Adaptability : CNN and NBCUniversal

how digital can you go?

Attention is moving away from TV. Most us in our 20s are either on our phones or watching Netflix. When there is a major event, we are more interested to know what our favourite YouTuber has to say, not Anderson Cooper. This means :

  • Advertiser now need to rely on social media influencer for branding. It’s possible to understand why Amazon is testing with influencer marketing to sale.
  • Traditional Media companies will have to adapt their content to digital and develop their story telling for the mobile age.

This article will only develop on the transition from Traditional TV to mobile and Digital Publishing.

In an effort to win younger audiences, here is how 2 media giants are surprisingly adapting better then most of us would’ve imagined. CNN and it’s 25 million acquisition of BEME and NBCUniversal making a 200 million deal with Vox media.

CNN is the №1 digital news brand, with an average of 116 million multi-platforms unique viewers in June 2016, according to comScore.

The graph suggests that everything is going great for CNN! … Right? The only issue is, young people are not taking their news on CNN. In fact, only 35.8 million of the unique visitors are millennials, compare to BuzzFeed’s 44.5 million.

CNN is now adapting to the situation. In direct response to BuzzFeed, they first created Great Big Story, a social video network. Now with the 25 million acquisition of BEME, it’s clear that CNN is doubling down on their video presence. The company didn’t bet on an unpopular app, but on the CEO, Casey Neistat.

Casey was offered a TV show on CNN once and he declined. At the time, he had rather focus all his energy on YouTube. Neistat went on to create one of the most popular Daily Vlog on the platform with more than 6.9 million subscribers. We are all wondering how important great video content will be on platform like Facebook for example. Casey unique ways of story telling and his ability to bring awareness make him one of the most valuable asset for the next CNN Digital’s video production. CNN made announced that it will shut down BEME and allow Neistat to create a new project to attract his online followers to the media company.

On the other hand, NBCUniversal and Vox media made a $200 million deal. The NBC-Vox deal will feature a digital advertising collaboration. In other words, NBC is betting on digital media for ads revenue. Unlike BEME that was an unsuccessful bet for the CEO, Vox media already generated over the years a lot of healthy revenue and is able to reach a young audience with amazing brands which span sports, tech, news, fashion, food, and more. They also created an ad agency that focuses on integrating unique ads to content.

Vox Media has a great portfolio of digital brands that deeply engage broad audiences plus, they have a very strong leadership with Jim Bankoff as CEO.

The best example of Vox media is SB Nation site or, sites. SB Nation is an amalgamation of local sports blogs with around 800 paid contributors that produce content for 320 separate community-oriented sites, most focused on only a single team like the Kansas City Chiefs or Oakland A’s. SB Nation has been able to monetize the traffic by being very focus on drawing the attention of a young audience.

Vox media is not about to stop. They continue to invest in content: Right now expanding a state-of-the-art video studio, where they will produce more original video content.

In a world where most of the conversation surrounding digital tend to be negative, I find it refreshing to see these signs of adaptation from big corporations. Both are taking a shot at millennial. I am excited to see what Casey will be able to do with CNN, also, how far Vox media will go to win an even younger demographic.

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