The Onion Plans Video News Service

Posted on March 2, 2007

Wired reports that The Onion plans to launch a satirical news service in March that will include daily video clips that can be embedded on other sites. The video news service will be run like it is has actually been around for 75 years. The Onion's website often behaves in a similar manner.

In late March, the company will launch The Onion News Network, a service that will stream original clips every week produced by a team of 15 new hires, including an entire production team. (That pushes the Onion empire to roughly 145 staffers.)

"Prepare for a news shit storm," says Mills.

Footage is based on the premise that the paper has been running a 24-hour news service for the past 75 years, only no one knew about it. Clips will cover the past seven decades, as well as current events. "We're not taking things we've done on the site or in print and applying video to them. This is its own enterprise," says Mills.

The Onion's dive into video production is one of many as traditional rags try to figure out how to survive in the digital world. Larger publishing empires have been scrambling for years to turn a profit on their web enterprises and are now taking a cue from YouTube by producing online videos they hope will boost ad revenue.

Despite laying off 100 employees last year, including high-ranking execs, publisher Time said this month that it would launch an in-house studio to help its 130 magazines develop online videos. hopes that syndicating its multimedia content to other sites will increase ad revenue by broadening viewership.

It is good to see a media company producing video content that understands the blogosphere and understands the traffic and promotional benefits of offering embedded video clips. If the videos are anything like the online articles they should be pretty amusing to watch. Regular Onion readers will appreciate NewTeeVee's headline for this story: Area Man to Get The Onion on Video.

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