Last week a new video curation site called Glocal came out of beta. Their mission is to deliver an all-in-one site for local news provided by networks, newspapers, businesses, and other entities in order to get their videos more views and ad revenue. The new online video site is run by friends Aaron Hodari and Lincoln Cavalieri, who came up with the idea during a brainstorming session after reading an article about Hulu. We know from a study conducted a few months ago that YouTube's top 20 news stories garnered 96 million views, and 22 million people watch their local news on TV every night. So there is a definite desire to see local news, and now there's a site dedicated to bringing all of it in one place.
Taking A Look At Glocal & Local News Video
Glocal has partnered with local networks and a big national one, the Associated Press. In all, 1,900 providers allow their videos to be re-posted online. But they have standards: only "high-quality" video may be uploaded, allowing only certain providers. Still, you might have stories from your local zoo or from an arts organization or others who have quality video to share.
Glocal might have not picked a better time to get their name out there, not to trivialize bad news in any form. We all know that people are interested in bad news, as videos about the Japanese tsunami from last year were watched by millions of people. And now, we're on the verge of another big bad news story: Hurricane Sandy. With as many states in the Northeast that are potentially going to be affected by this, the interest will be huge in seeing footage of the storm. Going to Glocal, we already see this footage of giant waves hitting the Jersey Shore from the Associated Press:
They have a pretty sweet interface. There's a map of the US, and you can narrow it down to regional or by city:
You can narrow down your news stories to sports, entertainment, lifestyle, tech, and business. There's a trending feed. Really, this site doesn't lack much. I'm sure a few more news organizations latching onto this site will help it out a great deal, but they don't really need much more.
What's exciting about this site is that's it's all video. We are used to having our news aggregated and fed to us through RSS and various websites. But now, we've got a site that focuses on what we really want to see: video footage of the news stories we care about. Since the purpose of the site appears to be "adding views to local news," maybe it doesn't have to really compete with YouTube in order to succeed, but in a quote from Hodari in this CBS Detroit article, it appears that they have the ability to have just as many views on certain stories that YouTube does, and with fewer viewers.
“What’s in it for the news sources is more views, and eventually advertising dollars — we will share revenue,” Hodari said. “We get pretty much the same number of views for them as YouTube does, and we have way less users.”
Their next goal is raise more money and to be able to attract local advertisers to be able to position their ads appropriately on the site. From the CBS Detroit article:
What’s next? “The progression now is to build up a user base,” Cavalieri said. “We will have to go for another round of funding. The plan is to use that money to develop the moneymaking side of gLocal, which is our advertising platform. The plan is to have it be geared very much toward local business owners who don’t have a ton of money to make a video ad and put it online. We will offer them online editing software for their video.”
That will be an amazing achievement if they can get it done: providing local businesses with online editing software. One of the big issues with local businesses is putting in the kind of money it takes to make a video, and giving businesses those kinds of tools can really help. Let's hope that they succeed.