New Players Series: HuffPost Launches Web Streaming Network
The Huffington Post is known for its socially-oriented news sites. Now, though, it is set to produce and broadcast video. HuffPost Live programming, announced in February 2012, has debuted on August 13. Features by journalists, bloggers and members of the written platform will be accompanied by live discussions and news-of-the-day commentary. Arianna Huffington says HuffPost Live (Monday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. ET.) will be more spontaneous and relaxed than standard television. In other words, expect CNN with a dash of YouTube.
As with the Huffington Post online (and global variants), the TV version will focus on interaction with its user community and try to integrate social networks into its content. While some 100 professionals have been hired in the newsroom, online conversations will mainly interact with members of the Huffington Post community via Skype or Google+. Participants from the general public will be selected beforehand by Huffington herself following a broad appeal for candidates.
No advertising will interrupt HuffPost Live broadcasts. Instead, the network hopes to finance itself through the sponsorship of program segments, display ads on its homepage, and inserting pre-rolls before clips of previously broadcast content.
Why it matters: In just a few years, Huffington Post has transformed the print media industry. Its blogger-journalism is part of the reason, but so is the unprecedented importance it places on dialogues among its readers. Huffington Post has prompted many in print media to review their business model (online version distribution and free access to content), their editorial model (original content and news agglomeration), how they organize their work and audience relationships.
Having had a major impact once, it’s worth considering that the Huffington Post could trigger the same kind of upheaval in television news, especially the management of live panels. That’s enough to make this strong brand’s entry into video something to watch closely.