Hearst Television today announced the release of its over-the-top (OTT) and connected TV (CTV) channel, “Very Local.” Available on popular streaming platforms such as Roku and Amazon Fire TV, Very Local allows viewers to connect with local news and information relevant to their lives, as well as content from other communities around the United States.
Very Local features locally focused, free ad-supported streaming (FAST) channels across Hearst Television’s footprint serving 26 US media markets spanning 39 states. The channels feature top-flight journalism from around the country and digital-first content all developed to engage consumers across interests and demographics.
“Very Local is an opportunity for Hearst Television to bring even more award-winning journalism to streaming audiences in our local communities,” said Hearst Television President Jordan Wertlieb. “As consumers include streaming as a way of connecting with local content, we want to bring them the best local news and information. Very Local gives us a new, flexible platform and resource to bring our content to more people and to develop fresh, original digital-first programming that will resonate. Very Local, in combination with our fast-growing Hearst Anyscreen ad marketplace, advances Hearst Television’s digital footprint substantially for audiences and advertisers.”
The Very Local experience, offering originally produced short- and long-form news, information and feature stories, is available in the channel stores of Fire TV, Roku, Apple TV and Android TV. The FAST channels are available in the Very Local streaming app as well as from Tubi and Syncbak’s free direct-to-consumer OTT app, VUIt. They will be available in the near future on the Amazon news app on Fire TV, NewsON, and elsewhere. Viewers in any of Hearst Television’s markets will see a feed of local news, additional programming from their local news station, and new, original content produced from communities around the United States.
“For a streaming-first audience, Very Local is the best way to connect with award-winning local journalism and other local content,” said Andrew Fitzgerald, Hearst Television’s senior vice president, streaming video services. “Consumers are diversifying the channels through which they consume media. We want to meet them where they are. If you missed today’s newscast or in-depth weather report, or if you just want to enjoy great local story-telling that celebrates your community, it will be on Very Local.”
Very Local will feature all aspects of local, regional and national news; consumer news and investigative reporting; and popular Hearst Television regional and national content brands such as its long-running “Chronicle” newsmagazine series and its issues program “Matter of Fact with Soledad O’Brien.”
Digital-first programming will leverage Hearst Television’s partnership with Hearst Magazines and its brands including Esquire, Delish, Runner’s World and others, as well as Hearst Television’s own Stitch brand. Very Local also will serve as a platform for new, original series as well as for newly produced in-depth documentaries and specials.
“Consumers consistently cite local news as their top source for information. Very Local represents a significant investment in broadening access and expanding the local storytelling across Hearst Television’s footprint and beyond,” Wertlieb added.
Collectively the Hearst Television digital platforms reach nearly 50 million monthly unique visitors.
“We plan to bring our great story-telling to even wider audiences as well as to tell new, original stories in markets across the United States,” Fitzgerald added. “Amid an explosion of content choices on streaming platforms, we think local news and stories about our local communities are underrepresented— and we can’t wait to bring that to more of our viewers and neighbors around the country.”