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The Shift of Live Content from Traditional Broadcast TV to Online

by Billy Nayden | Dec. 6, 2018

The shift of live content from traditional broadcast television to online sources has significantly changed the video industry, especially with the news media. The rise of live online alternatives extends those capabilities to nontraditional voices in the digital realm, including bloggers, social media influencers, independent video creators, digital networks, and over-the-top news services. The combination of digital creators and more professional digital networks, like Cheddar, offers consumers more news options than ever, and consumers easily can choose the type of news media they want to watch.

The decline in local broadcast news viewership has exacerbated the decline in diversity of coverage. Consumers have been replacing local news with news from social media and national outlets. Recent surveys have confirmed the overall growth of social media news, growth among viewers 50 and older, and social media's place among young viewers. Sixty-seven percent of U.S. adults reported getting some of their news from social media in 2017, up from 62 percent in 2016. 

With news shifting to digital in such a pervasive way, many changes have occurred with regard to the way news organizations drive viewers to their content. Specifically, news organizations have been using video as a larger part, or the only part, of their content mix. Starting in 2017, a number of news organizations, such as MTV News and Vocativ, pivoted to video, where they abandoned long-form articles, fired a majority of their writing and editing staff, and pursued a solely video-focused strategy. 

Media organizations, which build their digital strategies based on these algorithms, can see their traffic from social media drop when these changes occur, as happened recently to BuzzFeed, HuffPost and Mashable. News organizations will address these challenges, as the need for video and online live options is a key part of the new strategy for news and content organizations. The decline in viewing on linear television should not be mistaken for dwindling consumer interest in live news coverage. Live video in a variety of content categories -- sports, news and events -- has tremendous appeal to all viewers and continues to play a critical role in the content business. Consumers seem more than willing to watch ads during online news coverage as opposed to scripted television, indicating there are new business opportunities in this area.

This article was originally published in E-Commerce Times.

Billy Nayden

Billy Nayden

Research Analyst

INDUSTRY EXPERTISE: Entertainment content and services, virtual reality, sports media, gaming/esports

Billy is a research analyst on the entertainment services research team, specializing in entertainment content production and monetization. He brings experience from both the sports journalism and data analytics industries, making him uniquely positioned to study trends in television and the dynamic entertainment industry as a whole.

Billy earned his Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing from Southern Methodist University, where he minored in Sport Management and Film and Media Arts.

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