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Special Project

Special Project
From the 11th Annual Shorty Awards

NowThis -- the no. 1 global news brand on social

Winner in News & Media


NowThis is the no. 1 most-viewed news brand cross-platform on digital, according to Tubular Labs [Tubular Labs, January, 2019]. NowThis is also the no. 1 most-engaged news brand globally [Tubular Labs, January, 2019].

NowThis' core mission is to cover the stories that matter most to young people. Throughout 2018, NowThis aimed to humanize the news, and provide viewers with meaningful context around the issues they care about most. Young audiences are hungry for issue-oriented coverage and the team worked to bring important topics to life for its viewers. By engaging its massive global audience across a variety of social platforms, we sought to inspire viewers to connect with longer, more in-depth material while also offering the short-form bite-sized videos for which the brand first became known.

NowThis spent a lot of time finding those defining moments that would both engage the audience and humanize the issues. We've done stories on some ridiculously wonky subjects — administrative law judges, obscure regulations impacting small farmers — that young people have watched millions of times over because they see the genuine impact on people in the real world.

In 2018, NowThis was also determined to go beyond aggregation to break news and set the agenda for itself.

NowThis also wanted to diversify its scale to become best in class in terms of views and engagement on every single platform where it has a meaningful presence.

Strategy and Execution

NowThis pursued a distinctive strategy across news and original content - with stellar results for both.

In the news realm, NowThis led on the issue of gun reform throughout the year - producing ground-breaking material with the student victims of Parkland high school and leading with agenda-setting coverage from the March for our Lives. NowThis made an unprecedented commitment to lift up the voices of young people that were helping to shape the debate on the subject across the United States.

NowThis ignited thought-provoking conversations with another video that put a spotlight on how race appeared to influence the inconsistent media coverage of two men charged in separate murder cases. The piece has amassed over 30 million views and almost half a million shares to date. NowThis broke ground in terms of international issues as well as domestic stories - with this piece on the persecution faced on Uyghur Muslims, a key example of the huge audiences willing to engage with challenging global topics.

NowThis also helped to set the agenda in the world of politics. From that viral video of Senate candidate Beto O'Rourke that catapulted the Texan onto the national stage, to an exclusive op-ed with President Obama, NowThis was the place for politicians of all stripes to reach young voters with serious messages. NowThis also set the agenda on the night of the midterms itself, with its graphic of the electoral firsts setting the internet alight.

NowThis also led the way with ground-breaking enterprise journalism - including this short documentary investigating the circumstances around an apparent white supremacist murder of a young Iranian-American. Charges were brought against one of the story's protagonists after publication. Another NowThis Reports on homeless college students had a huge impact on our audience and the local communities across the U.S. - inspiring people to write to NowThis to ask how they could offer help.

The brand also published its first feature documentary, taking a look at the unique story of Chris Hurst, a man who decided to run for political office after encountering tragedy in his personal life. The resulting piece was moving, challenging, and ultimately uplifting.

NowThis also broke ground in terms of its original series. The brand recently announced its slate of originals, and chief among those was "Seen," a ground-breaking series exploring identity and representation, a core issue for the company. "Seen" elevated the narratives of diverse young people who don't always get the coverage they deserve elsewhere in the mainstream media, including the story of Aaron Philp, a trans disabled model taking the fashion world by storm.

NowThis led courageous conversations, maintained audience by shining its spotlight on under-reported issues, and sparked action in almost everything that it did in 2018.

Results (max 250 words)

Lay out the results of your work and how it successfully met your team's objectives and goals.


The figures speak for themselves. Over 2.5 billion video views in January 2019 - its highest ever. And over 1.1 billion minutes of combined watch time that same month.

The brand has truly cemented its position as the premiere destination for young people looking to understand the world. NowThis reaches over 70% of all Americans in their 20s, and the news publisher also ranks no.1 for news in the 18-49 demographic according to Nielsen.

A single video of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez achieved over 60 million video views - with the highest performance ever recorded for a video of a politician on Twitter, according to Tubular Labs.

NowThis achieved its best ever audience figures even in the face of ever changing algorithms and a challenging landscape for many digital brands - and has entered the new year in a stronger position than ever.

But it wasn't just about the views - NowThis had more interviews with news-makers than ever before - including President Obama, Vice-President Biden, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Governor John Kasich, and with a diverse range of celebrities from Eddie Redmayne to Karamo Brown, and from RuPaul to Bill Nye.

As a result of exclusives like these and other major stories, NowThis had more press coverage than ever before, more impact with its audience than ever before, and more of a contribution to the debate than it had ever previously made. Where NowThis took the lead, other media outlets followed, time and again in 2018.


Entrant Company / Organization Name

NowThis News