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National OTT Services and Localized Content

Learn more about OTT and streaming localization at Streaming Media East.

Read the complete transcript of this clip:

Rob Dillon: Local content is where you're concentrating, while national distributors are running away from it. Why do you think national distributors are running away?

Dana McLeod: I think it's just easier for them to have one national product. They have their headquarters in New York or L.A. Or somewhere, and it's just easier to have the same product. They can pick up the local news, but I feel like that's about where their local element ends. And so that's where we see the opportunity and that's how we're very regionally focused. We're in three markets now, but we're not trying to have a national product in the next few years. We really want to build up that community presence. We think that's what differentiates us, and that's where there's a need. So, that's our focus. And I think from the national side, it's just easier for them to have a single product for everybody and save time on their end. But we want to do the opposite.

Caroline Harris: I think that it's a missed opportunity by some of these platforms and services that are pure digital. And hopefully they're working on this, to personalize their experiences, because audiences aren't myopic. There's tons of intersectionality among audiences. I want my local high school sports in West Orange, New Jersey, but I also want to know what's happening on the national level. And I want to get the kids' programming with my kids, and I want to watch movies. There's so much variety out there, but what what these distributors and platforms can do is create hyperlocalized streams for everyone, and pull in both the commoditized content like traffic and weather and the basic stuff that's happening, but also the more interesting boots-on-the-ground contents.

And then, of course, going into election season, what's happening at the local level for elections, and how do you help people and how do you create more of a utility for people at that point o making a decision in the voting booth--or whatever it is, replace voting with something else. You're helping people make decisions about their lives. Sometimes, the information coming out of locals is the most critical to making those decisions. So how do you turn these services and these platforms that people are shelling out a lot of money for--in some cases, more than cable--and make them super-valuable for people, very personalized. I would love to see that. That's where I'd love to partner, because we can't create tons of local streams out of our local divisions. It's just not what we do, but we have super-valuable content that we know audiences want because our readers love it. It just needs a home.

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