Newspapers Don't Do Long Form

I was just reading a post by Matthew over at Gigaom that is a summary of our Online Video & the Media Industry Quarterly Research Report for the third quarter of 2010. One of Matthew's conclusion struck me as slightly off target (italics added):

The one area in which broadcasters led the pack, however, is the average number of minutes watched, where broadcasters as a group were far ahead of newspapers. This suggests that while newspapers are uploading more video, readers (or viewers) aren’t finding that content as engaging as they do videos that come from broadcasters. That’s probably not surprising, considering many newspapers are still grappling with how to produce video, something that doesn’t come naturally to print publications, while most broadcasters have learned how to create video content that grabs viewers.

While this be true, is is more likely that newspapers are uploading short features whereas broadcasters are uploading TV shows and movies.  No newspapers I am aware of are investing to create original long form entertainment in competition with Hollywood.  Their business is about snackable short form content that's always fresh and relevant. A newspaper site viewer would have to watch over 20 two minute videos back to back to spend the equivalent of a single TV show.  That's not the model that newspapers are shooting for.

I think Matthew is right that newspapers may be behind the Hollywood crew in figuring out how to create compelling content.  But they are clearly starting to figure it out, as evidenced by the growth highlighted in our report.  In this regard, they are not unlike all the organizations we're talking to across many industries.  For most of these organizations, short form is the right place to start.