NZ Herald expands video content and services

New Zealand Herald's new weekly program, The Economy Hub.

Economists Paul Bloxham (left) and Shamubeel Eaqub (centre) join Herald Business Editor-at-Large Liam Dann (right) for the first edition of The Economy Hub.

The New Zealand Herald continues to establish itself as an integrated, multiplatform news company with a number of recent forays into video content and services.

This week, the NZME-owned masthead announced its website would livestream two New Zealand National Basketball League games each week throughout the 2016 season.

Iain Potter, chief executive of Basketball New Zealand, said sports have increasingly struggled to get their games shown live by traditional broadcasters and the deal was a big step forward for the NBL.

While the games can be viewed for free, NZME has reached a commercial agreement with NBL to cover the cost of the streaming, which can be monetised via a broadcast sponsorship.

NZME’s head of sport, Trevor McKewen, said the initiative “is part of our National Sporting Organisation agreement where we are working with organisations to encourage new options around broadcasting their live events”.

Meanwhile, the New Zealand Herald’s business section just launched The Economy Hub, a weekly program of broadcast television quality dissecting the issues and events of the local and global economies.

The program of approximately six minutes is hosted by Liam Dann, the New Zealand Herald’s business editor at large, and features panel discussions with industry experts, business leaders and Herald journalists and columnists.

An episode of The Economy Hub, hosted by New Zealand Herald’s business editor at large Liam Dann.

The HSBC-sponsored show was developed by Fran O’Sullivan, NZME’s editorial director of business, and is the first of several brand extensions planned for the business vertical.

Several other yet-to-be-announced projects will also take a video program format.

The Economy Hub is authoritative but interesting at the same time, tackling the big economy issues that affect New Zealand but in short … digestible videos,” Ms O’Sullivan said.

“It’s not as lengthy as broadcast television, but I think over time what is it does is give us the ability to obviously host on-demand as well.”

NZME already has an on-demand streaming service called WatchMe, launched in November last year.

WatchMe is currently geared towards entertainment content although at its launch, NZME said it planned to include more news and sport content on the service in the future.

Ms O’Sullivan said The Economy Hub is positioned as more of a top-end business show and she is currently looking to establish a home for the program, a sub-site within the New Zealand Herald’s business page.

She’s also keen to further develop the program as a brand and is exploring the possibility of expanding it to events, such as Economy Hub debates.

“The sky’s the limit,” she says.

The ability to produce broadcast TV-quality shows like The Economy Hub has been greatly facilitated by last year’s opening of NZME new integrated newsroom, which combines the company’s print, digital and radio teams.

The Economy Hub is not the first video production for host Liam Dann, although so far it has performed much better than others he has been involved in, despite it launching on only February 18.

Audience has grown with each episode and the program has received positive feedback from New Zealand’s Minister for Finance, head of Treasury and others.

For Mr Dann, the high-quality of the program has required a couple of changes: a new suit, hair and make-up and vocal training.

“We’d never really done the training previously. It was always just jump in (with video) where now I’ve had a bit more training in terms of those kind of presentation skills,” Mr Dann said.

“I think that the way we’re doing it has been made possible by that integration. We didn’t have the scale prior to that. For example, I’m able to cross promote on (radio network) NewsTalkZB where I chat to their afternoon show about economics every Thursday.”

NewsTalkZB is also ramping up its video content, identifying programs across its schedule that could potentially be filmed or live streamed, building on ZB’s existing video content.

For more news from The Newspaper Works, click here.

Leave a comment