YouTube Direct was launched in the last week to much fanfare. It’s one of the most recent developments of Google’s overtures to journalism and the company’s growing foothold on traditional media outlets.

Here’s a snippet of the announcement from YouTube’s blog:

Every day, people with video cameras are changing the ways we get our news. We see it during elections. We see it during earthquakes, fires and other natural disasters. We see it on our freeways, in our schools and in our public spaces. Almost any event that takes place today has a chance of being captured on camera. As YouTube has become a global platform for sharing the news, media organizations have been looking for a good way to connect directly with citizen reporters on our site so they can broadcast this footage and bring it to a larger audience.

That’s why we created YouTube Direct, a new tool that allows media organizations to request, review and rebroadcast YouTube clips directly from YouTube users. Built from our APIs, this open source application lets media organizations enable customized versions of YouTube’s upload platform on their own websites. Users can upload videos directly into this application, which also enables the hosting organization to easily review video submissions and select the best ones to broadcast on-air and on their websites. As always, these videos also live on YouTube, so users can reach their own audience while also getting broader exposure and editorial validation for the videos they create.

You can read the full entry here.

Now most media outlets — the ones that aren’t as cost conscious at least — are not interested in using YouTube other than for small blog clips and reposting their own video content. I saw this at The Union and I see that now at Boston.com. But there are smaller newspapers without the budget available to them that have fully gone the YouTube route, using it for the entirety of their work. But what’s interesting is bigger, traditional entities are using this new service, which points to the ease of availability YouTube has been for the struggling industry. That includes the San Francisco Chronicle, ABC News and NPR.

This comes after the video giant has created a channel dedicated to reporters, created a reporter’s center, aggregated ‘news near you’ (the NY Times has a good writeup of this), and encouraged more citizen journalism.

But this … this is tactical.

If you know anything about the online video business, particularly with newspapers, you’d know that this appears to encroach upon Brightcove’s niche. And with more and more customization coming for YouTube in the past year, as well as better analytics, they’re stealing away the company’s customers, too.

Shall we call this Video Wars?

In the grand scheme of things, the competition is a good thing. And with Brightcove head over heels ahead in the monetization department, this is probably the challenge they need to keep on their toes.

It’ll be interesting to see how journalism organizations continue to react to the changing video landscape, which is rife with third-party vendors.

From what I know of Boston.com (my three weeks here), Brightcove is a cornerstone of the company’s online vision. I guess you could say the same for NYTimes.com. Their video page is pretty cool. Now compare that to their YouTube channel.

A lot to ponder with the possibilities. One thing is certain: Journalists have options.

For more on YouTube Direct, go to http://www.youtube.com/direct.


One thought on “YouTube continues to court journalists

  1. Great article! I like the fact that any citizen can help a newspaper with a simple video camera. It makes me, an average citizen, feel more empowered than before. Let me go get my video camera!

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