July 25, 2017 / 2:05 PM / 4 months ago

ABC News to target millennials with social video partnership

(Reuters) - Walt Disney Co’s (DIS.N) ABC News launched a partnership on Tuesday with ATTN:, a video news site focused on younger audiences, to co-produce videos for social media including Facebook Inc’s (FB.O) Instagram and for Twitter Inc (TWTR.N).

A logo for ABC is pictured atop a building in Burbank, California February 5, 2014. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

The two will use ABC’s footage and equipment to produce short-length stories appealing to both companies’ audiences.

ATTN: co-founder and Editor-in-Chief Matthew Segal will join ABC News as a contributor, the companies said on Tuesday.

News networks are feeling pressure to find ways to reach younger audiences as millennials increasingly move to sites like YouTube and Hulu instead of broadcast TV. Only 8 percent of U.S. viewers of national broadcast television news in 2016 were in the 18-34-year-old age bracket, according to Nielsen.

Colby Smith, vice president of digital media at ABC Television Group, said the average age of viewers across ABC News’ digital platforms ranged from 30 to 40 years old, while Segal said the median age of ATTN:’s viewers was mid-to-late 20s.

“One area where we’ve never homed in are big exclusives and interviews in our videos, and that’s where Matthew and his team are going to focus,” Smith said in an interview.

While ABC News regularly books big-name interviews for its programs including “Good Morning America” and “World News Tonight with David Muir,” ATTN: will bring its digital-first expertise to cut the footage for social media, ABC News said.

ABC News and ATTN: will have the right to monetize the videos that air on their social media platforms under the deal, Segal said. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

ATTN: participates in Facebook’s ad program that allows ATTN: to place ads in the middle of a video, and may use the strategy to monetize the videos made with ABC, Segal said.

Smith said ABC was considering participating in Facebook’s ad program, but declined to elaborate on plans to make money from the videos.

The partnership comes after Comcast Corp’s (CMCSA.O) NBC News launched a twice-per-day news show on Snapchat earlier this month to attract younger viewers.

NBC News also introduced a digital video service called “NBC Left Field” to produce short documentaries and videos for YouTube, Facebook and Instagram with the intention of eventually running ads.

Privately held ATTN: was launched in 2014 and attracts 500 million monthly video views, according to its website. The site produces video and news pieces focused on a variety of political and social issues such as abortion and anti-Semitism.

Reporting by Sheila Dang in New York; Editing by Anna Driver, Matthew Lewis and Frances Kerry

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