"When we took a look at what was out there, it seemed Tout was really the best of its class," Digital First CEO John Paton said in an interview from New York.
Paton has frequently urged newspaper companies to embrace the Web or risk extinction. And, he said Tuesday, "video has become a compelling part of the Web experience."
Tout was spun out of venerable Palo Alto think tank SRI, and its investors include Chinese billionaire Li Ka-shing -- an early Facebook backer -- and former NBA superstar Shaquille O'Neal. O'Neal in 2011 announced his retirement from pro basketball via the video platform.
Tout CEO Michael Downing said that while the Web has remained a largely static, text-based experience, that's rapidly changing. Twitter, for instance, recently unveiled an app called Vine that lets users shoot and post six-second videos.
Touts can be as long as 15 seconds; Downing said many news organizations used the service to post updates to the Web after the Boston Marathon bombings.
He also said 27 million users have interacted with Tout in the past month, a number he expects to quadruple thanks to the Digital First partnership.
Paton envisions his company's more than 2,000 journalists using Tout to beef up Digital First's websites and social media offerings. Financial terms of the arrangement were not disclosed.