NewsON, Watchup, ZypMedia target the oft-overlooked local TV streaming opportunity

In our latest feature, I take a look at an OTT market segment that tends to get pushed aside by shinier business models like SVOD: broadcasters adding online strategies to their to-do lists.

At the risk of throwing too many clichés at you, this is the best of times and the worst of times for the broadcast industry. The potential to reach a greater audience is bigger than ever, but the cost and complexity involved in leveraging OTT technologies makes adding an OTT strategy somewhat risky.

That goes double for local television stations, many of which have been offering a streaming version of their newscasts for several years -- often live-streamed -- but which still may not be reaping benefits from their OTT plays.

Advertising, for example, is sometimes an afterthought, tacked on to local stations' newscast streams as repurposed local television ads presented as pre- or post-roll. Sometimes the online component is sponsored by display ads wrapped around their website's video player. Measurement of how well an ad does isn't standardized -- not unusual in the wild-west online video environment.  While I'm not an expert in online video ad sales, a recent TV News Check report noted that it's hard to motivate a local TV station's sales staff to really sell the online advertising component when the returns on their work aren't entirely clear.

In this feature I take a look at some aspects of the local television industry that may be changing in their favor. I've covered programmatic provider ZypMedia before, but I also profile a couple of OTT providers that want to help extend local stations' audience reach and improve measurement on their advertising efforts. Check it out here. --Sam