Pixar’s “Blue Umbrella” and sneaky YouTube views

The Wall Street Journal’s YouTube channel had a hit recently. But not really.

According to Ad Age, a teaser for Pixar’s animated short “The Blue Umbrella” was posted by the WSJ and that clip has generated more than 2 million views.

This is why you can’t take digital analytics at face value. The WSJ didn’t produce this video. Pixar did. The draw was Pixar. (And beyond that, the teaser itself is underwhelming.)

The Wall Street Journal is Not a Newspaper

Rupert Murdoch continues to bang the drum for pay walls: “Quality journalism is not cheap,” Mr Murdoch said, noting that the success of The Wall Street Journal’s online subscription offering has convinced him that consumers will pay for news online…

Rupert Murdoch continues to bang the drum for pay walls:

“Quality journalism is not cheap,” Mr Murdoch said, noting that the success of The Wall Street Journal’s online subscription offering has convinced him that consumers will pay for news online that differentiates itself from the mass of information available free on the web. “A newspaper that gives away its content is simply cannibalising its ability to produce good reporting.”

There’s a fine distinction within this excerpt: The Wall Street Journal is not a newspaper. It’s a provider of targeted information that its audience uses to guide financial decisions. The value proposition is driven by the actions and outcomes the information facilitates. General news rarely offers this type of value, which means the commonalities between the WSJ and newspapers are limited to bits, print, ink and distribution.

That’s not to say the WSJ doesn’t provide a lesson for general news publishers. The key is to provide tangible, actionable value for the audience via content. That’s what WSJ subscribers are buying (or configuring …)