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The NewsMarket Jumps on the Beijing 2008 Bandwagon

The NewsMarket has caught the Olympic fever and is attempting to pass it along to its clients with the new Beijing 2008 channel, which it launched in April.

According to NewsMarket president, CEO, and co-founder Shoba Purushothaman, the goal of the channel is to create a single destination where bloggers and media professionals can go to download Olympics-related content for use in news reports or for embedding or streaming on their websites.

"Most of these people are going to be outside of Beijing, and even those that are in Beijing are going to be running around from venue to venue. They need an online resource," she said.

Video for Nothin’, Clips for Free
Video clips, which are free of rights and free of charge, are provided by sponsors and organizations—such as Adidas, Visa, Samsung, Volkswagen, and the International Olympic Committee (IOC)—that pay The NewsMarket a fee for hosting services, Purushothaman said. According to her, sponsors use the site to market their products or services, and so far, The NewsMarket has received about 700 media requests from around 350 separate news organizations, including CNN and BusinessWeek, for content on the Beijing channel.

"[That is] quite high because these requests translate into an audience reach of hundreds of millions," she said.

Some clips currently available on the channel include video of sprinter Tyson Gaye visiting the Great Wall of China, sound bites of IOC president Jacques Rogge, and video of the Olympic torch lighting ceremony in Olympia, Greece.

"As the countdown gets closer and closer, we expect to be adding more and more content to it," Purushothaman said.

Pick Your Format
Those who would like to access NewsMarket’s clips must complete a free registration process at the organization’s website, www.thenewsmarket.com, in which they provide the site with an FTP address to which videos can be sent, Purushothaman said. The highest quality versions of each video are available in the Flash format, but Windows Media and QuickTime are supported, she said. MPEG-2 clips are also available for those who desire broadcast-standard video.

The NewsMarket also plans to roll out high-definition videos in time for the games, according to Purushothaman. She said the company expects most organizations to choose this new format once it is available because it will allow media outlets to appear as if they are on the cutting edge of technology and because the higher quality serves as a differentiator for brands.

"It shows that they understand where media’s moving," she said. "It shows that they care about the consumer experience. For some of the brands, it’s really going to bring to life what they’re talking about."

An Eye to the Future
With NBC alone planning to make more than 3,000 hours of Olympics-related video available on its website, the Beijing 2008 Games are expected to be a turning point for online video. That fact isn’t lost on Purushothaman, and she is hopeful that The NewsMarket’s offerings will help to bring the world together around the thrill of competition and the convenience of web-based content.

"There’s a lot riding in the video world around these Olympics," she said. "The power of video I think is really going to come into its own after this Olympics. As a business model, I think we will be taking one giant step forward."

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