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Industry Focus: User Generated Content

Every day millions of Americans watch their local news. They watch the full broadcast on television, streaming segments on their laptops, and video clips on Smartphones and tablets. They may view their local news in any above combination. With so many platforms vying for attention the need for diverse, cross-platform content is more important than ever. As technology advances, it is becoming even easier for stations rely on some form of user generated content (UGC) to enhance their broadcasts on-air and online. As you consider incorporating UGC for the first time or increasing the usage of UGC there are some pros and cons to consider.

Pros – User Generated Content

1. Strengthen the relationship between viewers and the station. Featuring user generated content shows viewers that your station is interested in listening to and sharing the views of the people living in the community.

2. Attracts and builds trust with millennial viewers. Research by marketing company, Crowdtap, and global research company, Ipsos, reveals that millennials trust user generated content as much as professional content.*

3. Allows access to free content. Possibly the largest benefit to user generated content is that it provides the station free access to material they may not have had access to otherwise like eyewitness breaking news video.

Cons – User Generated Content

1. Can be poor quality. Video and picture quality captured on a mobile device may not be sufficient for on-air broadcast. Continuously airing poor quality video may, over time, degrade the integrity of broadcast.

2. Requires supervision. Allowing users to simply post content to the station website opens the station up to liability concerns if the content is not appropriate.

3. Raise legal concerns. Most of the legal issues related to UGC in the United States concern posting UGC on websites. This doesn’t mean that legal issues (such as defamatory, deceptive or copyright laws) should be ignored when using UGC in a broadcast.