Video is sexy. Video is lucrative. Video works on both the big screen and the smallest mobile screen. Video is also very hard to do, extremely hard to scale and highly unlikely to be much of a lifeline for VC-addled publishers desperate for growth areas.
Mashable, which laid off 30 editorial staffers last week, is the just latest digital publication that believes video is the future. The layoffs, as well as a $15 million investment Mashable received from Turner Broadcasting, are intended to reposition the company toward producing more video content including TV shows. To varying degrees, publishers ranging from BuzzFeed to Mic, Elite Daily and Upworthy are all betting their futures on mastering video, with the belief that distribution deals and lucrative video-ad dollars will follow.