A couple of weeks ago, Thomson Reuters introduced a new service for its paid B2B subscribers called Reuters Insider. What's interesting about this is that it's entirely video-based.
In a nutshell, Thomson Reuters plans to create and post as many as 3,000 very short webcasts each week, that discuss breaking news. Once a webcast has aired the first time, it moves into a video-on-demand archive within 90 seconds. The archive is extensively indexed for searching by subscribers, who can view any webcast at any time, and tag specific webcasts as "favorites" to easy access. In addition, the webcasts will be viewable in iPhone and BlackBerry devices.
My initial reaction was that this was kind of gimmicky. But as I thought about it more, I warmed to the idea. This is an alternate means of information delivery. It's easy and efficient to consume. It's a break from screen after screen of text. It's a real competitive differentiator, and has high perceived value. But what really moved this from "gimmick" to "useful feature" in my mind was the fast archiving and serious approach to indexing.
That's a real shift from the traditional broadcast model, and starts to give video the same value as other information delivery formats. It's a pretty simple concept, but often overlooked: if you want something to have lasting value, at the very least you need a means to find it again.
Although I don't have the full details, Thomson Reuters also apparently envisions its subscribers making and uploading videos. Yes, that sure sounds like a B2B version of YouTube (frankly, can you imagine anything scarier?), but it is at the same time another type of user-generated content, which has shown good value in the B2B context.
I'm not sure where all this goes, but it may well signal that it's showtime for vertical market content providers.