YouTube is Embracing Hyperlocal

by Brian Blum on July 30, 2009

Hyperlocal is coming to YouTube. The Google-owned video-sharing giant has invited the more than 25,000 news sources listed on Google News to become video suppliers. The site is also promoting videos from ABC News, The Associated Press, Reuters and other outlets.

YouTube’s hyperlocal trick is to match your location with news from your area (in YouTube’s case, that could mean as far away as 100 miles). Through its “News Near You” feature, the site is already distributing hometown video from dozens of sources, and says it wants to add thousands more. Ultimately the goal, speculates The New York Times, is to engineer newscasts on the fly.

So far, most of the videos on YouTube aren’t coming from mainstream TV outlets. You’ll see panoply of college newspapers and radio stations and amateur filmmakers. But that doesn’t devalue the potential. And of course homemade video from Iran already made news when distributed by YouTube last month.

To date, nearly 200 news outlets have signed up with YouTube to post news. Google search results now show YouTube videos alongside news articles. News providers split the revenue from any advertisements that appear with them.

The new YouTube program shouldn’t run into the same controversy that has plagued Google News recently: news outlets sign up as explicit partners.

For newspapers, distribution of video news via YouTube could have additional revenue opportunities: links to classifieds pages can now be embedded directly into videos. These links could be keyed to the specific content of a video (a review of a new car could like to the automotive classifieds). Or it could be a more generic link back to the publisher’s classifieds section (or for that matter wherever the paper wants the link to go).

That might be the first revenue-generating application of YouTube’s new program. But newspapers should keep their eye on the program and, we’d suggest, jump in early to grab mindshare and credibility in the brave new YouTube news world.

For more articles on newspapers and classified advertising, visit the industry experts:

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