As it builds a video technology firm that already helps CNN, CBS and broadcasters from South America to east Asia transfer news clips, Ottawa-based VideoShip is turning its attention to helping smaller media outlets bolster their multimedia coverage of local communities.
The company is in the final testing phase of its NewsPro platform, which aims to make it easier to send videos recorded on mobile phones to media outlets, which can then publish clips on their own website, Facebook page or YouTube channel.
While virtually anyone with a smartphone can currently shoot video of potentially newsworthy events – think of this month’s flooding along the Ottawa River, for example – it’s not always easy to send those videos, let alone sell them, to news outlets.
NewsPro aims to make the process seamless for citizen and professional journalists alike, while giving media organizations access to newsworthy, local video clips.
“It offers a new media option to traditional media (outlets) at a very low cost,” says Colin Grimes, vice-president of business development at VideoShip.
He says the idea stems from the pressure that traditional newspaper and radio companies are facing to publish more and more video content at the same time that many are facing budget pressures due to shifts in the advertising market.
“The idea is to make video-gathering system more accessible for smaller media outlets that traditionally haven’t been as video-focused and video-centric as TV news agencies,” Mr. Grimes says.
He envisions media organizations will encourage their audiences to download the app and solicit coverage of local events.
The app will be free for content producers, but VideoShip plans to monetize NewsPro by charging media outlets a subscription fee. In the longer term, it may also add advertisements as pre-roll to the videos.
NewsPro builds on VideoShip’s previous experience creating file transfer systems for media industry clients that need to send large videos and live streams – as well as photos and text – around the world.
Founded in 2004 by CEO Tom Grimes, chief financial officer Michael Grimes and vice-president of development Johanne Bouchard, VideoShip currently has 26 full-time employees who are roughly evenly divided between the company’s Ottawa headquarters and its Florida support office.
Its web-based platform has enabled its clients to reduce their reliance on satellites to gather and distribute videos across a broadcaster’s network of affiliates.
In addition to U.S. media outlets such as CBS and NBC, VideoShip’s technology is used by news pools and broadcaster unions in Asia, Australia, South America and Africa.