CNN is scoring with "Go There," it's daily news Facebook Watch show. Since its launch last year, it has neared 1 billion views.
An episode published January 24 featuring on-the-ground reporting in Wuhan, China, became the most-watched hard news Facebook video in the last 10 years. Titled “Fear and anxiety in epicenter of Wuhan coronavirus outbreak,” it has over 210 million views.
“Our audience comes to us for our access to the world and stays with us because of our authentic approach to storytelling,” Cullen Daly, CNN executive producer of digital productions, told Publishers Daily.
“We give you the facts and the context. We always aim to bring our users with us on the journey, so they know what it feels like to be there as we gather the news and tell the most relevant stories of the moment,” she added.
In mid-March, the documentary-style show pivoted almost exclusively to coverage of the pandemic’s global impact.
Episodes covering COVID-19 now account for over half of the show’s most-watched videos, as well as over half of the 955 million monthly total views across 306 episodes, through July 17.
The episodes, which range from 10 minutes to 20 minutes, average about 3.1 million monthly views.
The mobile-first news show relies on 94 international correspondents reporting from nearly 50 countries across six continents.
“Being able to use phones as a mechanism for storytelling makes us not only nimble, but authentic to the platform. It's how our audiences like to consume our content,” Daly said.
The age for CNN’s “Go There” skews younger than CNN Digital’s owned-and-operated properties. Gen Z and millennial viewers account for more than two-thirds of the “Go There” audience.
“Go There’s” success can be attributed to its authenticity, Daly emphasized.
“The storytellers that make the content consume their news [on] mobile devices. They understand how users want to view video, and they bring out those moments that make us so distinct.”
An episode that stands out to Daly features an E.R. doctor traveling around New York City during the peak of COVID-19.
“On top of how we normally tell stories, we asked [the doctor] to collect self-shot mobile diaries about his daily experiences,” Daly said. Those moments "made the story stronger and really gave viewers a picture of what it was like to be working as a first responder during the crisis.”
The top topics covered in the most-watched "Go There" episodes include the COVID-19 pandemic (500 million monthly views), global news and international politics (152 million monthly views) and climate crisis, environmental activism and natural disasters (115 million monthly views).
The Facebook Watch program partners with publishers and pays them to produce shows exclusively for the Facebook platform.
"Go There" is currently CNN's only show on Facebook Watch. The “Anderson Cooper Full Circle” show was originally produced on Facebook Watch, but moved to CNN.com last summer.