Television programmers are discovering a new resource for content: Their viewers.  User Generated Video (UGV) is fast becoming the primary form of original content, not only for television but also for every other global media platform – such as popular digital first destinations like online newspapers, magazine publishers and social media.

There are several forces at play helping to fuel the increasing rise of UGV, which is also commonly referred to as “eyewitness” video or “user generated content.”  First, economics – many producers are discovering that they can produce programming in all kinds of core genres in ways that would have been impossible in the past.  What would have taken 40-50 camera rigs set up across their designated locales can be achieved with people and their smartphones.  For example, London, U.K.-based Newsflare licenses user generated video to a range of producers within the reality format who are producing successful series based around these videos. Next, the universal appeal of UGV: People everywhere can appreciate the dog that babysits a cat without having to consider the challenge of language barriers. User generated video can also have an unmatched immediacy. Newsflare receives numerous videos of breaking stories that are garnering global attention such as the recent Los Angeles fires.

For those filming and uploading video to Newsflare, the reasons are also many, such as the ability to make money, of course (Newsflare pays 50 percent of all revenue to the uploader, and payment is made within 24 hours).  However, there are other reasons, like the satisfaction of seeing your video in a TV show, or the opportunity to experience your video going viral and accumulating millions of views on Facebook or YouTube.

From its London headquarters, Newsflare serves the broadcast, publishing and digital media sectors as the leading global marketplace for UGV, across a range of categories that encompass breaking news, animals, lifestyle, heartwarming stories, entertainment, weather and sport. Newsflare’s print, broadcast and digital media clients span over 40 countries and its platform currently boasts approximately 60,000 registered amateur, semi-professional and professional videographers.

Newsflare classifies its registered “uploaders” into three types of filmers: “Chancers,” amateurs who happen to capture events as they unfold by being in the right place at the right time; “Chasers,” who proactively pursue pre-identified events; and “Creators,” who develop and record videos based on their own original concepts.  Semi-professionals and professionals tend to fall under the second and third categories, providing video content that is planned in advance or shot and edited based on an original creative idea.

Newsflare regards professionals as “VIP” videographers, recognizing that their content will be of high quality and professionally edited. For professionals, the UGV market can present viable creative and revenue opportunities. The short form nature of the videos oftentimes means that video coming from professionals represents a labor of love, focusing on a subject matter that is personally meaningful. Professionals can look to Newsflare as their ready-to-go distribution partner, as our company markets videos to media licensors around the world.

Earlier this year, in response to the growing appeal of well-shot and well-produced user generated video, Newsflare established an office in Los Angeles, where the new operation’s responsibilities include overseeing video supply to U.S. media partners, as well as helping to cultivate original programming ventures with U.S. producers.

To hook with Newsflare, the process is easy. Register on the Newsflare website and upload the videos. From there, Newsflare has a sales force that proactively seeks to license the videos to the company’s vast media partners.

(By Preeya Naul, general manager of Newsflare U.S., pictured)