When the Daily Show first aired, Jon Stewart was a comedian hosting a parody show on Comedy Central. Now he's a satirist for a news show that just happens to run on Comedy Central.
While Comedy Central’s Daily Show is an example of niche cable brands expanding programming to attract a bigger audience, it’s part of a more subtle, significant trend.
It’s an early example of non-traditional outlets layering in news for a new, younger segment of viewers. This trend has since moved from cable to online media properties as well.
BuzzFeed Blows Up
BuzzFeed is the most obvious example today, its YouTube partnership with CNN benefits both platforms as BuzzFeed wants more reason for visitors to stay, see and share its content.
Expanding from timely irreverence into serious news content may seem like a disconnect. But it’s looking more like a growing trend.
Vice Media Doubles Down
More recently, Vice Media doubled the size of its news operations. Known for its online and TV programming, the outlet sees millennials as an underserved audience and is investing heavily to keep their attention.
A Long-Term Approach to Audience-Building
As many digital platforms try to find the right mix to boost unique visitors, page views and time on site, we’re seeing some do a better job than others. There is an unfortunate science behind the listicles, slide shows and more visual content some platforms have become known for publishing.
These approaches reward the publisher, not the marketers, providing artificial boosts to metrics. Appealing to a broader audience by expanding content is a much more long-term, sustainable investment.