Monday, November 12, 2007

The increasing importance of multimedia content

A common theme in the online world is the growing importance of multimedia content. Just about every newspaper with whom we work now offers video in some fashion and just about all of them are reporting significant increases in traffic for it.

So I am rarely surprised when I talk to a newspaper and they tell me about the explosive growth of multimedia usage on their sites. However, I learned something last week at The New York Times that took even me by surprise.

During the recent California wildfires, 10 percent of all site traffic was for multi media content, according to Fiona Spruill, editor of The Times' web newsroom. This percentage represents a staggering number. is a hugely successful website that counts its page views in the billions. That's with a "B."

The Times' success with multimedia underscores the importance of a video/multimedia strategy for almost any news website as well as to companies and other strategic communicators. The simple truth is if you don't offer multimedia content, your visitors are going to be drawn to other websites that do.

Video usage has transcended the young who led the charge to YouTube. Now thanks to increasingly pervasive broadband connections, we all are watching stories that include pictures and sounds. We do indeed live in a multimedia world.

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