ABC News to target millennials with social video partnership

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Walt Disney Co’s ABC News on Tuesday launched a partnership with millennial-focused video news site ATTN: to co-produce videos for social media including Facebook Inc’s Instagram and for Twitter Inc.

The two will use ABC’s footage and equipment to produce stories that appeal to both companies’ audiences in a short-length format.

ATTN: Co-Founder and Editor-in-Chief Matthew Segal will join ABC News as a contributor, the companies said on Tuesday.

News networks are feeling pressure to find ways to reach younger audiences as millennials increasingly move to sites like YouTube and Hulu instead of broadcast TV. Only 8 percent of U.S. viewers of national broadcast television news in 2016 were in the 18-34 age bracket, according to Nielsen.

Colby Smith, vice president of digital media at ABC Television Group, said the average age of viewers across ABC News’ digital platforms ranged from 30 to 40, while Segal said the median age of ATTN:’s viewers was mid-to-late 20s.

“One area where we’ve never homed in are big exclusives and interviews in our videos, and that’s where Matthew and his team are going to focus,” Smith said in an interview.

ABC News and ATTN: will have the right to monetize the videos that air on their social media platforms under the deal, Segal said. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

ATTN: participates in Facebook’s ad program that allows ATTN: to place ads in the middle of a video, and may use the strategy to monetize the videos made with ABC, Segal said.

Smith said ABC was considering participating in Facebook’s ad program, but declined to elaborate on plans to make money from the videos.

ATTN: was launched in 2014 and garners 500 million monthly video views, according to its website. The site produces video and news pieces focused on a variety of political issues such as abortion and anti-Semitism.

Among the investors in the privately held startup are television personality Ryan Seacrest and producer Cash Warren, the husband of actor Jessica Alba, according to an ATTN: blog post.

The ABC News and ATTN: partnership comes after Comcast Corp’s NBC News launched a twice-per-day news show on Snapchat earlier this month to attract younger viewers.

NBC News also introduced a digital video service called “NBC Left Field” to produce short documentaries and videos for YouTube, Facebook and Instagram with the intention of eventually running ads.

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