Q&A with NBCUniversal News Group’s Catherine Kim about how Stay Tuned is extending beyond Snapchat

Four and half years after its July 2017 launch, NBCUniversal News’s Stay Tuned had actually mainly stayed with its origin as a Snapchat-centric news outlet, balancing 1 million views per episode on the platform in 2022, up 15% from in 2015. As it marks its five-year anniversary today, Stay Tuned has actually extended to TikTok where it has actually accumulated 1 million fans and is now looking to broaden more to YouTube as well as into podcasting and documentary.

The 25- to 30- minute documentary will concentrate on young influencers who are being provided cosmetic treatments in return for promo– based upon reporting by NBC News Digital tech and culture press reporter Kat Tenbarge– and is slated to premiere most likely in September throughout the company’s streaming news network NBC News Now, NBCUniversal’s flagship banner Peacock and YouTube, according to Catherine Kim, svp of worldwide digital news at NBCU News Group.

The documentary “quite stresses where we are [with Stay Tuned], which is we’re all set to truly strongly broaden the footprint of Stay Tuned and our Gen Z brand name,” stated Kim.

The interview has actually been modified for length and clearness.

A year earlier, I spoke to Chris Berend about Stay Tuned’s four-year anniversary, and the essence was that Stay Tuned had basically persevered and very little had actually altered in regards to it being quite a Snapchat-centric news program. A year later on, is that still the case?

No. We have actually been focused this year and will continue to speed up or increase that concentrate on broadening the footprint of Stay Tuned throughout TikTok and YouTube. At some point in late December [2021], we purchased a seven-person group to concentrate on broadening the footprint of Stay Tuned on TikTok, producing news material that’s belonging to the platform [and] talks to the voice, tone and design of our Gen Z brand name. And in the fall, we will likewise handle producing initial programs for Stay Tuned’s YouTube account, which has actually been inactive for a while. I belonged of that very first version; I’m really delighted to get it going once again.

Why begin that growth with TikTok?

NBC News has actually been on TikTok because2019 We were relatively early to the platform itself, however we simply saw it take off, of course, throughout the pandemic specifically. And as we began to see engagement skyrocket and observe the scale, we began to consider its appeal, its impact on culture progressively, its appeal with Gen Zers and young audience and seemed like it was a platform we needed to be on, comparable to the chance we saw when Snapchat initially debuted.

We were configuring for our Stay Tuned TikTok account the whole time the method. It was sort of humming along, growing gradually. And at that point in late December, we weren’t seeing a great deal of standard news brand names actually capturing on with news material on the platform. We believed that there was a possibility to begin to produce Gen Z news material for TikTok.

We needed to invest even more on the platform and actually believe far more strongly about what we wished to make with Stay Tuned on TikTok. That began with working with a little group and developing that group. And we began to mess around and try out all sort of stories and format types. And it took a while. As you might understand from the folks at TikTok, they do not always make a point of including or wish to include news material.

But we have actually begun to strike our stride starting last month, and we’re seeing that engagement, that scale start to emerge. We simply crossed 1 million fans on TikTok. We saw someplace around 7 million views for our Stay Tuned material in June on TikTok. This month– and we’re just 12 days in– we’re currently at 15 million views for Stay Tuned material on TikTok.

You discussed you have a seven-person group concentrated on broadening Stay Tuned on TikTok. What’s the makeup of that group in regards to their functions?

We have an executive manufacturer Devan Joseph who’s simply fantastic. He is an executive manufacturer of initial social video; he runs the group. We’ve got manufacturers who have experience producing and hosting Twitch programs. All net-new personnel to NBC News. A great deal of folks were belonging to the platform. We have one manufacturer who had an influencer account based upon her feline, and she came by about 5 months back. A Number Of [associate producers] who support our production, story ideation, search for patterns on the platform, pitch concepts, obviously. And all of this takes place, fortunately, under the high requirements of NBC News, so while we might speak belonging to the platform, have a casual voice, we’re still all under the high requirements of NBC News.

A great deal of news publishers are active on TikTok today. And for the a lot of part, they’re publishing standard news clips with text on screen and after that either voiceover or a host utilizing the green screen impact. Does Stay Tuned do anything to separate itself?

We did a great deal of green screen impact reporting and TikToks. We have actually begun to feel like you’ve got to begin with the story initially and do what’s right for the story on that platform. There’s not one format that we’re attempting to comply with, however we’re attempting to serve the story best on that platform. Therefore you’re beginning to see a great deal of various designs break out on the Stay Tuned TikTok account. Actually what we’re attempting to do is state, “Here’s a story we desire to inform. How do we finest inform it? Is it a green screen? Is it simply a 15- 2nd clip of the essential action?”

There are an excellent variety of stories that you cover on Stay Tuned’s Snapchat Discover channel in addition to on TikTok, however there are some distinctions. On Snapchat, you typically reveal the hosts in the studio. When they’re talking on TikTok, it’s the green screen result. What truly stood out to me as the larger distinction is the voice on Snapchat feels more straight-news shipment whereas on TikTok it feels like there’s more looseness with the shipment. Is that reasonable to state?

That’s reasonable to state. There’s a levity. TikTok likes things that appear more natural, a little messier, a little bit more raw, and we are definitely attempting to harmonize that design. Our Snapchat program is an extremely refined, well modified, well-produced rundown of the day’s leading stories. I imply, we are spirited and have some style there. For TikTok, it’s much looser. It’s normally a single-subject story, and the format types are determined by what do we believe the story needs instead of complying with one design. And I believe that’s been actually liberating for the Stay Tuned group, however it definitely shows that platform and the natural design of TikTok, which is raw, not scared to be careless or reveal rough edges. It’s not indicated to be polished.

You discussed Stay Tuned is going to begin producing initial programs for YouTube this fall. What will that shows be?

We’re going to take a look at 5- to 10- minute[-long] weekly videos routinely releasing from Stay Tuned and taking a look at a variety of subjects we understand that our Gen Z audience care deeply about: psychological health, environment, some individual financing, identity. We will check out the lens of trending subjects where we believe there’s fantastic interest from the Gen Z audience, obviously.

Some of it will be explainer in nature, human interest, human story. We’ll do callout formats. Throughout the height of the pandemic, we might have done a callout to our audience on Snapchat: “Are you concealing your favorable COVID tests from your schools or your moms and dads and your instructors? Share your stories.” We’re going to most likely lean into callouts a bit more on YouTube, which is a callout-friendly format. That will be a net-new item for Stay Tuned. Initial material, truly thinking of what the audience is searching for on YouTube from the brand name.

We liked producing content method back when we began for YouTube, however it’s an extremely hard platform to develop on. And I believe we seem like we’re at the point now where we’ve found out a lot more about our audience. We believe there’s a chance to appear in such a way that might be unique and a civil service. And we’re prepared to grow this brand name throughout YouTube. Preferably, it will be at some point [in] October, early November, however we’re quite delighted about the chance to see Stay Tuned with brand-new material in a various light producing shows belonging to YouTube.

Are you standing a particular group for YouTube as you have made with TikTok?

Yeah, in reality that seven-person group is devoted both to TikTok and YouTube. Given that we’re doing such short-form [videos] on TikTok for Stay Tuned, the technique is going to be various. Part of what we’re actually thinking about doing is bending the brand name itself and making certain what we do on Snapchat has a really particular worth prop to that Gen Z audience as it provides for TikTok and now for YouTube.

What will make YouTube feel unique from the TikTok method considered that it’s the very same group that will be dealing with it?

What’s actually fascinating is Stay Tuned on Snapchat, Stay Tuned on TikTok are reasonably brief video formats. As we start to think of what is Stay Tuned in the 5- to 10- minute variety, it’s going to be enjoyable to see that voice start to broaden and establish. And after that we’re going to try to find longer life span material. You can view previous episodes on Snapchat, however what we’re actually thrilled to do is to develop material we hope has some evergreen appeal that continues to be of worth and interest to Gen Zers.

So you have this group dealing with TikTok and quickly YouTube. And after that you still have the Snapchat channel. There’s likewise an everyday podcast that’s being piloted and a documentary in the works. How are the various groups that dealing with these various jobs working together on a daily basis to compare notes however likewise to determine how they do not step on each other’s toes?

We have an [executive producer] of the Snapchat program Lindsay Dyner, who’s simply fantastic. We have an EP of initial social video Devan Joseph. And then on the doc side, we have an unique EP for the digital docs. Part of what we’re attempting to do is state, “You identify what’s finest for your platform or your format.” The concepts are shared throughout the group. It’s even more comprehensive than that. The Stay Tuned group remains in continuous contact with the press reporters on NBC News Digital who might be covering the influencer economy or influencers in basic, covering digital culture and producing responsibility journalism around the developer economy or the platforms.

Some stories just get gotten by the Snapchat program. Other stories take a trip to TikTok, and we’ll see if any of those travel to YouTube once we stand that group and get them going. Let me put it by doing this. We do cross-post material throughout our social channels. There isn’t a sensation that it’s a must. It’s more, if we believe it works for that platform, sure, let’s share the material. We do not do blanket cross-posting throughout our accounts or programs. We might do versioning, or we might discover a minute from a specific story that would deal with a various platform. Having EPs own the various formats or their various platforms assists a lot in making certain that we’re doing something that’s unique and standout for that platform.

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