NBC's microformat news show "Stay Tuned" on Snapchat is picking up — and keeping — viewers, according to a MediaPost report on internal figures released by the network.
Some 30 million people have watched the two- to three-minute streams, according to the network. And more than 40% of viewers tuned in at least 3x a week. Some 60% of viewers are in the coveted millennial age group.
- In the wake of this success, NBC is investing more heavily in the program, according to MediaPost. A new graphics and logo package will debut Friday, and the show’s format will expand to include on-camera guest segments.
NBC News launched "Stay Tuned" about a month ago in an effort to reach Snapchat's younger audience. The collaboration could prove to be a winner for both the platform and the news network if early results can be sustained long-term.
Snap could use a win after lackluster financial results put it in a position of having to prove to investors it can continue to provide value. Q2 revenue for the platform's parent company and user growth both missed expectations this month. Snapchat stressed that its strengths continue to be its programmatic and self-serve ad options, and the site continues to lead competitor Instagram among coveted younger consumers. But investors were not convinced. Creative content offerings could be one piece in helping Snap recover some of the shine that attracted investors previously.
The news industry and younger consumers have had a troubled relationship. It’s been more than a decade now since the first hyperbolic, panic-riddled missives about young people’s alleged disinterest in news first appeared related to Gen Y. And the fear among news executives, who have witnessed an endless series of print news brands close, continues.
NBC Universal, by contrast, seems to have developed a more flexible approach to dealing with the forces buffeting the news and media industry. Rather than bemoaning the lack of Gen Y’s interest in traditional news platforms, the company is willing to experiment with unconventional approaches that cater to young people’s mobile habits. The seeming success of “Stay Tuned” suggests that such open-mindedness is paying off.
And even if millennials don’t “Stay Tuned” for long, NBC probably won’t worry. Old-timers will remember that even embarrassing attempts to win over young viewers can reap unexpected dividends. Consider “The Site” — an hilarious-in-retrospect show on MSNBC two decades ago that aimed to explain the emerging culture of the Internet and win over Gen X viewers. That show didn’t last ...but it gave NBC one of its biggest stars: Soledad O’Brien.