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NBC WANTS VIEWERS TO STAY TUNED In the seismic shift towards mobile, short-form content, NBC is already ahead of the competition, reports Jenny Priestley


BCUniversal has been at the forefront of reaching out to the key millennial demographic through social media; it was the first major media partner to develop and produce shows for Snapchat. The video- and photo-sharing app for mobile phones is used daily by 166 million people around the world. NBC News has now launched a twice-daily news show, Stay Tuned, on Snapchat’s Discover platform. Viewers can use the app to watch the show, which appears at 7am and 4pm Eastern Time during the week and at 1pm at weekends. For a show that’s only been ‘on air’ for six weeks, there’s already a full-scale production team in place, as Stay Tuned’s executive producer Andrew Springer explains. “Our show is basically 24/7 so we’re always on call and always doing the news. I wake up about the same time as you wake up, literally when it’s 7am in London that’s when I’m waking up. It’s a crazy schedule.” Springer says the show has grown out of NBC’s attempts to reach viewers who are not watching news on linear TV. “We’re reaching a whole new audience of people who probably aren’t watching evening newscasts, they probably aren’t turning the television on in the morning. That’s part of the central question - how do we do great journalism, how do we get people to see our great journalism? I think it shows the

commitment of NBC News to reaching new audiences and telling people what they need to know.” Emily Passer, director of digital communications, NBC News, explains another reason to launch on Snapchat was that NBC News’ journalists and correspondents already had an affinity with working with app. “Even during the US election, a lot of our correspondents and reporters were posting on their own Snapchat as well as NBC’s channel and we were seeing that those stories were getting picked up by the larger Snapchat-owned Stories about the election, really more than any other news organisation had been picked up.” In fact, Snapchat saw more than 35 million viewers tune in to their Election Day coverage on the platform. “Snapchat reached out and said they wanted to do a news show and it seemed to them that we knew what we were doing and that’s how it morphed into what it is now,” explains Passer. NBC has already launched a number of its entertainment shows on Snapchat including The Voice and Saturday Night Live. So why change genre to news? “The platform lends itself to entertainment very easily, but news was almost an obvious next step, we just had to find the right format and the right time to release it,” explains Passer. What can viewers of Stay Tuned expect to see? “We give them an update of what the news is and we give


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TVBE September 2017  
TVBE September 2017