Mic, a website whose content was targeting millennials, used to have a staff comprising 40 writers and editors who wrote articles on topics such as feminists and celebrating beauty. However ten of the employees were let go since most of the work falls on the newsroom which has 63 employees and now puts out more videos on social platforms such as Facebook.
Some critics have called this move “a hundred percent cynical” and not in line with the audience demand. However reports show that users are watching more online videos either because they really like them or simply because they are becoming hard to avoid. Irregradless of the reason, more advertisers are shifting their resources to video ads and a safe result more websites are also shifting to wait has been dubbed in the industry as the pivot of video.
“When you think about how many hours people spend watching video versus reading, the audience has already spoken,” said Chris Altchek, chief executive officer of Mic. “The outlet’s viewers spend 75 percent of their time with “visual” content like videos, not text,” he said.
Online users in the U.S are expected to spend 81 minutes a day watching digital video in 2019, up from 61 minutes in 2015, according to projections by research firm eMarketer. Time spent reading a newspaper is expected to drop to 13 minutes a day from 16 minutes during that time. However it still remains unclear as to whether these trends will manage to sustain the growing number of outlets that are continually flooding social media platforms with videos.
“It’s alarming,” said Paul Verna, an analyst at the research firm eMarketer. “Publishers are throwing their hats into a ring that’s unproven.”
Mic is not the only site that has fired its writers as it pivots into video. Dozens of writers and editors have been laid off from other big news outlets such as Vocativ, Fox Sports, Vice and MTV News, all in an effort to shift resources to creating more videos.