The evening newscast is in the midst of a sad march toward extinction, according to Netflix CEO Reed Hastings.
At the DealBook Conference, Hastings took some time to dispel rumours that Netflix might want to dip its toe into the news business. When asked if Netflix would ever consider a live evening newscast, Hastings replied: “You don’t want to invest in things that are dying,” according to the New York Times.
Netflix recently had to fend off buzz that it was going into news when Netflix content chief Ted Sarandos said the company would probably move into direct competition with Vice. Netflix later confirmed he had meant documentaries, not live news and reporting.
Hastings isn’t the only one to prophesize doom for the evening news. The NBC Nightly News has a median audience age of 52, and millennials are increasingly getting their news from social media sources like Facebook. Last year, a survey showed that most Americans couldn’t identify Brian Williams, who at the time was helming the top evening news show.
And the traditional news format doesn’t seem to translate well to mobile.
Yahoo was kicked off Snapchat’s news-oriented “Discover” feature because it couldn’t connect with young audiences. Snapchat insiders said Katie Couric’s Yahoo dispatches felt too much like traditional news broadcasts.
And anything that feels like traditional newscasts seems, unfortunately, to be the kiss of death.
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