Trends & Insights

How Are International Publishers Approaching Video?

By Sydney M. Wolff | Nov 10, 2015


Consumers today prefer to get information about the world through video. And the obsession with video is not exclusive to the U.S., it’s evident across different countries and cultures. Now that the entire world craves this medium, publishers everywhere are investing in video. Video is challenging by nature, and international publishers have even more factors to consider in their strategy. How do international publishers work with different languages, cultures, and countries when approaching video?

The Huffington Post

The Huffington Post has grown internationally at a dizzying pace, and now has 15 versions of its site for different languages and countries. Visitors can easily select their site of preference from a dropdown menu at the top of HuffPost’s navigation bar. Each version of the site has a variety of videos interwoven in the articles and some have a specific section for video. The U.S. site is the only version that offers HuffPost Live, which is the publisher’s live streaming news platform. The content on HuffPost Live is in English only. As the media giant continues to develop their younger sites, video is at the top of their priority list. We may even see additional country- or language-specific versions of HuffPost live. Video was also critical to the site’s redesign this year, making video more visible and easily accessible across all parts of every site.


BBC offers an impressive variety of both live streaming and video content in 29 languages. The dropdown menu at the top of its homepage allows visitors to easily select another version of the site. Each site has its own video section and many also have a live streaming page. The content is similar across each site, with a translated voiceover for videos produced in a different language (usually English). All of the different language sites have a similar layout and design with a Video section in the navigation bar, as opposed to Huffington Post’s varied placement of video across its sites. BBC has been able to quickly scale its international video offerings by replicating the same strategy and content with translation. With the increasing demand for video around the world, the BBC’s future investments may aim to produce more video content in each site’s native language.


CNN’s website is exceptionally strong in video thanks to its roots in broadcasting. While it currently only has video content in English, Arabic, and Spanish, each section has been built out well. Video is central to the sites content, and the videos for each language are well organized and accessible. CNN has been at the forefront of video innovation, investing time to distribute content on new platforms like social media. This holds true for the three versions of its site and the video content they produce in each language. CNN has developed a solid video production strategy to push out high volumes in each of the languages it supports. We may see a similarly well developed strategy as it expands its variety of languages to reach new audiences.

It’s already a challenge to stay ahead of the game in video, so adding additional languages and cultures to the mix is no easy feat for publishers. The Huffington Post, BBC and CNN all have unique approaches to their video strategy. When it comes to international, it seems that they all have different strengths and shortcomings. HuffPost thrives in tailored video content for each of its audiences, the BBC has the most variety in language offerings, and CNN has built out sophisticated video platforms for each of its audiences. Publishers can benefit from observing how these three have approached video on an international level. A combination of their strategies could be the perfect way to acquire and engage audiences around the world.

Sydney M. Wolff