Being a former newsie myself, I make a point to watch my local news as much as possible. However, due to budget cuts and slashed staffs, local broadcast outlets are leaning heavily on national news feeds and viral videos to fill their time slots. My feeling is much like that of the viewing audience: If I wanted to watch a story about kittens "finding their meow," I'll just watch it online. News producers, are you listening?
comScore recently released their February 2012 online video stats, which reinforces my own attitude towards news content. Online news videos garnered almost 815 million views in February, from just 38 million videos posted on the websites of various news outlets. comScore also revealed that all those views came from more than 72 million unique viewers (more than 179 million viewers watching all sorts of online video during the month). A partnership between Yahoo! and ABC News - the two media powers joined forces in October, 2011 - can take credit for half of those views, snagging 43 million uniques and 411 million video views.
Unique views and content consumption are great indicators that viewers still want relevant news coverage. However, the fact that so many viewers are getting their news after the fact means local broadcasters need to work even harder - with less resources - to find content that's going keep their lights on. It's an endless struggle, but I'm confident that as technology evolves, so will our friends in the media. At least, that's what the kittens have taught me: anything is possible if you put a little meow into it.