A new pilot video series by KPCC in Southern California aims to marry video with the distinct voice of public radio. The neat effect while playing “The Whale Warehouse,” the debut video on KPCC’s AudioVision site: Close your eyes and you might feel as if you were listening to a made-for-radio piece.
With the exception of a few spots in the video — like when co-host Mae Ryan tells viewers they might want to fast-forward if they get queasy looking at blood — the audio could stand alone. That’s how tight the narration is, and one reason an AudioVision story takes many days to produce.
KPCC visual journalist Grant Slater told Poynter via phone that AudioVision takes inspiration from Radiolab and NPR. But their video stories are done on a one-off basis, Slater said, so the goal with AudioVision is to serialize the TV on the radio — or radio on the TV — similar to what Vice Media, PBS Off Book and the New York Times’ Op-Docs properties have achieved.
AudioVision will publish four more videos — not all about science — over the next few months, taking advantage of the growing channelization of web video on sites like YouTube and Vimeo to build its brand and meet viewers where they are. That’s especially important for a news organization like KPCC, which isn’t known yet as a destination for great video products, Slater said.
Time-consuming multimedia projects can be tough sells, especially at newspapers and radio stations where video isn’t “in their DNA” like it is at Vice and PBS, as Slater put it. But an advantage of the AudioVision model to my mind is that the audio is so strong that it could likely run on the radio on its own, too. Said Slater: “Eventually, if this grew more, you could easily see it becoming a radio property as well.”
Watch “The Whale Warehouse” via Vimeo below: