Fox News Jumps on the Streaming Bandwagon
As online media becomes more and more prominent, and traditional television spirals downward, news networks are beginning to follow the trend in hopes of reaching more people through the Internet. By the end of the year, Fox News is expected to launch its online streaming service, Fox Nation.
The service is catered towards Fox News’s most dedicated audience - those who are looking for more content from the network. Fox Nation is planning on creating hours of daily programming with news anchors and commentators, and its content will consist mostly of original shows and cameos by well-known personalities. The streamed content will not overlap with Fox News’s regular 24-hour television broadcast due to contractual agreements with cable operators.
Fox Nation will be independent of the cable network and will be available through subscription. The network is still discussing how much the subscription will cost.
The upcoming service will be joining the already thriving online streaming market. Last year, about five million viewers subscribed to HBO and Cinemax digital services. In addition, CBS claimed last week that its CBS and Showtime streaming services has five million subscriptions. CBS is now planning on creating CBS Sports HQ and a branded offer for “Entertainment Tonight.”
Fox News viewers are dedicated to their content. According to a senior vice president, John Finley, if viewers can’t access the television channel on holiday, they email the network. Finley says that Fox Nation will be a way to meet viewers’ demands more easily. Live events such as Q&A forums will allow for direct interaction between presenters and subscribers.
Conservative media has not experienced a lot of success with previous streaming services. Ex-host Glenn Beck founded The Blaze, an online service, after he left Fox News in 2011. However, it received little interest, and he eventually resorted back to a traditional cable network. Bill O’Reilly, fired from Fox News in April, created a subscription service on his website, but it has also not earned much attention. Mr. Finley claims that “people are loyal to the Fox brand,” which is why the personalities who left didn’t seem to have a large following.
Fox News’s rivals, MSNBC and CNN, have no comparable products; MSNBC doesn’t have a stand-alone service, and while the streaming service CNNgo has some free original content, access to the service still requires an existing cable subscription. Regardless, Mr. Finley says that Fox Nation is less about competition among the television networks and more about giving its audience more of what it wants.