Local TV news stations have long been distributing video on their own websites, and those sites have become a significant source of revenue for them, as well as an important part of many stations’ overall digital strategies.
In their “Future of Local TV News” study, researchers Debora Wenger, Bob Papper and Deborah Caro Goldman found that local TV news companies are investing in new distribution platforms including over-the-top delivery to increase their revenue.
OTT is termed as “the new generation of TV,” and many hope this platform will provide local stations opportunities to attract new audiences. In 2017, YouTube launched a live OTT service, offering subscription-based access to ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC and other networks. It is estimated that the OTT sector will become a $50 billion industry by 2020.
According to Pew Research, video news consumption is growing and the percentage of people watching news on websites, apps and social media increased from 38% in 2016 to 43% in 2017. Since Facebook Live was launched in 2016, live video production and dissemination has exploded. Facebook is providing access to an audience watching 100 million hours of video each day. Of the total internet traffic in 2017, some 69% was video.
Researcher found that almost all local and national television stations have prioritized social media or their own website, not only to fetch revenue but also to reach a wider audience with their newscasts. Newspapers and online media are also using video clips on their websites to give their readers a different feel. And all these efforts are aimed at attracting audience which will lure advertisers to put on their ads.
Wenger; Debora, Papper; Bob & Goldman; Deborah Caro (2018) Knight Foundation, The Future of Local News, April 5, 2018.