The New Yorker is ambitious about video, but has a long way to go
The Condé Nast title is growing its video business — but a lot of work still remains.
Sixteen months ago, Web video was “a whole new medium” for The New Yorker, but it was something it was “working hard on,” according to NewYorker.com editor Nicholas Thompson at the time.
“In the last year, we have advanced tremendously, but we are still fairly early on in our growth,” Thompson told Digiday this week.
The content varies in terms of format, but the focus remains the same: New York. There are scripted short films and documentaries either produced by The New Yorker (such as this one from filmmaker Riley Hooper that follows two men who are trying to walk every block in New York City) or acquired from the festival circuit through its partnership with sister company Condé Nast Entertainment. NewYorker.com also offers recurring series like “The Cartoon Lounge” and “Comma Queen,” starring in-house talent like cartoon editor Bob Mankoff and copy editor Mary Norris.
What The New Yorker is doing less of is simply using video to “enhance” existing print stories. “A year ago or two years ago when I started, it was almost all tied to print content,” said Thompson. “That’s still useful and valuable, but it’s not thatvaluable. We’re much more about original ideas and original series.”
Videos still might appear alongside written stories, but that’s because The New Yorker has discovered it does a good job of keeping people on the site longer. “Two months ago, we started embedding videos at the bottom of some blog posts and features,” said Thompson. “If you embed a video at the bottom, users are more likely to stay on the site than if they saw only text links.”
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