SnapStream Blog

A New Era of Storytelling with John Battelle

August 18 2021 by Celina Dawdy

Good journalism is a superpower. 

With current events constantly evolving, journalism has taken a different road over the last several years. However, there's one crucial aspect that has stayed the same: storytelling. Journalism will inform, evoke emotion, and provide entertainment all in one effort. Because of its complex nature, it's a difficult art to master. We recently sat down with John Battelle, the CEO and Co-Founder of The Recount Media, to discuss how journalism has evolved and where it's headed.

John has been in the industry for decades. With that, he has learned to transform and evolve with changing platforms, mediums, and audiences. Due to his flexibility in his craft, The Recount has reached over 800 million views and over 2 billion social impressions. He manages this while still maintaining journalism ethics and credibility. This feat, though not impossible, is impressive with many challenges. 

For content creators, newsroom producers, and social media influencers, John provides a valuable insight into the world of media through video content. 

The Old Method 

Broadcasting and journalism have taken a drastic turn throughout the past few decades. Providing an audience with the news was originally a rigid task, which John referred to as "Suits on Set." 

Traditionally, people received their news by watching a news broadcast of their favorite reporters sitting on a mandated set and reading off a teleprompter. Though effective, it lacked creativity and visual interest. The audience rarely received a direct image or video that represented current events. The broadcast team also put their own political spin on the content, as John mentions:

"They tend to be coming from a partisan point of view. You're either Team Blue or Team Red. And the other sight, sound, and motion that's well established in journalism is documentary, [which is] long form."

"It struck [my partner] John Heilemann and me when we were starting the company that we were very much in a post-linear moment. Television was going through a significant shift and a major disruption - probably analogous to the shift from broadcast to cable. [This included] new forms of distribution, new formats, and new uses of video."

What had initially shown a significant impact on the audience was beginning to fizzle out. Where families would previously sit down nightly for the evening news, attention spans started to dwindle. With that, new forms of journalism and broadcasting were required to keep attention. John was one of the first to hop on the new wave. 

Generational Changes

With the digital age hitting our generation like a freight train, it's no wonder that television and journalism have had to adjust. Several different factors led to this change. 

Social Media 

With 3.78 billion social media users, there's an influx of sharing information and misinformation. Now (more than ever), less reputable sources can spread the news into the hands of billions of people. This has made a massive impact on the way that people digest and distribute information. 

Handheld Devices  

With the majority of Americans owning a mobile phone or tablet, information and news are now at our fingertips. This minimizes the need for people to catch the evening news or pick up the newspaper religiously. What was originally a popular format for news consumption has had a significant drop in views and readership. For passionate journalists, this has required a desperate change. 

Need for Digestible Information

Because information is available at our fingertips, we consume more news than ever before. This has resulted in the attention span for readers and viewers dropping drastically. According to Wistia, attention for online videos begins to drop after only 30 seconds, with a significant decline occurring after 60 seconds. 

Due to this, long-form journalists have had to adjust to short-form videos. 

Hip-Hop News

John and The Recount have been pioneers in leading the way to the new era of television. After identifying the new forms of distribution and format, the team at The Recount began to brainstorm new ways of news consumption. 

"Our mission and our ambition are to essentially reinvent television. In order to do that, we had to start with a clean slate and say, 'Well, what would we make if we didn't have to follow the sort of form and rules of traditional television journalism?' And that's when we came up with what John Heilemann calls Hip-Hop News." 

The idea behind Hip-Hop News is inspired by the ever-loved music genre, Hip Hop. 

"The idea is [based] on the form of Hip Hop by sampling. And reimagining the melodies from a base of music across decades and across genres and styles. It was a remix of the culture." 

The team applied this logic to television.

"The first products that we came out with when we launched about a year and a half ago, were remixes of all the videos that you find. Not only on traditional broadcast and linear cable, but also social media, audio, and even text, graphics, and graphical treatments."

This application led to a brilliant business plan, marketing idea, and hints towards the future of television news. 

The Recount began creating short, digestible videos that could easily be shared across all platforms. Some videos were as short as four seconds but provided enough insight and news to generate buzz and share valuable information to the masses. 

One of their most successful short videos got 100,000 views in only 30 minutes. This was a brief, four-second video that made a huge impact. The video was a comparison of Joe Biden versus Donald Trump when meeting the G7 leaders. The first clip showcased President Trump at the beginning of his presidency. As he met the G7 leaders, Trump pushed his way to the front so he could be seen by everybody. The video then introduces a clip of President Biden walking in a group with his arm around President McCrone. 

"It was a bit that they were so strikingly different. These two images ran side by side for only four seconds, but it's incredibly powerful." 

This is the concept of Hip Hop News. However, to master the art, journalists must be qualified and understand the context of the narrative they are trying to tell. It requires a lot of research, dedication, and time. 

Future of Journalism 

John also weighed in on the future of journalism. With more and more outlets transitioning to a digital model, there's a shift in news and broadcasting. As this shift has come to fruition, there has been a need for monetization and content management systems to support a new model. 

Though there is still a large change that needs to occur to optimize new journalism, the future is near. John provides insight:

 "As we move into streaming…[there's] a big opportunity to rethink the technical layer between production and publishing. It's super exciting. I think it's just as exciting as HTML in the late 90s. Before the emergence of Javascript and the other tools that led to the explosion on the web, everyone called Web Two. We're very close to television. I would say that in five years from now, it'll be a completely different looking field."

As John and The Recount continue to challenge modern-day journalism and provide unique insights into an ever-changing world, there's an opportunity to shift and improve while continually appealing to a broader audience. 

Conclusion 

For journalism lovers and broadcasters, there's value in understanding the changing news consumption habits of society. Applying recent trends, statistics, and knowledge can ensure that you stay on top of your game. Though this provides a significant struggle, it's both exciting and interesting to find new ways to produce information for easy consumption. 

Want to try the original news media video workspace for yourself? Try us free for 7 days to search and clip the biggest news moments as they happen.

Sign me up to try SnapStream

Skewed News: How Source Bias Affects Online News Engagement

June 17 2021 by Kevin Johnson
Blue background with illustrated people around large smartphone with a header that says NEWS

“Spiderman’s the best!” 

“Nope. Batman is.”

“D.C. Comics are lame. I’m Team Marvel all day!” 

People love their opinions and often make their consumption choices in direct correlation. Superhero arguments aside, the reality is sources play a huge role in the acceptance of their content. Whether it’s The New York Times versus The Wall Street Journal, CNN versus Fox News, or Marvel versus D.C., Americans are highly-opinionated, picky, and skeptical about the information they ingest, especially depending on where they get it. Good luck convincing Uncle Earl at the barbecue that your favorite news blog is better than his trusty channel-of-choice.

During a tumultuous and politically-polarized 2020 election season, Gallup and the Knight Foundation released a study, NewsLens 2020: How Americans Process the News, that measured US attitudes toward different online news sources. The purpose was to examine the extent partisanship played in how people engaged with online news content and to deduce whether solid journalism could cross the political divide.

To measure engagement, Gallup and Knight used an experimental news platform and aggregator originally developed in 2017. The experiment conditions were simple: randomly feed more than 1,500 partisan readers articles in both natural and blinded conditions (labeled or unlabeled with source cues). Content was supplied from Democratic-leaning, Republican-leaning and no-lean sources. More than 44,000 article clicks and 27,000 ratings were registered. The results were published with the hope of providing useful insights to journalists, policymakers and academia.

Let’s dig in and snack on a few of the findings, shall we?

Despite Partisanship, Readers Source Choices Varied

Surprisingly, despite their political leanings, readers chose content from both sympathetic and adversarial sources, even when source cues were visible.


 

In the natural condition, out of every 20 articles served, the click rate of users with partisan commitments registered:

  • 4.6% Sympathetic outlet
  • 4.1% No-lean outlet
  • 3.8% Adversarial outlet

In the blinded condition, the click rate demonstrated a marginal difference:

  • 4.7% Sympathetic outlet
  • 4.0% No-lean outlet
  • 4.4% Adversarial outlet

 


Defying the theory of cognitive dissonance, the study found that while partisan selective engagement was present, the margin of selective exposure was modest. With the source visible, out of an average 100 articles, a hypothetical partisan user chose 36 from sympathetic outlets, 33 from no-lean channels, and 31 from politically adversarial sources. Gallup and Knight concluded that regardless of political affiliations, readers were not inclined to remain within their own echo chambers.

The Messenger Carries More Weight than the Message

With the overwhelming volume of news available today, a news source and its agreeableness to the user often dictates the perceived level of credibility more than the content itself. Think about your own political stance and how just the mention of CNN, MSNBC, Newsmax or Fox News might immediately frame how you would judge their content.

NewsLens examined reader ratings of news stories and discovered that when source labels were hidden, users gave articles from politically sympathetic news sources a higher rating versus adversarial outlets. However, readers gave even higher ratings when source cues were visible. Displaying the news outlet contributed to more than half of the variance in user ratings between “friendly” and “hostile” news sources. The takeaway: for readers with a defined political stance - the specific news outlets shaped their impression of the material more than the actual content itself.

Perceived Relevance Bolsters Impression of Journalistic Quality

As readers, we often subconsciously judge news stories across a range of benchmarks:

  • Overall quality
  • Perceived Fairness
  • Personal Relevance
  • Completeness
  • Accuracy

NewsLens examined whether readers distinguished between these various components using a five-star rating system. Readers rated articles similarly across all five criteria, with half of the content receiving the same rating across all categories. However, using a control variable in the model that factored in the relationship between journalistic quality and the residuals of each criteria allowed NewsLens to discover a statistically significant and positive association between personal relevance and perceived journalistic quality. 

With all factors considered, readers responded more favorably to material that was “covered in a way that mattered to them,” thus boosting perceived journalistic quality of the material.

Wrap-Up

The NewsLens report makes it crystal clear: partisanship strongly informed how open and receptive readers were to news stories based on the outlets they come from. However, some common ground remains — especially for what readers judge as good journalism. The NewsLens findings are insightful and we invite you to check out the actual report to dig further into the findings and better understand how end users engage with online news.  

Now, only one question remains…

Are you Team Marvel or D.C.?

 

Want to try the original news media video workspace for yourself? Try us free for 7 days to search and clip the biggest news moments as they happen.

Sign me up to try SnapStream

 

3 Ways to Give Your Election Coverage a Leg Up

November 26 2019 by Tina Nazerian

Axios-Tulsi-Gabbard-Tweet (1)                                                                                   

Much of the national conversation about the 2020 presidential election happens on TV—and being able to search, track, and clip that conversation can give your election coverage a leg up. 

 

Find Exact Moments

SnapStream-TV-Search (1)

 

Maybe you missed a candidate’s appearance on a news show, or simply didn’t catch a particular comment she or he made during a debate. With SnapStream, you can search through the closed captioning text and program guide data for all the TV shows you have recorded to instantly find the exact moments you’re looking for. 

You can search for a particular candidate’s name (such as “Bernie Sanders”), and even refine your search to find narrower matches (such as “Bernie Sanders” and “Elizabeth Warren”). 

 

Track Mentions with TV Alerts

Bernie Sanders-and-Elizabeth-Warren-TV-Alerts

With SnapStream’s TV Alerts feature, you can get consistent emails about the search terms that matter to you and your reporting. 

Each SnapStream TV Alert is made up of one or more search queries (ranging from simple to advanced). You can set up an unlimited number of TV Alerts, and dictate the frequency and time of day you get them.  

For example, you can set up TV Alerts for the search terms “Bernie Sanders,” and “Elizabeth Warren” to appear in your inbox every day at 9 AM. 

Additionally, you can send TV alerts to as many people as you’d like. 

 

Clip Videos for Increased Engagement on Social Media 

BuzzFeed-News-Joe-Biden-Tweet (1)

Did a candidate say something surprising on TV? Did a commentator or spokesperson make an interesting, insightful comment about the election? 

While you can write out a tweet or Facebook post quoting what was said, doing so takes away a lot of the nuance. Creating a video clip of that moment and sharing it on social media would be more powerful. Your followers would not only get to listen to what was said, but they’d also be able to glean additional context, such as tone and body language. 

They’d also be more likely to engage with your posts. On Twitter, for example, tweets with video get 10x more engagement than those without. 

With SnapStream, you can clip any moment from broadcast TV to create a video, GIF, or screenshot. You can then instantly share that moment to Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube. You can also vertically crop clips for sharing on Snapchat, Instagram, and TikTok.

 


SnapStream makes broadcast TV searchable, and live video and broadcast TV social. Users can find any moment and mention on TV by searching closed captioning data and setting up TV Alerts. They can also instantly capture, create, and share video clips, GIFs, and screenshots to Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube, as well as create square and vertical clips for Instagram, Snapchat, and TikTok. SnapStream's customers include BuzzFeed, Politico, CNN, and the Media Research Center. 

Framing the Story with Video: How the Washington Examiner Increases Social Engagement.

September 09 2016 by Sara Howard

Monitor_Screen_Closeup_Mockup.png
Sean_Langille.pngStarted in 2005 as a print publicationThe Washington Examiner is today one of our most active social customers. They're dedicated to engaging readers by bringing them the latest in breaking news and politics.  

One of the driving forces behind this engagement is Sean Langille (fun fact about Sean, he started writing for his city newspaper when he was in 2nd grade). He was nice enough to chat with us about best practices for social engagement and what life was like before SnapStream.

Q: Can you tell me a little bit about your role at the Washington Examiner?

Sean: I have the title of Digital Engagement Editor, so I work a lot with social media and different ways to digitally market our product. But I also work with vendors to find ways that we can enhance our product. Part of my job is helping to drive digital strategy in Facebook and Twitter and our multi-media content, working with interns to help curate that content.

Q: What is your thought-process behind portraying a visual strategy?

Sean: When we tell a story we try to move beyond just using the text. It’s about using infographics, photos and videos. For instance, just now I was using SnapStream to clip the president saying that Donald Trump was “unfit and woefully unprepared”. We understand that people are going to read text, but we have to offer our audience infographics, imagery and video elements. If they can click through and watch a video of Obama saying the quote, then it provides a much stronger presentation.



"When we tell a story we try to move beyond just using the text. It’s about using infographics, photos and videos".



Q: 
Can you tell me how you and your team are using SnapStream? How do you find that it is most effective?

Sean: The way it usually works is that we have interns help us use SnapStream. Usually myself and the other digital editor will  watch videos and speeches and we’ll call out to the interns and say “hey, Obama said this…”. When we’re at the conventions and there are speakers, we’ll all be monitoring it. We actually have a dedicated "Slack" channel that is actually called “SnapStream”, and we can post in there “hey, so-and-so said this, who can grab it?”. The interns cut that up, and then I go through that in the library and further fine-tune it. From there, we put it out to Twitter or Facebook, using "ShowSqueeze" to put it out to Facebook.

washington_examiner_tweet1.pngWe use a social distribution platform called “SocialFlow”, so sometimes we’ll do a combination of directly publishing from SnapStream or sometimes we’ll put it directly into SocialFlow to best optimize when that video should go out. We’d love to see an option to recycle from within SnapStream (UPDATE! This functionality is now available in SnapStream 7.2). For instance, we had one yesterday… Pat Smith was on CNN and we tweeted it out and got 300+ retweets with just that video. We know that kind of content is popular with our audience so it would be great if we had a way to re-package that.

 



"Now that we have SnapStream, within minutes or seconds of someone saying something newsworthy, we can get that out and be ahead of our competition".


 

Sean: Prior to SnapStream, during a debate or big event night, trey_gowdy.pngwe would know when these videos happen so we’d be clipping off of some live stream, literally screen grabbing and then getting it to our video team and then have to wait for editing to push that out.


Now that we have SnapStream, within minutes or seconds of someone saying something newsworthy, we can get that out and be ahead of our competition. If we’re the first one to it, then it takes off. It’s something as simple as Trey Gowdy on "Meet the Press" saying “I endorse Donald Trump”, we take that phrase, put it out there and we’re one of the first. With the amount of social engagement it can drive… I don’t think we could live without it.

Q: Can you tell me about the team workflow?

Sean: Myself and my digital editor will tell the interns about someone being on tv, or a speech, or event. We’ll have interns monitoring these events, and we’ll notice certain soundbites, telling them to pay attention to when a particular person speaks, or to look out for certain terms. What we usually have them do is pay attention to the newsmakers or the broader bites. But with their own initiative, they’re able to look at more content and ask us what we think of additional items. 

Sometimes it’s not about what is being said, but physical reactions. People make weird faces, or we’ll catch interesting things like when CSPAN flashed WikiLeaks during Hillary Clinton’s speech. So we’re able to go back into these clips and create GIFs to capture these interesting little moments… like when we captured Hillary Clinton’s weird reaction to fireworks. 

 

Q: How do you manage the timing of social posts? Social happens in an instant, how do you make sure that you’re heard?

Sean: It’s about staying in time, but sometimes offering a little bit different. Can we capture the side that no one else is looking at, getting the contrarian viewpoint. Showing the different sides of the story and not just the one that is popular.

Q: How are you using this for conventions?

Sean: We have setup VPNs, so that people can log into SnapStream wherever they are. This is what we did at the conventions. Overall, things were functioning well and we were able to log in and clip things, as well as coordinate with the interns back in DC.

Q: So, you being away from the office isn’t constricting your ability to post videos and GIFs on Twitter and Facebook?

Sean: No, not at all.



"We’re using SnapStream to transform the way we do social".



Q: How are you framing the conversation, how are you getting the best reactions?

Sean: It’s about keeping track of what everyone else is doing. We use a lot of listening tools to see what the competition is doing. But we’re trying to advance the story. There is the story of Trump fighting with the Kahn family, as compared to the woman who lost her son in Benghazi speaking at the Republican download.pngNational Convention. We wanted to see what the reaction was to the media coverage of both, and we were one of the few that was using SnapStream to put those videos out there. It’s about being aware of the storyline that everyone else is doing, but what are the other emerging storylines coming out of this.

Sometimes it’s about going beyond the other clips that everyone else is putting out. We want to be thought of as a place where you know you can go to get a good snapshot of what was said at the conventions. Essentially, you have a highlight reel of what everyone said. If you look through our Twitter stream and what we did on Facebook during the convention, we put out 100’s of SnapStream videos, using it as a tool for engagement. 

 

Q: Why is this something that you are passionate about, where did this need to “show both sides” come from?

Sean: I have always been of the mindset that everyone else is covering it the same way, let’s advance the story and see what the other voices are. There are so many voices saying the same thing that in order to differentiate yourself, you have to find ways and find the content that will balance that out. But also, there are stories that will get buried because people are so wrapped up talking about one thing. 

What I’m most passionate about is telling the story well. You have to have all the elements to do that, whether it’s infographics, video… because news now isn’t just text. When you click on a news story, what’s going to keep you on the page the longest? We want to establish ourselves as an authority for a certain kind of content. So that if you want this kind of content, we are where you go. 

Q: Thank you so much for speaking with me Sean, is there anything else you wanted to add or talk about before we wrap up?

Sean: We’re using SnapStream to transform the way we do social. We’re trying to reach a society that’s a little bit ADD, and entice them to actually read a news story. I think the larger story is how news outlets are using every tool at their disposal, especially SnapStream, to make sure that news as a written medium doesn’t die.

 


 

About Sean Langille

Sean Langille is Digital Engagement Editor for the Washington Examiner. He also serves as an associate producer for Fox News Channel, where he aided in the launch of the Fox News First daily political email newsletter. Sean also has an extensive radio background having produced "The Laura Ingraham Show" and working as an on-air host in Virginia and Massachusetts.

 

GIF the debates and the fun never stops!

March 07 2016 by Eric Cohn
trump.jpg

The 2016 presidential election cycle has been as unpredictable as any election in recent memory with over 20 sanctioned debates, numerous “town hall” discussions and countless candidate speeches. News organizations have been overwhelmed with an unprecedented volume of visual content to share with their viewers.

While debates have been broadcast on television since 1960 (the famous Kennedy-Nixon debates), there has been a seismic shift in the way the presidential debates have been covered in the media this election cycle. The New York Times said it best: political GIFs have become the new sound bites of the 2016 campaign season.

Animated GIFs have been synonymous with coverage of the 2016 presidential race. Whether it is Donald Trump making exasperated faces at his opponents or Hillary Clinton seemingly wiping dirt “off her shoulder,” these instantly shareable bite-sized moments have helped amplify and focus attention on the strengths and weaknesses of the candidates running.

SnapStream makes it simple for organizations to take a moment from television, create an animated GIF and post it to their social media accounts in just seconds. 

Live-tweeting of this election cycle has made it easier than ever to follow along with candidate events in near-real time. It also allows the organizations sharing the content to frame the conversation in the language of the social network on which it is being shared. 

Savvy media and political organizations have jumped on the GIF bandwagon and are sharing moments from the debates and other election events, creating incredibly engaging and viral content while informing their readers about the candidates and issues.

If a picture is worth 1,000 words, an animated GIF could fill a volume!

Searchable State of the Union 2011

January 26 2011 by Rachel Abbott

Did you set your DVR last night? At SnapStream, we made sure to. (If you tuned in live, kudos to you. 26.1 million others did too.)

"Mr. Speaker, Mr. Vice President, members of Congress, distinguished guests, and fellow Americans."

President Obama commenced his second State of the Union speech, addressing the congregation in the rich oral tradition of his predecessors.

The President spoke for just over an hour, in what commentators considered broad strokes, focusing on the nation's bright future with optimism instead of renegotiating issues of recent years past.

Here, let's pull up the recording. And grab the transcript to download in seconds.

Now, you could also search by keyword, to skip to the topics which interest you. Perhaps it's healthcare that gets your blood pumping, or job creation that perks your ears up.

For now, we'll take a look at the overall themes by copying and pasting the televised transcript (courtesy of SnapStream) into a word-cloud creator called Wordle.

Note: While the State of the Union address is easily accessible to the public all over the Internet, this is not the case for the majority of broadcast content, which is where SnapStream comes into play. For our intents, this is a timestamped example.

[Applause] occurred frequently throughout the speech. There was no booing last night across the partisan aisle. One could infer that Democrat, Republican and Tea Party members stood united after the recent Tuscon tragedy involving Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, among others.

To leave you with something further, the American Presidency Project has a unique historical resource to explore. It lists the length of every State of the Union Message and Address, by word count, dating back to George Washington in 1790.

Visit SnapStream's government page.

TV Trends Takes Pulse of the Nation Through #Election Week

November 04 2010 by Rachel Abbott

As media outlets were buzzing yesterday about midterm elections, we were closely tracking what was mentioned on major television networks here at SnapStream headquarters.

Since we're a television search and monitoring company, we employ our own SnapStream Servers to record U.S. national TV (ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, MSNBC, CNN and HLN) and provide insights into what is said on U.S. television. On big news days, like an election night, we gather all the closed-captioning data and run the numbers to distinguish the overarching news trends.

From SnapStream's aggregated television data, clear-cut trends emerge about the nation’s pulse during this pivotal midterm election, which serves as a forecasting indicator of the political climate stirring for the 2012 Presidential Election.

Based on over 60,000 hours of recorded television, freely accessible to anyone at tvtrends.com, we find a heavily evident media focus on the Republican Party and a direct correlation with the outcome of Tuesday’s balloting. As Democrats’ majority in Congress slipped, so did their rate and frequency of national news coverage.

Several approximations are used when computing results, such as how many mentions occur per unique hour. To determine the “hot” and “cold” measure of certain words or topics, we use an equation to calculate a frequency score that’s normalized to the number of hours of TV recorded on any given day.

Absolute, raw mentions
10/30 – 11/3
Hot TV Trends
Nov. 2, 2010
Hot TV Trends
Nov. 3, 2010
"Election" returns 767 mentions
"Voters" returns 359 mentions
"Republicans" returns 308 mentions
"Republican" returns 212 mentions
"Race" returns 213 mentions
"Races" returns 195 mentions
"Democrat" returns 61 mentions
"Tea Party" returns 53 mentions
1. Election
2. To the polls
3. The Republicans
4. Voters
5. Races
6. Lisa Murkowski
7. Race
8. The Republican
1. The Republicans
2. Races
3. Election
4. Race
5. In the senate
6. The Republican
7. To the polls
8. Zahra

An overview of keyword frequency across news channels, in descending order:

On the word "election,"
1. CNN
2. FOX News
3. MSNBC
4. HLN
5. ABC
On the word "republican(s),"
1. MSNBC
2. FOX News
3. CNN
4. ABC
5. HLN
On the word "democrat,"
1. FOX News
2. MSNBC
3. CNN
4. HLN
5. ABC

 

SnapStream TV Trends aims to provide insights into what is said on U.S. television. Updates occur every half hour and data is shown once the show is complete. To customize your own TV Trend search, visit http://www.snapstream.com/tvtrends.

TV Search in Politics: House Race 2010

July 19 2010 by Rachel Abbott

In case you missed the vital information contained in this webinar, watch the House of Representatives webinar on SnapStream's YouTube channel.
_ _

With midterm elections* around the corner, and all 435 of the House seats up for grabs, the news media will continue to play a critical role in shaping public opinion. As candidates are preparing to hit the ground running on their campaign trails, we're hosting a webinar this Thursday, July 22 to address the political advantage of TV search for tracking issues, competition and appearances.

 

The reality is, between now and November 2, candidates who practice proactive media relations (as opposed to reactive) will have increasingly better odds at sweeping victory over their districts.

To control messaging and earn the public's confidence, parties with take-charge leadership will capitalize on the media as a direct channel to reach their constituents. The public relations route leads to organic credibility that complements the value of sponsored ads.

Now, this might sound like a no-brainer for political strategy, but you'd be surprised to learn how many people aren't maximizing on this in a smart way. Paying for a clipping service or subjecting interns to full-time TiVo duty--probably not doing your cause much justice.

Alternatively, we've seen this formula work for our TV-hungry customers across city, state and federal government:

1) Dedicate a SnapStream Server to a trusty staff
2) Instantly search, clip and record TV
3) Launch game-changing campaign tactics

Sign up for our webinar to learn how to:
• Search by keyword across news networks
• Pinpoint mentions in seconds
• Create clips and download transcripts
• Receive real-time TV alerts
• Gain competitive intelligence
• Verify advertising
• Monitor public appearances
_ _
*Also up for election: 36 United States Senate seats and 37 out of the 50 United States Governors seats.

Visualizing The State of the Union

January 29 2010 by Mark Brooks

State of the Union Word Cloud

As my team is in the field showing off our ability to search television for mentions of interest, we occasionally field questions about the variety of applications for the data. In general, SnapStream customers are able to search, clip and distribute content of interest from a single user interface. Using closed captioning, SnapStream brings a user directly to any mention of interest within a recorded broadcast. Occasionally, especially in a University or Public Relations setting, the topic turns to statistical analysis. While our solution does not currently offer a statistical engine, the data is easily exported for analysis.

Politics aside, I have downloaded the closed-caption text from Wednesday night's (January 27, 2010) State of the Union. Using the word cloud creator at Wordle.net, I quickly created the above symbolic representation of the speech. The 75-minute speech generated over 7,000 words, of which, the top 200 are represented in the cloud. Wordle.net has the option to remove "common" words – looks to be mostly prepositions, conjunctions and pronouns - to get at the meat of the text . The more appearances a word makes in the text, the larger the word is portrayed in the cloud. The top five words from the speech were People, Americans, Year, Jobs and Work. The overall process took less than 5 minutes - in fact, it took considerably less time than creating this post. ;-)
For customers that are currently using our television search solution, here is a guide to the process. First, locate the video content by searching (or browsing, in this case) within the user interface. If the topic of interest is short, you can use the clipping feature to "trim" down the Closed Caption transcript - when clipping video, SnapStream automatically trims the closed caption transcript as well, so the clip is also searchable. Browse the library for the show or clip, and instead of playing the file, choose "Download Transcript" from the about program page. A dialog will open asking where you want to save the text file of the transcript. The only massaging required is to remove the timestamps, which can be done in any text editor. Copy the text to Wordle.net's create engine and sit back to admire your work.

How did we learn of this capability? Interestingly enough, a customer turned us on to the ability during last years election. Ultimately, the goal was statistical analysis of candidate speeches - the cloud representation was just a by-product. We are never ceased to be amazed at the uses customers find for our products.

Using TV Search to get Laughs

July 21 2009 by Melissa Kidonakis

Below is a prime example of our TV search technology. The writers of E!'s The Soup did a simple search on the word 'Twitter', and were able to pinpoint and clip out all the mentions of Twitter on TV to create a montage of 'Twittermania'.


For an in depth look of our search feature read our previous blog post Feature Spotlight: Advanced TV Search.

What is SnapStream? There's an unlimited amount of video content out there: 24/7 news channels, breaking news events, sports, talk shows, awards galas, entertainment shows, and so much more.

SnapStream makes a real-time news and media search engine that makes it fast and easy to find the video moments that support our customers telling great stories.

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