September 27, 2018
The ABC Owned Television Stations Group has debuted Localish, a brand targeting digital-native millennials with hyper-local stories that will be distributed on digital and social media platforms. The stations already have a large digital and social presence, making this segue to Localish a natural move. Creation of the brand is based on ABC research that found this cohort feels better about their local community than the world. The ABC websites, social platforms, iOS and Android apps and Roku, Apple TV and Amazon Fire TV will play the content.
Broadcasting & Cable reports that Localish content can be found on social networks including Facebook Watch, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram and, via syndication, Oath and Apple News.
“Localish is built around the idea of producing content for this mobile-first audience whose interests might be a bit different than what we produce day-to-day,” said ABC Owned Stations president Wendy McMahon, who says it may “pop up” an OTT outlet. “This is a new venture to create an environment where we can experiment with new kinds of storytelling and new kinds of distribution.”
Localish debuts with three new series: “Secretly Awesome,” about “spots locals love,” “My Go-To,” in which local influencers introduce viewers to their favorite hangouts, and “Worth the Wait,” which identifies hotspots with long lines that are worth it. Shows that will debut in October are “based on data that shows that certain categories are interesting to Localish’s target audience,” and include travel series “Staycation,” food show “Bite Sized” and fitness service “Pumped.”
“The content is produced in a way that is digital, mobile and video first,” said ABC Owned Television Stations Group SVP of content development Jennifer Mitchell. “There’s an addressable audience of about 63 million people. So there is a real need and intent for this type of content.”
ABC is aiming for a dual revenue stream with Localish: Facebook Watch and other distributors are paying for content and Localish will also have national and local advertising, “with enhanced targeting available on the local front.” “We are in the branded content business,” said McMahon. “That’s an opportunity for a product that wants to be a part of this very advertiser-friendly brand.” ABC Stations, she added, will promote Localish in newscasts and “other programming.”
The new brand “will also be supported by other Disney properties, including ABC’s ‘Good Morning America’, ‘World News Tonight’, ‘Nightline’ and the Disney Digital Network.” Mitchell added that the group is also considering events in some markets, “inviting people and businesses that have been featured in some of the content to attend, along with some of the influencers we’re working with as part of these series.”