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Why you shouldn’t pivot to video

Reasons the pivot to video has failed include low-quality video production and a failure to effectively turn video views into either higher readership or ad dollars.

This is a cautionary tale about making an uninformed or hasty switch to “video first.” It looks at some of the key reasons sites who have done this have failed, including faulty metrics for measuring the audience, over-reliance on platforms, low-quality video, and ignoring user experience (particularly advertising).

The numbers are chilling: According to data from comScore, the publishers that pivoted to video this summer have seen at least a 60 percent drop in their traffic in August compared to the same period from a year ago. Publishers must acknowledge the pivot to video has failed, find out why, and set about to fix the reckless pivots so that publishers focus on good video. It should be original, clever, entertaining, and part of a balanced multimedia approach to digital journalism that includes well-written, well-reported stories, strong data and graphics, and good art.