Cox Media Group (CMG) has followed search engines like Google and Microsoft, as well as platforms like Nextdoor and Facebook, into the world of community local news.
The goal is to attract small local advertisers and national advertisers trying to reach a local audience. Advertisers that want to reach viewers on its streaming platform will showcase “really local” news and information.
The service, Neighborhood TV (NTV), is free to viewers, but supported by ads.
Steve Pruett, executive chairman at CMG, believes viewers migrating online have an interest in local happenings, and thinks the company should build on the equity already established.
Cox has been testing NTV on desktop and mobile in Atlanta and Charlotte. It has generated more than 100 million impressions monthly. The company expects a rollout in Orlando in the fourth quarter of 2023.
NTV is available today in 70 neighborhoods across Georgia and 30 neighborhoods across North Carolina. The plan is to target as many as 5,000 neighborhoods across the U.S.
The platform now supports local advertisers for the most part, as well as programmatic demand from Locality, Amagi Ads Plus, and others. The group has a dedicated staff to support small and medium size advertisers.
The service is an extension of CMG’s linear TV business, addressing audiences who have adopted streaming in addition to traditional TV and cable. NTV is accessible on the web and on the CTV app on all major streaming platforms, such as Samsung and Roku.
NTV offers local residents an opportunity stay connected with their community in a way that the company believes is not met today with current local news bundles.
Some seven in 10 Americans say the news plays a "critical" role, with 42% saying it is "very important" in making residents feel connected to their community, according to a recent Gallup survey.
The content is produced by community reporters, who feed the most relevant “really local” news back to viewers. NTV covers information on local government, local impact of extreme weather or other events, new restaurants and nightlife spots, local sporting events, community heroes, and local cultural events.
Locals want to know what is going on in their neighborhoods, as evidenced with the growth of Nextdoor, an online community forum that reported 37 million users in Q2 2022.