CNBC Stocks Up on Original Digital Video

CNBC is beefing up its original digital video lineup, as the financial news net looks to grow its Internet-video audience — and capture more bucks from video advertising.

On Thursday, CNBC premiered a new episode of “Speakeasy with John Harwood,” hosted by the network’s chief Washington correspondent, in which he interviews Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (pictured, above right), a potential 2016 Republican presidential contender. In addition, the cabler debuted “Retire Well with Sharon Epperson,” hosted by CNBC’s senior personal finance correspondent.

“We have a scale that is unmatched in terms of video production,” said Kevin Krim, senior VP and g.m. of CNBC Digital. “The problem we had was… how do we activate hundreds of CNBC journalists worldwide to do digital video?”

The NBCUniversal network has about 20 staffers dedicated to digital-video production. In January, CNBC hit 24 million views from about 10 million unique visitors (an increase of 230% year over year). “Social was a major driver with video,” Krim said.

All told, CNBC posts about 200 video clips per day, with about 50 original videos per week. The cabler’s digital video ad revenue has quadrupled in the last three years, and CNBC Digital was profitable in 2014, according to Krim, although he declined to provide specific numbers.

CNBC is hoping digital video will boost its profile and draw more financial-news fans to the site. In January, CNBC had 24.2 million total unique desktop visitors in January, according to comScore — trailing rivals in terms of total audience including Yahoo Finance (57.8 million uniques), Forbes (37.7 million), Business Insider (37.5 million) and Dow Jones & Co. (34.0 million).

The biggest CNBC digital video series is “Cramer Remix,” a condensed version of Jim Cramer’s “Mad Money,” which airs weekdays at 6 p.m. ET. In January, “Cramer Remix” had 1.1 million views.

Other original CNBC digital series include “Young Money,” a financial advice show aimed at millennials hosted by reporter Landon Dowdy; “Save Me,” a series about how to cut costs with consumer reporter Kelli Grant; and “Tech Unboxings,” with recent episodes covering the Apple iPhone 6 and Google Nexus 9.

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