Johnston Press has announced a partnership with online video firm Brightcove as part of a group-wide overhaul of its 300-plus newspaper websites due to be completed this year.
The deal will allow the Yorkshire Post and Lancashire Evening Post publisher to add embedded video content to stories for the first time.
The technology will also allow readers to send in their own user-generated video clips from news events, although Johnston Press said this function would not be introduced “in the first instance”.
Johnston Press digital strategy director Lori Cunningham told Press Gazette that the addition of new video technology to the group’s websites was part of a wider initiative to improve how the group’s 323 sites function.
“Over the coming year we’re looking to introduce better functionality and richer content and a better user experience across all of our newspaper sites,” she said.
“We’ve already gone through the process of doing the big cultural change.
“We’ve invested a considerable amount in equipping all our journalists and our newsrooms with the equipment and the knowledge of how to take multimedia news content.”
She added: “We are looking for [our smaller titles] to produce on a weekly basis video content of some sort.”
Cunningham said that Brightcove technology, which will be added to the Johnston Press sites in the second quarter of this year, meant video from a major news story in one region could be easily added to other local newspaper websites elsewhere in the country.
“Syndication as a strategy is something we’re looking at as a whole,” she said.
“We certainly have the capability to do that – the ability to syndicate content both within our own group and externally is made much easier.”
She said the partnership with Brightcove would also make it easier for Johnston Press to make money from its video content and deliver targeted advertising to viewers.
“We are making money but we aren’t doing it as cohesively as we could,” Cunningham added.
Today’s announcement is the latest in a series of deals between Brightcove and British publishers.
Its other clients include Guardian News and Media, Haymarket, IPC Media, Natmags and the Telegraph Media Group.
Brightcove vice-president of international partnerships Rags Gupta said publishers were becoming increasingly interested in exploring online video.
“It’s still a relatively light investment,” he told Press Gazette. “It’s relatively easy to produce a video with tools like Final Cut and to now publish a video is straight-forward.”
Brightcove chief executive Jeremy Allaire added: “It is clear that Johnston Press understands the value of online video as a medium that accelerates the growth of online communities.
“We are thrilled that Johnston Press has chosen the Brightcove online video platform to support its digital initiatives and to enable all of its regional web properties to deepen engagement with consumers, reach new audiences across the internet and foster a more robust advertising business.”