NBC has now announced the launch of a new news streaming service, NBC News Now.
The service is free at the point of consumption as the service relies on sponsorship and an ad-supported format for monetization. Therefore, there's no need for consumers to have an applicable cable or live TV streaming plan for access. Users can simply head to the new NBC News Now website and start streaming the content for free.
In addition, the new service can also be accessed via the NBC News mobile app or through the TV by using the NBC News app on a Roku, Amazon Fire TV or Apple TV device.
The NBC News Android mobile app is also compatible with Android TV devices although there was no specific mention of whether the app update will also add the NBC News Now functionality on Android TV devices. Considering it is the same app it seems likely to be the case but that has yet to be confirmed and the Google Play Store listing has yet to be updated reflecting any recent changes to the app.
The company says the service was initially soft launched last week although today will be the first day it is formerly available.
There are some caveats, however. For example, this is not yet a 24-hour news channel but instead will be in operation Monday through Friday and streaming continuously between 3 p.m. and 11 p.m. ET. Going forward, the plan is for the service to turn to a 24-hour format in "the ensuing months."
While this is yet another news-based solution, the company is looking for it to create its own identity over time. In many ways, this is being positioned as more of an NBC hub service as it will draw on topics discussed on different NBC-related channels. It will act as more of a one-stop solution that covers different news categories, including entertainment and sport.
What's more, it would seem the idea here to provide greater coverage on the selected topics with more in-depth information provided and delivered through original programming that's exclusive to the streaming service.
There's no doubt that the streaming service market is becoming increasingly crowded thanks to the sheer number of options available to consumers. While NBC News Now is arriving late to the market compared to those other solutions, it is banking on the fact that it is a free service to attract attention, and ultimately, users.
More apparent here is NBC is looking to specifically target those users who do not have access to typical news channels through a traditional TV service. Arguably, it is looking to target those users who might not have ever subscribed to a TV package and who are more typically likely to consume content via the internet.
In doing so, the content itself is expected to be less traditional in format and not expected to consist of the usual slot shows you might find elsewhere within the NBCU ecosystem.
This can be best understood at not having to tune in to a certain news show at a certain time, but as a location where news-seekers can go at any time, to get up to date on what's happening, including breaking news.