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MSN ramps up mobile video strategy to meet user demand

MSN is ramping up its mobile video strategy across a variety of subject areas to meet growing demand from smartphone and tablets users.

Microsoft launched a new news service last fall a few months after severing its online partnership with NBC. In the period since, MSN has quickly built up its mobile video presence for news, going from delivering approximately 200 mobile videos per month to around 400.

?What we?ve found in the last year or so is really, really solid demand for high-quality online and mobile video news that can support advertising,? said Jim Spencer, president at Newsy, Columbia, MO.

?Video in a lot of people?s minds is a great format to experience the news,? he said. ?It is sight, sound and motion and emotion and color and there are just a lot of things that video can bring to tell a story differently than text can.?

Online and mobile video news network Newsy has a long-term editorial relationship with MSN to deliver branded, original video news to MSN viewers across a variety of topics, including breaking news, politics, entertainment, crime, tech and science.

Video consumption
MSN?s commitment to mobile video reflects the growth of mobile video consumption as smartphone and tablet adoption grows and as users increasingly engage with their devices to consume a variety of types of content.

Newsy produces the kind of short, sharable video packages that mobile users are increasingly consuming.

At the same time, wider availability of higher bandwidth connections means it is easier for users to watch video from their mobile devices.

Concurrent with the growth in mobile video consumption is an uptick in mobile video advertising as brands look to reach an audience where they are spending a good deal of their time.

The news videos will provide brands with an opportunity to reach MSN viewers with pre-roll ads and other video ad units.

The videos will be delivered across all platforms of MSN?s distribution network.

Keeping pace
For the most part, marketing dollars have not kept pace with the rapid growth in the consumption of news and other content on mobile devices.

A report from Pew Research last year found that 45 percent of smartphone owners get most of their news via their device.

A separate Pew report found that 49 percent of tablet news users, and 50 percent of smartphone news users sometimes or often notice ads when they access news on their mobile device.

?I think that advertisers are really comfortable with video,? Mr. Spencer said. ?They spend a lot of money on TV - a lot more people are watching a lot more video online and on mobile so they are moving to where the users are going.

?You take all of these trends and mix them together and you see very, very rapid growth in consumption of video and video news on mobile devices,? he said.

Final Take
Chantal Tode is associate editor on Mobile Marketer, New York