NBC is debuting its free, ad-supported streaming news service this week, positioning it to marketers as a way to reach a new generation of news consumers who are likely already updated on the news but not yet deeply informed.
Programming on the over-the-top service is being designed to look more like something you’d see on digital. But from an advertising perspective, at least initially, NBC News Now will more closely resemble traditional TV.
NBC’s service has about four ad breaks every hour running about two minutes each, making the commercial time comparable to traditional TV. “NBC Nightly News,” for example, airs about three-and-a-half minutes of commercials in its half-hour broadcast.
But NBC News Now is promising a much younger audience, between the ages of 25-45, who may not have access to a pay-TV service.
Citi is an initial sponsor of the service, mostly airing traditional video ads.
NBC News Now launches Wednesday with eight hours of daily programming from 3 p.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Friday, with the goal of becoming a 24-7 streaming news channel.
NBC News Now joins a growing arena of streaming news services, including CBS’ 24-7 OTT channel CBSN, Fox News’ Fox Nation and ABC News Live.
NBC News Now, which has about 20 dedicated staffers, will air original programming—not content repurposed from NBC News or the "Today" show. The programming is made specifically for digital and streaming audiences and is designed to feel more mobile-friendly and more conversational in tone. There will be live coverage of breaking news and important events, including upcoming Democratic presidential debates; hourly updates on current headlines; live reports from the field that include reporters using mobile phones to offer various vantage points; and in-depth explainers and feature stories.
It’s available to stream on desktop, through NBC News’ mobile app and on over-the-top services like Apple TV, Roku and Amazon Fire TV.