a noticeable transformation in users’ Internet behaviour with consumers wanting services that complement their ADSL connectivity solution. We have seen phenomenal growth and by the end of the year will deliver over 100 million minutes on our VoIP platform,‚” says Carolyn Holgate, General Manager of MWEB Connect, the ISP’s Consumer and Small Office/ Home Office Division.
MWEB has made significant investments in its infrastructure and VoIP has been prioritised on its network to ensure performance and stability of the MWEB Talk service for both businesses and consumers.
‚”In addition to the high quality of the service, MWEB Talk is also simple to set-up and users’ should experience a significant reduction in their telephone bills. By implementing a VoIP service consumers and small businesses can cut their monthly telecommunication bills by up to 55% to landline and mobile numbers,‚” says Holgate.
With no subscription fee, existing MWEB customers can log into their MWEB account, register for the service and download the application for PC and Mac as well as mobile applications that turn an iPhone, Android, and Nokia smartphone into a VoIP phone. Customers will also be able to purchase a Desktop VoIP Handset for R99 which will be HD voice ready and will support multi-extensions.
‚”We believe that VoIP is the future of telephony in South Africa and we are extremely excited to see the consumer market shift into the VoIP space,‚” concludes Holgate.