Streaming news service Watchup is designed to offer users who’ve stepped away from traditional media a convenient way to catch up on what’s happening, both at home, and around the world. The free app allows viewers to build individualized newscasts comprising news segments from over 100 national and local news partners including Fox News, PBS Newshour, The Washington Post, and now, thanks to a new deal with CBS Interactive, CBS News.
The ad-supported video news service says it “does for news what Pandora did for music.” Users are prompted to select topics of interest (such as ‘Business,’ ‘Sports,’ ‘Politics,’ ‘Entertainment,’ and others) as well as a choice of news partners, which calls up a personalized newscast that can be fine-tuned to target the stories dearest to each individual. Like Pandora’s thumbs up/thumbs down system, the app will use your rating of each news segment (either ‘like’ or ‘dislike’) to customize future newscasts.
“Watchup is creating an alternative to traditional TV watching that supports the surging trend for over-the-top media consumption,” said Watchup founder and CEO Adriano Farano to Variety.
Watching the evening TV newscast is certainly on the wane — especially for younger viewers — but streaming video consumption has never been higher, and neither has the public’s voracious appetite for news consumption from a variety of sources. The 18 to 35 age group watches over two hours of video per week online, according to Nielsen, while 85 percent of millenials say ‘keeping up with the news is at least somewhat important to them,’ and 40 percent say that they pay for at least one news-specific app or digital subscription, according to an Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research study cited by the LA Times.
Watchup hopes to capitalize on the younger generation of news seekers, raised on mobile video, and hungry for the latest updates on a wide variety of subjects. The service is hoping the new deal with CBS Interactive will help its cause. Along with network news, the app also includes access to video content from digital-first publications like Vox, TechCrunch and Fusion, as well as content from 81 local TV stations including KTLA in Los Angeles, WGN in Chicago, and WPIX in New York.
Watchup currently has ‘several hundred-thousand users,’ and the service is available for use on iOS and Android tablets and smartphones, Amazon’s Fire TV, Xbox 360, and the Apple Watch.