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US media group Digital First Media is giving smartphones to 1,800 of its journalists and training them in how to create short videos using mobile app Tout.

The roll out started a couple of months ago and the mobile video app is now used in 75 Digital First Media newsrooms. Journalists create and publish videos on the move in near real-time, with most going live in about 30 seconds.

Two months on from launch and Digital First Media journalists are creating between 5,000 and 7,000 videos a week, and the company has now notched up 25 million video views, chief executive of the newspaper group John Paton told the World Publishing Expo in taking place in Berlin.

Tout is the app also used by the Wall Street Journal to create short videos aimed at a mobile audience. WSJ introduced the new workflow about a year ago.

Paton told the conference that Digital First Media had partnered with Tout to respond to their audience. "What our customers want is more video and they want to access it on mobile, in real-time," he said, explaining that half of the publisher's web audience is mobile.

Paton said there has been "a cultural change" as shooting video encourages journalists to get out the office, and it has provided "an amazing transformation". He also called the resulting short, mobile videos "a new kind of video television".

Paton explained how a story of floods in Colorado was told using the Tout app, adding that the video had more than 800,000 views in the first 72 hours and a top listing in Google News.

Video viewing has tripled across the company since newsrooms started to use Tout, and Digital First Media is "now monetising that revenue stream".

Paton also explained that the "real-time dynamic player features content specific to audiences, which has given much higher user engagement", and that Tout's dashboard provides analytics.

"Tout is a remarkable video platform and is empowering a profound shift in allowing us to create content and engaging our audience," Paton said.

For more information on how news organisations are using microvideo platforms check out this feature and this podcast from

This article originally stated that Digital First Media produces between 5,000 and 7,000 short videos a day, but this has since been corrected by Paton to 5,000 to 7,000 a week.

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