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Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

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Photo by Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto via Getty Images

NBC is planning to launch a streaming platform for younger viewers, executives told reporters Wednesday. The network is also revamping its digital strategy to focus on platforms that value curation and editorial judgement.

Why it matters: The efforts are part of a wider push by the company to invest in younger viewers, as linear TV audiences migrate towards digital news consumption.

What they're saying: While plans for a streaming platform are nascent at this point, NBC News Chairman Andy Lack says introducing younger viewers to the NBC brand is a huge part of the network's longterm strategy. "They don't want to watch television. They want to watch it in a digital platform."

The details

Executives at NBC News and NBC News Digital Thursday said they are viewing content partnerships and distribution through two buckets: open platforms and closed. Open platforms, like Facebook, have simply become marketing channels, Lack says, while closed platforms, like Snapchat, have become valuable content distribution partners.

Here's where NBC sees the distribution landscape heading:

  • Open platforms, like YouTube, Twitter and — particularly — Facebook have become marketing channels that are relied on mostly for extending their brand.
  • Closed platforms, like Snapchat, Amazon, Apple, Hulu, Netflix, Roku and YouTube TV, have become strategic distribution partners for content, where they can make money and develop more loyal audiences.

Lack touted Snapchat as being a great content partner, and continued to call Facebook "Fake book," a comment he made earlier this year.

  • Executives say its Snapchat show "Stay Tuned" has been enormously successful, luring an audience that's 75% under 25.
  • "Stay Tuned," they say, has seen 33M unique viewers in February, with roughly half being "core viewers," meaning viewers that have watched the show at least three times in the last seven days.

Our thought bubble: The distribution ecosystem for digital content is rapidly evolving, and until now, it's been difficult to understand where the power lied between platforms (content distributors) and publishers (content creators).

  • NBC's investments show that tech platforms that value curation and editorial judgement as opposed to broad access to user generated content, may prevail in winning value publisher intellectual property as valuable assets to their business moving forward.

Go deeper

"Atmospheric river" swings Northern California from drought to flood

The bomb cyclone and atmospheric river seen via satellite on Sunday. The center of the storm is at the middle of the comma shape, due west of Washington State. (CIRA/RAMMB)

A series of powerful "atmospheric river" storms are delivering historic amounts of rainfall across parts of drought-stricken California and the Pacific Northwest from this weekend, forecasters warn.

Why it matters: A strong atmospheric river, packing large amounts of moisture, is predicted to whiplash Northern California from drought to flood.

Mike Allen, author of AM
5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Fauci fires back at Rand Paul for slam on tonight's "Axios on HBO"

Responding to charges by Sen. Rand Paul on Sunday's "Axios on HBO," NIAID director Anthony Fauci told "ABC This Week" that it's "molecularly impossible" for U.S.-funded bat virus research in China to have produced COVID-19.

Why it matters: The issue 0f Wuhan research was reignited on the right last week with a National Institutes of Health letter to Congress disclosing more about the research.

Manchin, Schumer huddle with Biden in Delaware to discuss spending bill

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (left) and Sen. Joe Manchin at the U.S. Capitol in 2014. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) will meet with President Biden and Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) on Sunday morning in Delaware as Democrats look to reach an agreement on the massive spending measure.

Driving the news: Democrats are still negotiating what to keep in the bill and how to pay for it, with Biden saying on Thursday that the party does not have the votes to raise the corporate tax rate.

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