Digital video has become a market imperative — something every publisher must understand and do well, regardless of one’s history.

Consider three statistics:

  • More than 62 billion videos were viewed online in December 2014, according to data measurement company comScore.
  • Digital video advertising continues to skyrocket, up 56% in 2014 to reach $5.96 billion, according to eMarketer.
  • Cisco projects that video will account for 79 percent of all consumer internet traffic in 2018, up from 66 percent in 2013.

David Plotz, former editor of Slate Magazine, says video is now “a necessary condition for almost any brand advertiser we’re working with.”

[pulldata align=right stat=”56%” context=”was the growth rate of digital video advertising in 2014, according to eMarketer”]

This “necessary condition,” however, is not so easily achieved, even for those whose professional roots lie in visual journalism. Like every new medium that’s come before, digital video is unique and evolving. It shapes technology and is shaped by technology. We’re learning as we go.

This Strategy Study collects the thoughts of some of the best journalists and executives working in digital video today. It is the result of dozens of interviews and hundreds of hours of research culminating with a day-long Thought Leader Summit hosted by the American Press Institute. More than 50 editors, producers, reporters and managers gathered at NPR’s headquarters in Washington, D.C. to share their insights and experience.

This paper covers four main areas and concludes with a checklist for publishers:

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