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‘Access’ Shares Content With Station Sites

Jun 29, 2008  •  Post A Comment

“Access Hollywood” is spreading the wealth, in a manner of speaking.
Affiliates around the country are adapting the long-running newsmagazine show’s three-tiered syndicated approach to digital content, which provides station Web sites with online features that can be sponsored to create new revenue streams.
“AccessHollywood.com has grown tremendously, and we wanted to be able to throw that growth to our affiliates as well,” said David McMahon, director of digital strategy at NBC Universal Domestic Television Distribution. “For stations, beyond the obvious significance of traffic and weather, entertainment sections remain pretty important to them, and we are giving them more content they can not only use to drive traffic, but to find advertisers as well.”
The first tier made available to affiliates will be through customized RSS news feeds of real-time entertainment news headlines for a designated section on affiliate sites. The 100-plus feed topics can range from breaking news to music to celebrity pregnancies.
Tier two expands that through video, photo and news widgets that can be embedded into a page on affiliate Web sites. The widgets will be designed to bring the production quality and timeliness of the newsmagazine’s entertainment stories to local affiliate sites, under the auspices of a station’s brand. The “i-frame” will live on the affiliates’ sites, surrounded by display ads.
The most inclusive tier will be full-article syndication of “Access” news. Instead of simply displaying breaking-news headlines and blurbs that link back to AccessHollywood.com for the full article, NBC is exploring syndication in which full articles would be automatically sent and posted to affiliate sites as entertainment news breaks, with embedded, related links back to AccessHollywood.com included in every article.
“Since ‘Access Hollywood’ only has 22 or 23 minutes to fit in news, there are a ton of resources from the show that aren’t able to be utilized,” Mr. McMahon said. “Now we can fully utilize the content, not just for us but for our partners as well.”
The Web syndication effort is a new move by a traditional studio to cultivate revenue from the growth in Web video viewership. Forrester Research says revenues from ads in streaming video should hit $7.2 billion in 2012, up from $471 million last year.
“Access Hollywood’s” site relaunched in January. For the month of May, AccessHollywood.com was up 14% year-to-year in page views, up 77% in monthly unique visitors and up 60% in visits. The site draws a monthly average of 1.25 million unique visitors, more than any other newsmagazine site save TMZ.com, according to comScore Media Metrix.
Mr. McMahon noted that more changes are on the way, with staff relaunching AccessHollywood.com’s specials section, which will create an aggregated IMDB type of library.

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