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Published on March 15th, 2018 | by Brad Gibson

NBC News eyes streaming app targeting younger viewers; slams Facebook

NBC News is planning to launch a streaming service this year targeted at younger viewers wanting on-demand news rather than live programming.

Reuters reported the news Wednesday after a briefing with NBC News chairman Andy Lack at which he revealed not only the networks’ plans, but the successes and failures the company has had in reaching the lucrative millennial market.

Lack said NBC News is working now on the details of the streaming channel and has not yet decided if the service will be subscription based or advertising-supported channel like another major competitor, CBS News, which has operated the live and on-demand streaming service CBSN since November 2014. CBSN is available on Apple TV.

The exact format of the streaming service has not been revealed, nor what streaming platforms – if any – NBC News plans to use to distribute it, although obvious possibilities would include Apple TV, Roku, Google Chromecast, and Amazon Fire Stick.

Lack said the decision to launch a new streaming service for younger viewers comes after NBC News launched in January a twice-daily news show on Snapchat called Stay Tuned.

Focusing more on its digital business with a $500 million investment by Comcast NBCUniversal in Snapchat owner Snap Inc, Stay Tuned has 5 million subscribers and is on track to have 37 million to 38 million unique visitors in March, up from 33 million in February, the company said.

The news program is broadcast twice during the week and once on the weekend covering national and international news, politics, and pop culture.

Lack is optimistic a millennial-targeted streaming channel could be a success based on the increased retention of viewers coming back to Snapchat to watch Stay Tuned. More than half of the 33 million unique visitors watched the show at least three times in the past week, said Nick Ascheim, head of digital content at NBC News.

Lack also told Reuters the network has had limited success in distributing its news content on Facebook and has no plans to bring any of its content back there. Despite its size, the news chairman said Facebook is not a friendly environment to news organizations.

“Facebook doesn’t have value for publishers,” he bluntly said.

Lacks announcement came on the same day as U.S. TV-viewing research from Parks Associates revealed nearly 60 percent of video viewed on the TV is on-demand compared to watching live. More than 70 percent of TV viewing by young consumers is from sources other than live TV or live streaming, the report said.

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About the Author

Brad is co-founder and editor-in-chief of BESTAppleTV.com. He has been a technology reporter since the late 1980s having previously worked for MacUser, MacFormat, and iCreate magazines, as well as MacNN.com, MacObserver.com, MacCentral.com, MacMinute.com, and Macworld.com. He hosted and produced the MacFormat This Week podcast for three years. He was also a reporter, editor, and producer for the Associated Press and United Press International.



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