The NewsMarket: Meeting a Need for Feeds

Jun 23, 2003  •  Post A Comment

While most local TV stations usually have access to one or more affiliate feed services, many are just discovering another option, The NewsMarket.
The online video service, which offers downloadable content for television journalists, began actively marketing its service to local broadcasters earlier this year. Those who use the service say it’s another tool in their arsenal as they strive to stay ahead of the competition.
It’s also free since The NewsMarket is paid to host the content by the companies that provide it.
The NewsMarket relaunched its Web site in March and has begun actively marketing its 3-year-old service to local TV stations through a direct marketing campaign and station visits. “Our biggest growth area is U.S. local stations because they are just discovering us and a lot of content we have is U.S. content,” said CEO Shoba Purushothaman.
The NewsMarket, at www.thenewsmarket.com, aggregates video content, largely from corporate sources, and makes it searchable. Journalists search for the material they want and then request a download of broadcast-quality video. The files can be converted to tape later and can also be delivered via tape if the station can’t receive the high-speed download.
The service offers about 10,000 different B-roll clips. Clips include car-manufacturing video from General Motors Corp., dramatic shots of famous cities provided by local authorities and health care content from health care companies and associations. The service replaces the process of requesting tape from a company or organization, Ms. Purushothaman said.
A Useful Option
The NewsMarket is useful as another video option, said Edward Pevos, weekend news producer with ABC owned-and-operated WTVG-TV in Toledo, Ohio. He began using the service last fall and has ordered a few clips since then, usually for automotive stories.
“It comes in handy because there are a lot of video sources [on thenewsmarket.com] that we may not be able to get to that are useful to us,” Mr. Pevos said.
In the past he would have turned to affiliate feed services CNN Newsource or ABC NewsOne for that video or contacted the automakers’ public relations departments. The NewsMarket made the process easier, he said.
Ms. Purushothaman said she does not consider The NewsMarket a competitor to the affiliate feed services because the content is largely different.
Capital 9 News, Time Warner’s 24-hour news channel in Albany, N.Y., uses the service about two to three times a week to download clips, such as content from Sony Corp. and Nokia, for the channel’s nightly business update, said Brian Larzelere, media manager for the channel.
The quality of the digital download is high, he said. “You can’t tell the difference between what we shot and what comes from thenewsmarket.com,” Mr. Larzelere said. Still, he wishes the offerings were less corporate and included more generic B-roll footage, such as shots of people sitting at computers and using the Internet, he said.
The NewsMarket counts about 400 TV stations in the United States as customers. Of those, 250 started using the service in the past year. Among the new users are CBS owned-and-operated KCNC-TV in Denver and KPRC-TV, an NBC affiliate owned by Post-Newsweek Stations in Houston, said Ms. Purushothaman.
Some of the new Web site functions include alerts of new content in a journalist’s area when he or she logs on and a clipping section where journalists can save their searches.
The NewsMarket also serves as an alternative source during times of intense breaking news, such as the war in Iraq, since most satellite time today is reserved for war news.
In fact, Ms. Purushothaman said, the inability to get feature video from the usual sources during times of breaking news has driven usage of The NewsMarket. The service experienced a 640 percent increase in the number of video clips delivered digitally from March 14 to April 14.