Online video has proven to be a sought after content type during breaking news stories, natural disasters, or other current events. However, the very nature of breaking news makes it tough to find video of a specific event as the news of that event is still breaking, because it's lost amid the billions of other videos viewed online every day. But now Dailymotion aims to fix that by launching a series of video hubs designed to help users easily find and watch videos related to current events, breaking news, and hot topics.
Some hubs will be permanent–such as the one for "movie trailers" or the one for "gaming"–but most of the hubs will be based around events and news stories, like the CES hub they created for videos about the Consumer Electronics Show. Each hub will be curated by human editors, who will presumably also be the ones determining when an "event" has garnered enough attention to warrant its own hub.
Here's what the CES hub page looks like:
News and weather are the first things I think of when I hear about these hubs. The recent blizzard in the Northeast provides a perfect example of the kind of current event that might make perfect use of a hub, as Internet users try to get a look at a storm of rare power. I remember looking for video of the blizzard online–mostly because I have family in the Northeast, and was curious as to the storm's strength–and it was darn-near impossible at first. It took several hours before video started showing up, long after the snow had ceased.
I'm glad that some of the blizzard-related video that did find an audience online was so fantastic in quality, but I still wish I could have found footage sooner. So I'm personally pretty thrilled that Dailymotion is trying to create a solution. And before you scoff at Dailymotion's reach, you should know that they're growing. Traffic is now up to 15 million unique visitors per month in the US, and 75 million worldwide, and they are the 32nd most-visited website in the world.
And it sounds like these hubs are a big part of the company's plans moving forward, which is a great idea. You can't beat YouTube at their own game; for right now, at least, they're just too darn big and popular. So the best way to survive is to carve out a long term niche in the online video space–such as… say… curated video hubs centered around breaking news events.
Even if we're not quite there yet, there will be a very real need for this kind of thing. And that goes for both the current events angle as well as the curated-by-human-editors angle–as Nalts said recently… we really need more curation in online video, because the noise is drowning out the signal. And curation is even more necessary with breaking news video, because its newness makes it way more difficult to find.
So consider me cautiously optimistic. I am really quite excited about the concept of curated video pages centered around a single news story, hot topic, or current event. I think it fills an obvious need for consumers. Time will tell if Dailymotion can implement the concept effectively–and if they can keep the bigger fish in the online video pond from coming in late and stealing their thunder.
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