Broadcasters have the edge. It’s time to leverage it.

By Rodney Thompson

Blog 3: Severe weather

This is an ongoing, bi-weekly blog about Max Velocity. If you did not read the previous installments, you will find the complete blog series by clicking here. Otherwise, let’s continue with the third update. For this blog, we will be talking about severe and disruptive weather events. Viewer demands radically change during these situations and Max Velocity was built with this in mind. 

 

We all know that severe and disruptive weather is ”go time” for both TV and digital viewership. A single day of severe weather can equal more video views than an entire month of everyday weather. Ironically, the days that can help you gain traction in digital are the days the weather staff has to focus most of their energy on the television audience since it drives most of the current revenue. 

The other challenge is that the digital audience demands more frequent updates and has higher expectations in terms of their experience. How does this get reconciled? The bigger audience is now on digital and they have higher demands, yet the main revenue generator is still television? I can tell you with quite a bit of certainty, it won’t be reconciled through hiring additional staffing. 

The reality for the weather team is that severe and disruptive weather means ”all-hands-on-deck,” which is in contention with work-life balance, especially for weather events like incoming snowstorms that have a longer fuse. The fact that ”go weather” conflicts with work-life balance and that digital audiences want more compelling content is an issue that Max Velocity can help resolve. 

Imagine this. Using Max Velocity, meteorologists can work from home, cranking out compelling content and keeping their digital audience informed. There’s no need to drive into the station for a full shift and the time saved not having to drive into the station would be enough time to produce multiple regionalized videos. Additionally, they will have a mini control room at their fingertips allowing them to make the updates more dynamically and two meteorologists can work together on a video from different locations at the same time. Finally, you can fold in new storytellers—experts that your new digital competitors can’t match. There are a lot more capabilities being packed into Max Velocity that will help in severe/disruptive weather events, which I will cover in later blogs, so now let’s transition to thoughts from our clients

Danielle Breezy, Chief Meteorologist at WKRN-TV says, “I think one of the components I most like about Max Velocity is the ability to bring in videos and live interviews and create a whole segment on your own. During tornado weather, I could see one of my team members using this tool to bring in up-to-the-minute videos of tornadoes/damage and get live interviews with folks that have just been through the situation. This could be an extra way to serve our community not to mention using this tool after the severe weather passes both on air and online. I also like the ability to quickly zoom down to street level with the buildings and overlaying radar to show where the tornado actually is. This is a much better visual than what we have now, and we could do this even as it is coming into our area.”

Craig Setzer, Chief Meteorologist at CBS4 Miami says, “Research indicates that television weathercasts remain the primary draw for viewers, especially during severe weather. And in response, the television industry is inventing new ways to take advantage of that attraction. With increased weather content, both over broadcast airwaves, and now increasingly over other mediums to include OTT, web streaming, and mobile apps, it is important to provide the latest and most visually appealing weather product available. Combine that with increasing demand on a decreasing television station workforce, the need for an inclusive approach to weather storytelling is there, and thanks to The Weather Company, is now available with Max Velocity.

In my own workspace at a CBS O&O, local 24/7 OTT channel coverage is heavily weather oriented, and using a director, cameraperson, and/or producer is not an option. Max Velocity provides the solution in an easy to use, all in one approach to combining weather data and graphics, with weather video/reports and storytelling.  I believe it is the next logical step in TV's continuing evolution toward a more media savvy viewer.”

 

Please check back in a couple of weeks. This is an evolving blog series that will reveal new Max Velocity capabilities that are coming and will continue to provide client perspectives on how it will reshape weathercasting.