CNN doing what they do best

October 20, 2010 § Leave a comment

CNN, being a broadcast news company, is no stranger to video news and doing it well, but this video’s a bit of a half-hearted effort on their part. The majority of the video is an anchor just talking at the screen, explaining the situation with very few images to back up the actual story. The minds behind CNN probably predicted this, so they embedded the video above a related news story.

Here’s where it’s actually sort of genius– you probably won’t be sticking around to watch the entire video, it’s kind of boring. You would probably end up surfing the rest of the site or reading the article while letting the audio play in the background. You’ll absorb the information two ways instead of one, even though one is probably on the backburner.

I don’t know about you guys, but I’ve ignored a video while only occasionally paying attention to the sound before, then heard something interesting and went back to watch that section. In a case like this, nat-sound and supporting background video would just be distracting. This isn’t a video that can stand on its own, but add an article (which you can choose to read or not, otherwise it functions more like a radio piece), and it’s the perfect kind of medium for online news.

You could argue that an embedded audio file would work better in that case, but I never click on audio embeds– do you? It takes a while to load and you can’t always adjust the volume. With a video, even if you don’t watch it, you’ve got more incentive to click.

Getting more people to click. That’s what the internet is all about, and learning to exploit that is something we’ve all gotta do eventually.


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