We’ve all heard The Buggles sing “Video Killed the Radio Star.” But it’s looking more like video may be the saviour of the newspaper.

Video was the overwhelming theme at the recent INMA World Congress in New York – and various Digital Content New Fronts (DCNF) events going on throughout the city at the same time.

The reason is “click and stay,” or traction.

All publishers know how to attract that first click with a hot story or must-know sports score. But to get the audience to stick around, better yet return day after day?

Video is the answer.

That’s the message of a INMA report from April, which shows that online video does more than profoundly engage the reader. It’s also “potentially the No. 1 revenue growth opportunity for publishers,” says Earl J. Wilkinson, INMA executive director and CEO.

That online video is booming shouldn’t come as a surprise, considering the staggering growth of YouTube, which delivered more than 1 trillion views — or about 140 views for every person on Earth — in 2011.

The bonus for newspapers is that they can combine video with their traditional strength in storytelling.

The British press has been using videos for years. The Daily Telegraph is the largest UK newspaper on YouTube, where its videos have been viewed 95 million times, according to a study conducted by VOD Professional.

James Weeks, the Telegraph’s head of video, says this has empowered his company to report stories in more diverse ways.

“For example, we’ll use video to boost interactive storytelling,” Weeks said. “We’re reporting with video-led stories, where sometimes the words will come second.”

Echoing the INMA report, he notes that video is “a really important revenue stream, and one which is growing.”

The Toronto Sun newspaper has integrated video into every aspect of its operations – news, sports, politics – and credits this strategy with boosting online readership by 30% for two years running.

Sports coverage is a natural fit, with reporters shooting video at practices and games and embedding them in stories, so “it’s not a static experience anymore,” says Toronto Sun Editor-in-Chief Jamie Wallace.

The potential is clear. The challenges for newspapers are:

  1. To get access to good video.

  2. To find ways to monetise it.

Michael Rosenblum, founder of New York Times Television, suggests that newspapers start thinking of themselves as media production houses.

“Rupert Murdoch understands this. Every publisher has to understand this,” Rosenblum says.

The easiest solution for publishers is to team up with a content provider that will give access to not only the latest sports highlights, but also the interviews that make the story both local and engaging.

This new breed of content provider is already spending millions of dollars on acquiring exclusive rights and is eager to partner with publishers, just as wire services like Reuters and Associated Press did in the past.

The video being generated is professionally produced and broadcast quality. And implementation couldn’t be easier. By embedding just a few lines of code into an existing Web site, online publishers can instantly combine the best of both worlds: print and television.