May 29, 2019

NBC News launches streaming service to lure young viewers

Photo: NBC News

NBC News launched "NBC News NOW" on Wednesday, a streaming service with 8 hours of live programming daily that's designed to capture the attention of younger generations of news consumers.

Why it matters: It's the latest TV network to dive into the news streaming wars. CBS, ABC and CNN have all debuted streaming news products in recent years.

Details: The service will feature video, reporting and segments from the broader NBCUniversal and NBC News teams. It will include short-form videos that feature breaking news, analysis, reporting and newsmaker interviews around the world.

  • "The content is original and produced specifically for this audience," says Rashida Jones, SVP of specials for NBC News Group and the executive overseeing the launch of NBC News NOW.
  • The service will launch with 8 hours of daily, continuous programming from 3 pm to 11 pm on weekdays, but eventually the network hopes to make it a 24/7 streaming news channel. Jones says NBC chose to start later in the day because research showed that most consumers watched news video segments in the evening.
  • NOW is available to stream on, the NBC News mobile app and on the NBC News app on OTT devices, including Apple TV, Roku and Amazon Fire TV. It isn't being licensed to Pay-TV providers as a standalone OTT channel yet, although sources say this could be a possibility in the future.

Between the lines: Like most other news streaming services, NBC News NOW will be fully ad supported and will have no subscription offering. NBCUniversal's sales teams will sell advertising for NBC News NOW. There are 4 ads per hour at around 2 minutes each, according to a company spokesperson. Citi is a presenting sponsor.

Be smart: NBC News may be late to the streaming news game, but it is ahead of its rivals when it comes to creating millennial-first news products.

  • Specifically, its Snapchat show "Stay Tuned" reaches millions of millennials monthly, and it is often cited by Snap as a success story of how a news company can grow its audience using its platform.

The bottom line: Jones acknowledges that it was not first to the marketplace, but says that the amount of original programming NBC News NOW will offer will be an attractive offering for younger audiences.

  • CBS launched CBSN, its 24/7 streaming news channel, in 2014. ABC launched ABC News Live in 2018, which has less original programming than CBS. CNN launched CNN Go in 2014, which mostly makes its live programming accessible. CNN launched Great Big Story a year later, which features cinematic videos.

Go deeper

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 662,073 — Total deaths: 30,780 — Total recoveries: 139,426.
  2. U.S.: Leads the world in cases. Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 122,666 — Total deaths: 2,147 — Total recoveries: 1,073.
  3. Federal government latest: President Trump announces "strong" travel advisories for New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, rules out quarantine enforcement.
  4. State updates: Alaska is latest state to issue a stay-at-home order — New York is trying to nearly triple its hospital capacity in less than a month and has moved its presidential primary to June 23. Some Midwestern swing voters who backed Trump's handling of the virus less than two weeks ago are balking at his call for the U.S. to be "opened up" by Easter.
  5. World updates: In Spain, over 1,400 people were confirmed dead between Thursday to Saturday.
  6. 🚀 Space updates: OneWeb filed for bankruptcy amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.
  7. Hollywood: Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson have returned to U.S. after being treated for coronavirus.
  8. What should I do? Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk
  9. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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Trump flags travel adversaries for New York, New Jersey, Connecticut

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

President Trump said Saturday night the CDC would issue a "strong" travel advisory" for New York, New Jersey and Connecticut and that a "quarantine will not be necessary."

The big picture: With more than 121,000 people infected, the U.S. has the most COVID-19 cases in the world, exceeding China and Italy, per data from Johns Hopkins. A second wave of American cities, including Boston, Detroit, New Orleans and Philadelphia, are reporting influxes of cases.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 8 mins ago - Health

Trump rules out quarantine in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut after pushback

President Trump on the White House grounds on Saturdya. Photo: Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images

President Trump tweeted Saturday night that he's decided not to introduce quarantine enforcement measures fo New York, New Jersey and parts of Connecticut, but a "strong" travel advisory will be issued for those states.

Why it matters: The president said hours earlier he was considering the move to combat the rise in novel coronavirus cases. But he received pushback, most notably from New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D), who told CNN it would cause "chaos." "This would be a federal declaration of war on states," Cuomo added.

Go deeper: Updates on coronavirus in the U.S.