Axel Springer’s Welt sees video drive page views

Axel Springer has fully integrated the TV news broadcaster it acquired four years ago into the news operation of its daily newspaper Welt.

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Welt is testing new video products: The link to the TV channel’s live stream is more visible at the top of the newspaper’s home page, for example, which it claims has doubled the number of viewers reaching the live stream.

Pages with video are being viewed an average of 18 percent longer than pages without video.

Welt publishes 50 videos a day, “a mix of original and repurposed video”, and gets 12 million views a month across FB and YouTube (source: Digiday).

Takeaways:

  • Is 12m video views a month (on social media – Axel Springer isn’t breaking out metrics for the newspaper site video views) financially sustainable? Remember many US digital producers struggle on a multiple of that.
  • Advertisers and analysts love the figure of readers staying 18 percent longer on pages with video on them but the metric is not meaningful unless we know what base it’s working from. In December, the New York Times said users were spending an average of five minutes per visit on the website, up 35 percent from the year before. But that’s not a great deal of time compared to the time you’d spend with a newspaper or social media platform. Of course, the survey is an average of visits which includes readers who consume the entire newspaper alongside casual readers who land on a page from Google (and may do so multiple times a day – the figure is per visit, rather than per day). And all that continued engagement adds to the time they can be exposed to advertisements. But publishers will need to consider if the added expense and effort of creating video is worth the additional 18 percent time spent on page.