NBC News Executive: 'Content Is Ageless,' Platforms Are Not


Vivian Schiller, the former CEO of NPR, cites a study by her former employer and points to Today's younger online audience.

NEW YORK - "Content is ageless," NBC News chief digital officer Vivian Schiller told a conference here on Wednesday. "It is the platform that reaches specific age groups."

Speaking on a panel at the 2012 New York Media Summit, the former NPR CEO cited a study that her former employer put together about a year and a half ago that looked at where its radio content reached different kinds of demographics.
NPR's stories are usually seen as sophisticated and older-skewing, she said. But a story that had a median listener age of 53 on radio, skewed to a younger 48 on tablets, and around 42 online, according to Schiller. Smart phone users were found to have a median age of 38, with podcast listeners even hitting a median age of 33.

"There is a stair step with the same content" in terms of age, Schiller said.

She pointed to the Today show for similar age trends, saying its TV audience skews older than its online audience.

David Lang, president of Mindshare Entertainment, North America suggested that news is different from other forms of content in terms of its age bias. When it comes to entertainment content, narratives must be tailored to more specific demos and age groups, he said.

Email: Georg.Szalai@thr.com

Twitter: @georgszalai

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