In the last few weeks, I've seen a lot of announcements concerning video content being added to online resources. Both InfoTrac and NewsBank have recently made email announcements about content they've each added to their databases.
InfoTrac added many full-text resources to the General and Academic OneFiles, some of which include video segments. NewsBank's announcement was more thorough - here's an excerpt from the email:
In response to the rising demand in libraries, NewsBank is adding video news content to our online news resources-at no additional charge to our customers. The complete package from respected media distributor Voxant includes the following sources: The Associated Press, Reuters, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, local affiliates of ABC, NBC, CBS, and Fox, as well as coverage from Canadian Broadcasting, Agence France Press and more. Your institution will have access to video clips from all or a select group of these sources, depending on your subscription.
Beginning on Monday, October 20, the videos clips will be added to NewsBank resources. Users will be able to:
- Play news videos within the NewsBank interface, in the same space used to display text articles
- Select specific videos from a comprehensive results lists that also includes NewsBank articles, or restrict their search to "video only"
- Access recent and archived news videos at your institution or remotely
- Email links of specific videos to friends, or embed them in a presentation
I find it curious that they say this is in response to demand from libraries. From the few tests I did, most of this newly added video content is already available free online, so I'm not sure where this demand was coming from (or why the vendors choose to listen to this particular demand instead of other things libraries have been demanding).
If a patron wants to watch a news show online, I can't see myself showing them how to navigate the library website to find the right database, log in with their library card, navigate the database for the right title, and then find the episode. It is just easier for me and the patron to use the station's own website or YouTube as a resource.
And speaking of YouTube, Library Stuff linked to a YouTube announcement on c|net today: "YouTube will begin offering feature films produced by at least one of the biggest Hollywood movie studios possibly as early as next month." Combine that with Hulu.com and other websites, and that's a lot of available video content.
For the database vendors though, I would prefer they concentrating on making their resources more user-friendly and useful by "uniquing" them, instead of providing content that is already available from other sources.