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TownNews further extends Blackbird for US digital news production

16th July 2019, Moline and London – Blackbird plc (AIM: BIRD), the developer and seller of the market-leading cloud video platform Blackbird, has announced that TownNews has extended its adoption of Blackbird for the rapid production of digital news content. This is the third such deployment within a year.

TownNews has added an additional 14 US TV stations that will use Blackbird – bringing the total to 39 stations in 24 states. The additional stations are owned by seven broadcast groups that provide premium local news content to millions of viewers across the United States.

Blackbird enables TownNews’ partners to rapidly view, edit and publish video content no matter their location. When paired with the TownNews Field59 VMS, news stories can be delivered with unprecedented speed and control using Blackbird’s browser-based cloud video platform.

In June 2018 TownNews launched the combined solution into 17 Meredith Corporation locations across 11 states. In December 2018, they extended this further into three networks owned by Block Communications.

Local TV news networks in the US comprise over 350 stations producing around six hours of news content per weekday. The industry as a whole generates nearly $28 billion of revenue annually. The move to the consumption of digital news has been rapid with 43% of US adults now often sourcing news from websites and social media (source: Pew Research Centre).

Derek Gebler, TownNews VP of Broadcast and Video, said: “We’re excited to expand our productive partnership with Blackbird. When combined with TownNews’ Field59 VMS, Blackbird gives our broadcast television customers an extremely fast, efficient, browser-based workflow for capturing, editing, and distributing their video content.”

Ian McDonough, CEO of Blackbird, said: “Our strong partnership with the successful TownNews group is growing quickly and has doubled the number of networks served within a year. Blackbird and TownNews now serve 39 networks in 24 US states which demonstrates our scalability.

The American news industry is evolving rapidly to accommodate digital consumption. This is where TownNews and Blackbird can add significant revenue advantages in speed and productivity. Commercially our partnership is a great example of a successful OEM strategy where Blackbird and TownNews land and then expand.”

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