I used to subscribe to Entertainment Weekly for many years, and the Fall TV Preview is, without a doubt, one of the best issues of the calendar year. The magazine breaks down all the new and returning shows from the networks and major cable stations, including interviews, photos, and behind-the-scenes gossip. If you're a television junkie like me, it's like crack.
But this year Entertainment Weekly is adding a new dimension… video. And they're doing it by partnering with YouTube, which allows them to leverage the brand and technical capabilities of the number one video site in the world.
The custom channel page displays a wall of thumbnails, with left and right arrows that wipe the screen and bring in a new set of tiled images. Viewers need only to click on the thumbnail for a show they're interested in, and they'll be treated to a trailer, or an interview, or a behind-the-scenes set visit clip.
Here's a video from Jess Cagle, the editor of Entertainment Weekly, on the new YouTube channel:
It's pretty clear that Entertainment Weekly realizes the power of video content as compared to traditional print. Video is more engaging and often more compelling—after all, there's a reason that movie previews at the theater are actual previews, as opposed to text on the movie screen that describes the movie's plot. Words can only take you so far, and most viewers want to see compelling video footage before deciding whether or not to tune into the hot new show or buy tickets for the next big blockbuster.
Entertainment Weekly realizes this… that there's only so much they can write about a new show. To truly engage their readers in the new fall slate of TV programming, they need to roll in some video to compliment the print.
Now, this isn't brand new content on the Fall TV Preview channel. Rather, it's EW acting as curator to YouTube, filtering out everything but the preexisting videos related to the upcoming television season. But it's still the only online destination I know of that has this much TV-related video content all in one place, where you can pretty quickly find video clips on basically any show you're interested in.
It's important to note that EW isn't replacing their Fall TV Preview print edition completely. They're not switching over to video full-time. They're simply finding ways to let video compliment an already great edition of the print magazine. We could all stand to learn a thing or two from that approach. Video isn't the answer to everything. You probably shouldn't shut down your company blog or Facebook page and start using your YouTube Channel as your new home page. But video is the answer to some things—such as richer content and a more engaged audience—and, used in conjunction with other media, can enhance your brand and provide a more rounded experience for your customers.