Robert Freeman's whole Media, Business and Technology thing. Sorted.

No more NBC Nightly News podcasts. The bigger loser? NBC News.

with 8 comments

NBC NIghtly News podcast in iTunes

Soon to be available nightly, zero days a week

The flexibility of being able to download audio and video programmes to my mobile devices is one of the things that’s revolutionised by media consumption in the last decade. I have a 64GB ipod which is pretty much dedicated to podcasts, and it’s usually complaining that I’m about to run out of space.

I’m a massive consumer of documentary and current affairs, but I watch very little on-the-day TV news. And thanks to NBC’s decision to kill the podcast feed of Nightly News, I’ll now be watching even less.

I’ve been downloading NBC Nightly News pretty much every day for the last couple of years. It’s a great contrast to UK daily news programmes. I enjoy the different presentational style, I enjoy the different editorial decisions. But I also enjoy the very traditional collection of ‘stuff that happened today’ packaged into one simple bulletin.

NBC Nightly News discontinued

There’s a helpful announcement pointing me in the direction of other ways to watch, via the dedicated app, or on the web, but here’s why the other options don’t work for me:

Both the app and website options need a live internet connection.  I don’t always have one. The fantastic thing about a podcast or download is that it works wherever you are, even when your connection is patchy. I’m almost always enroute somewhere when I’m watching, hence my internet is always patchy.

Neither the app or wesbite options allow me to watch at anything other than real-time. I have something like 35 programmes on my device and in order to fit everything in, I almost always play things back at a faster speed.

This may seem extremely geeky (and I admit it probably is) but I often listen or watch up to 5 hours of media in a day, and I only have about three hours to do so. The ability to compress time is really valuable.

NBC Nightly News screengrab

I chose an ipod specifically because is has the best implementation of this that I’ve found so far, as it attempts to keep the pitch the same, while increasing the speed. It doesn’t sound normal, but it isn’t so strange that you can’t listen or understand for quite long periods. A 30 minute show magically becomes 15 minutes long and I have 15 minutes to watch something else.

The audio version of Nightly News will still be available yes, and I could download that and play it back at a higher speed. However, without the pictures, I would do better with a dedicated radio programme instead, radio reporters don’t constantly refer to things you cannot see.

I don’t know the reason NBC are getting rid of Nightly News in video, but in doing so, mainstream TV loses another viewer and they hurt their overall accessibility at a time when ease-of-access is one of the most important things for a media producer. Make it harder for people to get to your offer, and the majority just won’t bother.

If I had the time, I could probably do a screen-scrape of their web video and get the programme back, but there’s so much competition out there, I’ll probably just switch to something else.

I never cease to be amazed at how organisations suffering from audience-flight make decisions which will exacerbate the problem, but at least my ipod has a bit more space now.

Score: Innovation 1, mainstream media nil. Again.


Written by Robert

1 February, 2015 at 10:13 pm

8 Responses

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  1. Reblogged this on BT.X and commented:
    The bigger loser? I think that’s true

    Bryan J. Thomas

    2 February, 2015 at 12:02 am

  2. ending the video podcasts of nbc nightlynews, meet the press, and the today show among others is such a mistake. It also discriminates against our service men and women overseas who would be unable to see these broadcasts otherwise. We often have access to wireless for a limited period during the day and must download the broadcasts then. PLEASE reconsider and continue this valuable service that benefits our military and diplomatic personnel overseas.

    Gary W

    15 February, 2015 at 7:14 am

    • Agreed. Add the general expat community worldwide, and that’s a lot of folks who now have to listen to visual media, or even worse, see severely edited versions of broadcasts.

      Concerned Citizen

      4 March, 2015 at 3:27 am

      • There is a huge overseas American expat population worldwide – I’m part of it. I’m not happy about losing these podcasts – like the OP, THIS is pretty much the only way I can access American news. So I won’t be getting it from NBC any longer…

        Grenoble Gal

        11 March, 2015 at 2:28 pm

  3. I couldn’t agree more. Morning Joe is going off as well. I hope not Rachel Maddow as well. Phones are too small and I don’t want to gobble up my data plan. I used to watch ABC podcast but that bit the dust years ago. It’s because of the commercials. If you watch it online you are forced to watch.


    17 February, 2015 at 3:07 am

  4. […] Further commentary on this MediaBizTech post: No more NBC Nightly News podcasts. The bigger loser? NBC News. […]

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