KZSW, a local TV station in Temecula, Calif., has begun posting news and sports coverage to YouTube. The station started last month, and when we check there were 42 clips. That station has limited coverage, according to the Press Enterprise , with a potential audience of 30,000 homes. Posting on YouTube, of course, grows that potential audience by many orders of magnitude — and it offloads to YouTube the cost of the bandwidth. It’s far greater exposure, at minimal or no additional expense.
This seems to be a first (readers, let us know if we’re wrong) and it opens the doors to some potentially fascinating interactions. For example, will any viewers be sufficiently motivated to post response videos to any of the KZSW reports? But even if there are no response videos, it opens the world to the local TV news in the way the web opens the world to local newspapers. As Edward Fink, chairman of Cal State Fullerton’s Radio-TV-Film department, told the Press Enterprise, “YouTube is there and it’s free. If you’re trying to find an audience, why not use it?” (via the SplashCast company blog).
When I consulted with a large newspaper-related website a decade ago, we found consistently that more than 20 percent of the site’s visitors came from outside the local service area of the newspaper. YouTube and the like could be other ways in which expat communities stay close to video content that’s no longer local but still important to them.