Like most publishers, Newsy wants to reach consumers on every type of screen out there. But it’s particularly fixed on being on the biggest screens, as in the living room. And if it can disrupt the likes of CNN along the way, all the better.
“The big picture for us is really moving toward the big screen, no matter what that big screen is,” says Newsy GM Blake Sabatinelli. “Really giving people that ten-foot screen and saying, ‘lean back, watch the news and learn something and get a better understanding of the world around you.’ That’s our big goal.”
Nearing its ninth anniversary, Newsy knows it needs to gain a deep foothold with over-the-top viewers “because that’s where the industry is heading and you’ll have huge amounts of penetration in the next five to seven years,” Sabatinelli says in this interview with Beet.TV at the Digital Content NewFronts.
Newsy just announced three new series, a new two-hour, live news show, several new advertising deals and a new partnership with Tru Optik for advertiser performance guarantees, as ADWEEK reports.
Last year the company owned by The E.W. Scripps Company branched out beyond OTT by cutting its first cable channel deal with Cincinnati Bell. Newsy was one of the first digital natives on the Sling TV platform. “They were looking if there was an opportunity to do something that could supplement a CNN or disrupt a CNN, and we were looking to see if we could do something that could supplement cable news or disrupt something like a headline news,” says Sabatinelli.
Looking solely within the digital space, Sabatinelli sees it “flooded with news competitors,” but in the OTT space “it’s really us, ABC, CBS, NBC and CNN. That’s really it.”
Having run the company for the past 18 months, Sabatinelli describes his tenure to date as “an incredibly crazy ride.” Newsy has gone from 34 people to “ninety something” this year, plans to open a West Coast bureau and hasn’t ruled out going international.
“We describe ourselves as the better alternative. If you want to watch what people have been doing for the past 50 years, you have plenty of options,” Sabatinelli says.
This video is part of Beet.TV’s coverage of the IAB’s Digital Content NewFronts 2017. The series is sponsored by the IAB. For more videos from the #NewFronts, please visit this page.