For live and time-shifted broadcasts, stations slot in their own ads during the broadcasts. They can choose between selling that added audience via GRPs, the TV currency, or doing dynamic ad insertion, with digitally ad-served ads.
“Both are going to work,” Gump said. “It’s going to come down to the business strategy of the station group.”
But OTT and mobile measurement aren’t as advanced as TV and digital measurement. Each station group’s capabilities vary.
Still, Gump sees the industry moving forward quickly. He expects “significant advances” in measurement, including GRP measurement, to happen over the next six to 12 months that would help stations measure NewsOn’s multiscreen viewing environment.
NewsOn will chip in with its own monetization, too. It’s creating sponsorships and pre-roll ads that will run across all platforms. The stations monetize the ads within the broadcast, while NewsOn controls the pre-roll ad before the spot. Making money for its stations is the main focus.
“The ad model heavily favors the stations, and any participating station should see a handsome return,” Gump said.
As NewsOn builds out its advertising business, it will add more demand partners, tech and, hopefully, platforms. It currently offers only Roku on OTT.
“OTT has been especially strong,” Gump said. “If you compare session times, OTT by a significant margin has the longest session time,” which is consistent with usage patterns of OTT vs. mobile.
The app draws comparisons to E. W. Scripps’ Newsy or Watchup. The latter includes both local broadcasts and content from the likes of The Verge, CNN and Bloomberg. While NewsOn’s only OTT platform is Roku, Watchup connects to the Apple TV, Amazon Fire, Nintendo’s Wii U and the Xbox 360.
Gump is very conscious of the effects of scale on NewsOn’s audience. That’s one reason why the local stations saw value in a single app over hundreds of individual ones.
“There is a network effect,” he said. “The more stations we have in a market, the more viewing there is. The presence of that station helps the others.”
Plus, people use NewsOn to view local news content in their hometown or college town, for example. For local news, that opens stations up to a completely new audience.
And when tragedies happen, like the shooting in Orlando, users can access the local network’s coverage, offering them an on-the-ground perspective and giving the local reporting greater reach.
“We are trying to be a catalyst for innovation with local news,” Gump said.
TV stations want people to care about watching the news more than where they view it.
“The viewing is strong,” Gump said, “and the viewing platforms are fragmented.”