The organic feel of mobile video is the current flavour of the internet

This interview is being recorded on a mobile – how do you feel about that? (0:02)

It’s very good that you are now interviewing me on a little mobile phone because I have just finished an event and that’s what it’s all about, right? Being able to use something that you’ve created in different platforms. And I think that you should shoot everything – and mobile phone shooting, the raw, intimate, kind of organic feel of mobile video is really the flavour of the internet at the moment.

Are news delivery platforms beginning to converge? (0:27)

No it is! It is converging. Actually we have worked a lot with teams and recalibrated our newsroom. So our newsrooms are organised according to genre. All the news journalists sit together – it doesn’t matter which platform you work in. So if you work for a news magazine platform or a channel, or a newspaper, or the web, the all of it, we are all sitting together. Then all the lifestyle journalists are sitting together. So we’re always talking to each other. So the publication guys get the TV guys to do their television site, but everyone’s syncing across. And our news meetings are together as well. 

Where are you at the moment with social media? (1:06)

The change that’s really happened is Twitter. Twitter was a big thing. Now most publishers go ok Twitter was for that y’know, small group of influencers but it’s not really the big thing. The real traffic comes from Facebook. And what we are doing more of, which is tracking really well, is Facebook Live. So it really is social and video coming together.  

With Facebook Live you can watch live or deferred – is this good? (1:29)

I think people like the feel of it being live and it doesn’t really matter in terms of deferred live or actually being live. I think it just depends on daypart – like how do you plan your daypart? Certain live will have better traffic because of certain times of the day. And other times maybe in the middle of the afternoon will not track very well and people will go back to it later so it really depends on when you’ve posted the video. 

Would you consider charging for Facebook Live? (1:55)

No, we don’t do paid. If we do paid it’ll be for a particular event or a particular story, but on a regular basis we won’t do paid… Facebook is a difficult one, because it’s a partner that you have to be with, but at the same time, y’know, you have trust issues with Facebook right? Because they have other, let’s say aims and goals. Effectively they are a technology company that’s based on social media and news is not necessarily their priority. So I always worry about them changing focus and then us having engrained with them so much. So that is always a little bit of a worry in the back of my head… But they are a great partner and they’ve given us a lot of traffic and a very young audience. 

Finally, are you taking advantage of the increasing demand for quality visuals? (2:43)

Yes we do actually and it’s funny you ask me this question because we’ve recently put in a training programme where we’ve got the photo editors from print to come and do a masterclass with the online team. Because they are just into putting stuff up quickly and doing it with resolution that’l download faster, but what you’ve got to work on is also curating that picture. It has to be that perfect freeze frame that somebody wants to click into. You can’t just like take a screengrab which is really random and put it out anymore. It really needs to be curated. And so we’re working really hard on that to get the web team to understand how to photo edit. And the photo editors from print are doing the masterclass on how to do that – lot of sharing.   

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