NBC News Now New Ad Campaign  

Amid continued erosion of the cable bundle (and therefore the reach of cable news channels), NBC News is embarking on a fresh pitch for its NBC News Now streaming offering. The free, ad-supported streaming service (which the company says is profitable) launched four years ago, but NBC News executive VP Janelle Rodriguez, who oversees News Now, thinks there is more to do.

“A lot of people have already discovered us, have fallen in love with us and keep coming back to us,” Rodriguez says, adding that “we want to keep reintroducing ourselves to new audiences who are seeking out that kind of 24 hour news accessibility.”

“We have the dual task of both raising awareness for people who are heavy news consumers, and they have been getting their news on linear television for decades, letting them know we’re there,” Rodriguez adds. “But certainly for younger audiences, which dominates our audience on News Now. They know it exists, and they’re just not watching appointment television on the networks in the same way that previous generations did.”

And so beginning Thursday the company will roll out a new brand campaign for News Now, one featuring its stable of anchors and correspondents in studio and in the field with the tagline “news for the generation of now.” Rodriguez notes that it is a point of pride that all the News Now anchors also report from outside of the studio. Tom Llamas, for example, anchored his Wednesday show from Juarez, Mexico as the U.S. braces for the end of Title 42.

“NBC News now is meant to be a 24/7 expression of NBC News, right? So when you turn it on, you should see at any given moment the very best of our reporting, and all of the correspondents that we have both around the country and around the world,” Rodriguez says. “Unlike the direction of cable, we don’t go heavy on guests and talking heads. I think there’s a lot of fatigue in the audience out there with the talking head format, and so we’re really leaning into what is our strength, which is the fact that we do have correspondents around the country, and around the world at any given hour on any given day.”

Rodriguez says that News Now is already seeing a substantial audience among younger news consumers, with the service seeing viewership bumps around major events, followed by a new higher “floor” of viewership after.

“Young people are consuming the news in huge numbers, but you have to be where they’re watching organically, and you cannot expect them to just come to where you want them to be just because you say so,” she says.

To that end, the brand spot also highlights that News Now is “streaming” “free” and “everywhere.”

It is, to hear Rodriguez tell it, part of an organic shift in how consumers get their video news.

“In the same way that when you look entertainment video consumption overall, it’s not going down,” she says. “People are watching as much [news] as they’ve ever watched, if not more, they’re just shifting where they’re getting it from.”

“That’s why for us again, we have this ‘be everywhere’ strategy, because the distribution lines are getting so fragmented that you have got to be everywhere to get that critical mass, you cannot just be in one place from our point of view.”

Watch the new brand spot, below.

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