NBC’s free news streaming service, NBC News Now, will launch in May

NBC will launch a free, streaming news service called NBC News Now in early May, which will include eight hours of daily programming and live hourly updated. The service, which was announced by NBC News President Noah Oppenheim at SXSW this weekend, will rival existing streaming news efforts from CBS and ABC, which today operate  CBSN and ABC News Live, respectively.

The NBC News Now streaming network will include original reporting as well as content sourced from other NBC News properties, Oppenheim said.

“We will be doing original work that will be specific for the streaming service, we will be drawing from the reporting that takes place across all the other NBC News properties,” he said, according to a report from Broadcasting & Cable. “We will actually be reaching into other corners of NBCUniversal, E! News, sports, you name it, for some of that content.”

He also said that when breaking news occurs, the streaming network will switch to live programming. The service will be free and ad-supported, and will be available across streaming boxes like Apple TV and Roku.

The company was already known to be working on a news streaming service. According to reports from last year, the company had teased its plans as a “new kind of news channel for a rising generation of news junkies.”

The move comes at a time when cord cutting is accelerating, leaving traditional news and media companies trying different paths to reach consumers – typically by bringing their news online, instead of only through TV airways and pay TV subscriptions.

NBC News has already experimented with different news formats – as with its Snapchat news show, “Stay Tuned,” which hit 1,000 episodes streamed just last week and averages 30 million views per month – over 70 percent with those under the age of 25.

Other news networks are finding different ways to stream.

CBS has heavily invested in CBSN, its 24/7 news channel first launched back in 2014. In more recent months, the company added CBSN to its streaming app, CBS All Access, and debuted a new portfolio of services under the CBSN brand focused on local news.  ABC News Live, meanwhile, became the first live news service Roku added to its free streaming hub, The Roku Channel.

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