The “Newsline” crawl emulates the ticker scrolling across the bottom of the screen of 24/7 cable news networks. But because the programming is being delivered via the internet, viewers can use their remote controls to engage with stories that catch their interest, helping make their news feeds more personalized.
Launched in 2014 and backed by investors including Zorlu Ventures, the National Association of Broadcasters and Stanford’s StartX Fund, San Francisco-based Haystack is a free, ad-supported streaming service. It delivers news coverage from more than 300 local, national and international outlets, both on-demand and via a linear-style feed.
Along with broadcast network-owned stations and major local station groups, Haystack draws from sources including ABC News, the Associated Press, Bloomberg, CBS News, Cheddar, Euronews and Newsy. It covers 90% of major metropolitan areas in the U.S. and all 30 of the top DMAs. Users select topics of interest and Haystack’s algorithmic technology creates a feed, allowing viewers to give a thumbs-up or thumbs-down to news segments.
In a changing media environment, the local stations at the core of Haystack’s offering have found increased relevance to their coverage, but business challenges have come at the same time. Stations’ enterprise news, weather and sports coverage has taken on more importance within markets due to the dramatic decline of local newspapers. Yet they also struggle to stay top of mind for viewers awash in digital options. Local news streaming coalitions like NewsOn and Dyle TV have faltered in recent years as content providers have favored having more control over their own streaming destinies.
After debuting on Roku, the Newsline ticker will be added to Haystack’s apps for Amazon Fire, Apple TV and smart-TVs.
“Innovation has long been the foundation of Haystack TV and the introduction of Newsline reimagines TV news viewership and drives engagement for our growing user base,” said Haystack TV president and co-founder Ish Harshawat. “Haystack is reinventing the news watching experience by adding greater accessibility and interactivity.”