Hearst Television is the latest broadcast group to sign a distribution agreement with the Haystack TV platform.
Through the deal, Haystack TV users will have access to local news and weather produced by Hearst Television-owned stations in 30 markets out of 39 states.
The partnership with Hearst proceeds similar deals Haystack has signed with Gray Television and Meredith. Haystack frames the agreements as a logical step for local broadcasters hoping to reach younger audiences.
“We look forward to helping our partners distribute their premium local content to more Millennials and Generation X users,” said Haystack TV CEO Daniel Barreto in a statement. “Our users also value having access to local news and weather. Our numbers show they’re 30% more likely to engage with their local content than national and international news.”
In addition to the local broadcaster deals, Haystack TV has also partnered with weather provider Praedictix to provide nationwide regional weather forecast videos.
"We are thrilled to be teaming up with Haystack TV, which is redefining what media can be in an age of on-demand, over-the-top programming. Our team of meteorologists is adding perspective, context and analysis, connecting the dots for consumers in a way no app ever will. We couldn't be more proud to work with a company that understands how content is evolving - and what comes next," said Praedictix Founder/Senior Meteorologist Paul Douglas in a statement.
Haystack – which is available Android TV, Chromecast, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, as well as on the web and on Android and iOS devices – serves local news based on users’ locations.
The broadcast industry’s common conception is that millennials migrate more toward online video and less toward live linear broadcast content. CBS Chief Research Officer David Poltrack attributed that in part to millennials delaying adulthood – at least in economic terms – and said that as millennials’ economic value increases, so too will the amount of broadcast television they watch.
But in an effort to reach more millennial audiences with local broadcast content, many broadcast affiliate groups are forming agreements with broadcast networks for distribution on virtual MVPD platforms including Hulu and YouTube TV.
Chris Cornelius, chairman of the CBS Affiliates Board and vice president of business development for Morgan Murphy Media, said that CBS affiliates will benefit from their recent deal with CBS by being able to reach a wider audience and therefore boost ratings and CPMs.