Scripps Co. to scale up mobile video advertising via Newsy acquisition
December 11, 2013
Scripps owns The Naples Daily News
The E.W. Scripps Company is looking to bulk up its cross-screen video play with the $35 million acquisition of Internet video news service Newsy.
With more consumers turning to their mobile phones and tablets to watch quick clips of video, the deal highlights the big investments that media companies are willing to pour into mobile to fuel editorial content. Additionally, the acquisition is meant to put some steam into Scripps Co.’s mobile advertising business as more marketers look for cross-screen ad offerings.
“We clearly believe that video and mobile video is a big part of the future of Scripps,” said Adam Symson, chief digital officer at The E.W. Scripps Company, Cincinnati.
“Video has the ability to play well on all four of the screens that we serve, TV, tablet, mobile and Web,” he said.
“We continue to be very bullish about the advertising opportunity in mobile and video, so the Newsy acquisition fits well with our strategic objective.”
Beefing up mobile
According to Scripps, the Newsy deal will help the media company build out its digital media business.
Scripps owns 13 daily newspapers and 19 local television stations in the United States.
Scripps owns Denver's KMGH 7News ABC affiliate news station
The goal behind the acquisition is to help Scripps scale its mobile video offerings and the company claims that Newsy will enhance its existent local content.
Given Scripps’ focus on local content, the move to mobile is an especially lucrative market for regional marketers.
BIA/Kelsey forecasts for U.S. local media revenues to reach $151.5 billion in 2017, up from $132.9 billion in 2013.
Specifically, location-targeted mobile ad spend is growing at a faster rate than overall mobile advertising and is expected to rake in 52 percent of all mobile ad spend - $10.8 billion - in the U.S. by 2017. Overall mobile ad spend will grow from $7 billion this year to $20.7 billion in 2017, according to BIA/Kelsey’s findings.
Newsy works with the University of Missouri to offer journalism majors the opportunity to earn classroom credit by working in a multimedia newsroom.
For example, students learn how to create videos using Final Cut Pro and practice writing scripts for short video news clips.
Additionally, Newsy offers internships, and the company has 25 part-time and 35 full-time employees.
The company then creates news videos that can be published across the Web and mobile.
Newsy has mobile apps for iPhone, iPad, Android and Windows 8 devices.
The Newsy apps
Customers include Microsoft, National Journal, Mashable and AOL Huffington Post. These media sites leverage Newsy’s video content, and Newsy makes money through revenue sharing and content licensing.
For instance, earlier this year Newsy partnered with Microsoft’s MSN to ramp up video content across a variety of different topic areas (see story).
Newsy will continue to operate as a wholly-operated subsidiary of Scripps following the expected close of the deal on Jan. 1.
“We started the company in San Francisco and moved it to Columbia to partner with the J-School,” said Alexandra Wharton, vice president of marketing and community at Newsy, Columbia, MO. “I think it’s a neat story of why can’t an Internet company exist in the Midwest?”
Lauren Johnson is associate reporter on Mobile Marketer, New York
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