News organizations are among the latest to captivate audiences on Snapchat. NBC News is regaling millennials with 3- to 5-minute news briefs in its show, “Stay Tuned.” The show covers the day’s national and international headlines and airs twice daily at 7 a.m. and 4 p.m. ET on Snapchat.
This is Snapchat’s first-ever daily news program, and it’s been wildly popular so far. One month after its launch in July, “Stay Tuned” garnered over 29 million viewers. And those viewers are sticking around: 40% of viewers tune in at least three days per week.
Consistent with Snapchat’s core demographic, 60% of the “Stay Tuned” audience is under 25.
The News on Social Habit
News networks have long leveraged the power of social media, like Twitter and Facebook, to amplify their content. But NBC is taking it to a new level by airing a twice-daily show exclusively on Snapchat. CNN and The New York Times have also launched news programs on Snapchat.
In line with this trend, a growing proportion Snapchat’s users are turning to Snapchat to get their news. In 2017, the Pew Research Center found that 29% of Snapchat users consume news on the platform — a 12% increase from 2016. According to that same analysis, Twitter and YouTube have also significantly grown the share of users who consume news on those platforms between 2016 and 2017.
NBC is creating a daily news habit among millennials that’s not unlike the nightly TV newscast ritual of other generations. The consistency of the “Stay Tuned”, combined with its brevity, could even build some trust and loyalty among this historically brand agnostic audience.
The successful launch of NBC’s broadcast on Snapchat comes as Facebook looks to become a destination for original programming.
Real estate on social networks is becoming more valuable to advertisers. Facebook is running out of ad space to sell and looking to retain its dwindling teenage and millennial users, who are abandoning the platform in favor of Snapchat. This leaves Facebook turning to original content, as well as content from brands and news publishers.
When it comes to news, however, Snapchat may have a leg up. Facebook’s reputation as a trusted news source has been severely tarnished by fake news.
Social Media = Mass Media?
More often, social platforms are assuming the role of media hub that TV networks have traditionally occupied. Social networks are starting to look more like mass media companies that host (or are gateways to) content/entertainment, commerce, and news. The key difference is that social networks have tons of personal data on users to deliver content in a hyper-targeted way, unlike mass media.
NBC and other news networks that ventured into Snapchat are on to something. I’m an avid consumer of news on more traditional platforms — radio and an email newsletter. But one of the first apps I open in the morning is a social platform (Instagram), and I’m not alone. 46% of Americans check their phones before they emerge from bed in the morning, and 67% get some of their news on social media.
News content delivered on social media fits naturally into this existing routine of so many. Other newsmakers surely won’t be far behind in offering content tailormade for users of social networks.