Cutting the cable cord is becoming more and more common every day as people realize that they don't need to pay hefty fees monthly for content that that are mostly not watching. But there is one kind of content that people really are looking for that hasn't been available through streaming services, and this content is a driving factor in many families keeping their cable - local news.
In order to get local news, streaming customers had to either buy at least a basic cable subscription or try to use an antenna to get some kind of signal. Neither of these is a perfect solution, particularly as we become more and more accustomed to on demand viewing and high quality images. Most local news channels now offer a great deal of content, including video content, on their websites, but this content is often scattered and just not terribly convenient or complete.
NewsOn provides a free, ad supported option for viewing local news online. Five of the big hitters in broadcast television - Media General, Hearst Television, Disney’s ABC Owned Television Station Group, Cox Media Group, and Raycom Media, have all jumped on board with this service, which is available on phones and tablets as well as on Roku.
This service is a lot more than just the standard local news broadcast, which is also available, but it actually allows viewers to use timeline viewing in order to jump to the stories that interest them. There are live broadcasts available, time shifted broadcasts available, local news clips, and breaking news compilations that are put together by the news teams at local stations. All in all, NewsOn is a much more 21st century platform than anything that is currently available. Besides these features, there are also in app ways to participate in the local dialogue on issues through livetweets, contributing to the topics as they develop.
How do you choose your station? Viewers can choose their location based on an interactive map that gives them the ability to choose their location and so to choose a news station of their preference.
Local news stations are a wholly different beast than national broadcasters. Markets are complex and individualized, and local stations have traditionally negotiated their own contracts and created their own way, separated entirely from the negotiations of their parent affiliations. This is the big reason that we haven't yet seen a push to get local news online. But times are changing, with many local stations seeing dramatic falls in viewership as cable subscriptions have fallen. In order to stay relevant, local stations are having to become more open to innovation like NewsOn.
Any way you slice it, this is an incredibly exciting development for cord cutters, allowing them to place one of the final pieces in the puzzle of getting rid of cable.