ABC News Streaming Service Adds More Live Content, Promises No Talking Heads


ABC News is making a big push to bolster its streaming platform, adding more live content and hiring around 50 new journalists.  In an aggressively crowded streaming market, the news station is pushing to become a 24/7 live service and upend the current market, likening its changes to the beginning of cable news in the early 1980s.

Company president James Goldston called the plan “the moment of greatest transformation for ABC News, ” and said viewers would “see a transformation that will be like the birth of cable.”

At present, ABC News streams some live events and clips of broadcast stories. But the long term goal is to have live, breaking news coverage, long-form reports and documentaries, daily newscasts and more. Instead of clicking on a topic of clip, user can simply logon and watch.

Another major difference will be a lack of commentary.  “People want to watch raw, live news,” Goldston said, adding that people didn’t want commentary and going so far as to say that “the cable approach is off-putting” for many.

Of course, they’re not alone. Rivals CBS and NBC have their own services, and upstarts like Cheddar are making noise on their own.

What this does make clear is that streaming is the new front line for news companies, and how they define their organization now will impact their spot in the order over the coming years.