Semi-OT: Do You Prefer Written or Video Content Online?

Submitted by stephenrjking on June 26th, 2017 at 2:29 PM

This tweet just came across the transom, and it is morbidly fascinating to me. 

SCOOP: Fox Sports is cutting its online writing staff to invest those resources in video. Story on the terminal. Link TK.

— Lucas Shaw (@Lucas_Shaw) June 26, 2017

I suspect that the audience of a writing-heavy blog will not be representative of the larger population, but still, it's worth asking here. Whether it be news, politics, sports, or more niche topics, there seems to be a trend amongst many content providers to increase their quantity of video content. This often comes at the expense of written articles.

How do you prefer to consume content? How do you ACTUALLY consume it, regardless of preferences? Do you prefer articles and columns, or videos?



June 26th, 2017 at 2:32 PM ^

I get unreasonably angry when I click on what I think is an article and it's a video without anthing more than a 1 sentence intro. Videos are one of the big reasons I stopped going to CNN and now get my news from Reuters. I can't watch videos at work, and I don't want to watch them at home. A site without written articles has noting of interest for me.


June 26th, 2017 at 6:39 PM ^

And the intro garbage that always consumes the first 30+ seconds of any video is painfully atrocious...  My absolute *least* favorite "content", though, is the video slideshow.  It's like taking the worst of video and the worst possible form of written content (the aborted bullet list) and mashing them together ...


June 26th, 2017 at 2:48 PM ^

And there you have it.

I can consume most of an article (unless it's one of those Heavy Journalism articles with the sliding pictures) in about the time it takes me to watch the stupid ad they put in front of the video.

And if I want to refer back to the article later, or copy and paste something, it's insanely easier.

Video content that doesn't need to be video content is one of the great scourges of the internet.


June 26th, 2017 at 2:38 PM ^

Pretty much due to the same reasons as above.  Can't watch video's at work.  Also prefer written so I can scan it and go to the content I am looking for.

Videos are good for explaining certain things.  (Like when UFRs here on this site link to certain plays when describing what happened.)  But I don't like when they are used just to "report the news".

Also, why is it when a storm happens the weather reporter has to stand right at the spot of biggest deluge, getting sloshed or waves crashing into them, to report storms?  Like we don't know what a storm looks like without you standing in it?  If there is a more obvious ploy to try to get viewership, I'm not sure what it is.  Just report the news!  You don't need to make a show of it.  ... yeah, that was a side rant. :-)


June 26th, 2017 at 4:51 PM ^

Your storm reporting bit has always bugged me.  It's not just the weather.


"I'm standing at the scene of a gruesome double homicide.  Of course, they're not going to let me into the house because they're collecting evidence.  I just wanted to stand outside of the house, so you get a general idea of what houses look like.  Also there's a bit of flashing off in the corner of the screen from the police car parked off to the side."


June 26th, 2017 at 2:37 PM ^

Wholeheartedly agree.  Can't stand when i think the link heads to an indepth article where i can quickly read through something only to have a video pop up with no accompanying article for the details.  also, my office computer doesn't have sound so there's that too.


June 26th, 2017 at 2:37 PM ^

100% agree. When I click on a link expecting a story and instead it's a video, I immediately close it, as I consider that a form of media fraud. Now, I am equally mad when I click on something expecting text and it's instead 30 "mini stories" with a picture above them and I need to click through 30 times for each little story. That is pure bullshit as well. 


June 26th, 2017 at 2:39 PM ^

nailed it 100% the majority of my consumption time is not ideal for video/audio. written is a must. things like player videos I can watch on mute. I don't listen to the podcasts on here, not because of their quality/content. but simply because I never have a block of time to sit and listen/watch talking heads.


June 26th, 2017 at 2:43 PM ^

Agree. Video can theoretically be useful, but it obligates all of my attention and it isn't convenient to drop and pick back up if something else comes up. Can't watch it at work, don't always like to use data on mobile... just not as useful.

And, honestly, GOOD written content tends to be deeper and more intelligent.


June 26th, 2017 at 3:08 PM ^

Also, video is standalone. You watch it and thats all there is, very difficult to do further research. A good article has links and citations in it that can be followed to get more information if desired. Oftentimes when it's interesting, or my knowledge is lacking, reading the article itself is only 25% of my time spent. I'll spend more time reading the links and researching the terms and events used in the article than reading the article itself. This is hard to do with videos.


June 26th, 2017 at 2:50 PM ^

Can't watch videos at work
Videos take too long to load
Can't wait watch videos sitting in a stall at work
Can't watch videos while tv plays in the background
Videos take up mobile data
Videos inject ads I can't ignore
A lot of video content doesn't add much. Talking heads? I only periodically need to see the actual footage of what happened. I know what an incomplete pass looks like, a slam dunk, an outfielders catch over the wall. I only want to see it if it's unique.


June 26th, 2017 at 5:56 PM ^

You said it. If a page or a link winds up being a video, odds are I'll navigate away immediately. Not sure why marketers or content managers think people are seeking out single clip versions of Sportscenter on their computer or phone.

Plus 95% of my daily internet usage is at work and videos don't fly there.


June 26th, 2017 at 7:03 PM ^

I can't watch videos at work


Much of the time, I'm looking at things like MGoBlog at work.  I can't watch (listen to) videos at work.  I'm not alone on this.

I can't believe that outlets like CNN, ESPN, etc. have not figured that out.

Video autoplay is Satan.



June 26th, 2017 at 2:46 PM ^

was commenting on the trend away from the written word.

I provided an explanation.  

Places like ESPN will need to evolve in order to catch on with the next generation - which includes folks way younger than me who like their media/info in short bursts of video.

"Kids these days" will drive the media YOU consume very get used to the lack of articles and anything written down.

Sorry you got butt-hurt about it.


June 26th, 2017 at 3:45 PM ^

My big question about this: I'm sure kids these days are watching lots of cat videos on YouTube*, but how many are actually getting news and info in video? I'm doubting Fox Sports is going to catch on with the next generation by putting NFL power rankings in video form. 


* I'm an old, please insert whatever is hip with the kids these days here

oriental andrew

June 26th, 2017 at 4:19 PM ^

My wife does, actually, and she's in her mid-40s. She prefers short news clips to get a primer on topics/issues/news rather than reading longer in-depth articles. A 30-45 second clip to her is better and faster than reading a 2-3 page article. She just wants the basic facts. 

I imagine many people are like that - tell me what's happening in summary form, but not all the minutiae. 

I, OTOH, prefer the details and want to know more than just the who/what/where/when. Different strokes, as they say.

That having been said, I absolutely HATE the accompanying auto-play videos they add to articles. On some sites, you can turn it off. On others, you can't. Very annoying. 


June 26th, 2017 at 3:47 PM ^

Or is there some ad revenue reason driving it? I truly don't know, but I can't imagine that sites (like CNN as noted above) are going to more video format because there are a lot of 16 year olds watching videos about the Fed changing interest rates. Seems like something else must be driving it.

Wolverine 73

June 26th, 2017 at 10:08 PM ^

Seems to me it takes a lot longer to craft a decent article than for someone to stand in front of a camera and talk for 3 minutes about something, although newspapers seem to have eliminated most of their editors who would historically polish an article. Still, probably just another cost cutting measure.


June 26th, 2017 at 2:43 PM ^

even at 26 you are trending against the tide of those younger than you.

With nieces and nephews, and 6 kids of my own all under 18 - I have a great vantage point in seeing how younger people consume information.

I appreciate your comment, just providing my own insight into the trend towards quick-twitch media vs. the written word.