As social media sites become more and more of a news source, particularly for young people, many are wondering if traditional media will ultimately die out. To cater to much-discussed Millennials, companies such as NowThis News are relying on the web and social media to relay the news. While some traditional media organizations are keeping up with the times and adapting to social media, others are not. As the president of BuzzFeed recently asked, has traditional media given up on young people? And even more importantly, have young people given up on traditional media?
At NowThis News, 15-second news segments are the norm. Primarily using Instagram video, NowThis News targets the younger generation by relaying the news through social media as well as an app. With 15-20 million views per month on its app and over 50,000 followers on Instagram, NowThis News has proven highly successful with young people. For example, during the government shutdown, NowThis News produced different segments for Instagram, Vine, and its mobile app, drawing an average of 300 likes and 10+ comments per video post.
Editor in chief Ed O’Keefe has found that while Millennials want to be aware of current affairs just as much as older adults, they are much less likely to have cable, watch the news, or seek out news through online newspapers. Instead, they are expecting the news to come to them via social media. By posting approximately 50 news segments per day, NowThis News always has current events at the fingertips of users on different social media platforms as well as its mobile app.
As Mashable reports, the response of traditional media is a mixed bag. For the most part, traditional news organizations are not using social media to anywhere near the extent of NowThis News or similar news organizations that target Millennials, such as BuzzFeed. However, popular news sources such as The Huffington Post, NPR, and CBS This Morning are using Instagram video and posting original content. NPR in particular is planning to bring more breaking news to Instagram Video, and CBS This Morning uses Instagram Video to produce unique segments called “News in 15,” which are similar to NowThis News’s segments.
The president of BuzzFeed, Jon Steinberg, recently stated, “We feel strongly that traditional media have given up on young people.” As another news source that targets the younger generation, BuzzFeed has found that 70% of its traffic comes from social media sources. Steinberg believes that traditional news sources cannot appeal to the younger generation without putting social media at the forefront of their content sharing strategy.
Personally, I agree with Steinberg. As a Millennial myself, I fully admit to rarely checking out the news either on TV or online. However, I do get my news through content that my friends share on social media. If news sources want to continue being relevant to the younger generations, it is imperative that they embrace social media and begin producing and sharing content in new ways, similarly to NowThis News.
What do you think about the future of traditional media?