They’re okay with waiting a year to see the episode I watched last night.
How many DON’T have cable/satellite?
85% (No CNN, MSNBC or Fox. For ESPN events, they may go to a bar or a friend’s house that has cable.) Only two people who dropped cable had broadcast antennas.
I asked the others, “How do you watch local news?” Many don’t … and they work in the business. Four or so said they watched the live stream on their phone. But they admitted they could be easily distracted.
These are people who work in news and they don’t feel compelled to watch local news.
Why? I’m not entirely sure. Clearly they felt they got the news they needed from other online sources. More important, I got the sense they felt local news wasn’t relevant to them. They admitted that their friends outside the business don’t watch local news at all.
For ratings, we have a tendency to focus on the +35 demo. We know how to produce for that viewer. The under 35 demo is a shrinking local news audience – the numbers may resemble a ski slope.
This should scare us. We need to start discussions, research and planning to understand what will get this consumer to watch local news. Will they watch local news?
Consider holding strategy sessions driven by your employees younger than 35. Take the +35 managers out of the initial loop. See what the younger demo wants to create without the +35 bias. Empower them to come up with a project to create content their peers will seek out. Produce it. Test it.
If we don’t figure this out soon we could be facing a viewership that is truly aging out of the demos we sell. And that would be a tragedy.