Notes from the Magid Weather Institute 2019

Last week I was fortunate to be an invited speaker and participant at a weather conference sponsored by Magid, one of the leading media consulting companies in the U.S. This was a chance for broadcast meteorologists and news managers to hear about the latest audience research, learn new skills and gather ideas on how to connect with TV viewers.

According to Magid research, 87% of the people who watch local news say the weather segments on all local newscasts are virtually the same. And 81% say “most of what I see in a weathercast I already know.”

What it comes down to, according to Pete Seyfer, Vice-President of The Magid Institute, is the RTW: Reason to Watch. “You must provide real value in your weathercasts that a weather consumer can’t get on their smartphone.” Showing a picture of the latest satellite and radar isn’t enough.

Magid consultants are encouraging their TV station clients to consider using augmented reality to differentiate their weathercast from the competition. That was the focus of my 90-minute presentation.

Using software developed by The Weather Company, Max Reality allows broadcast meteorologists to take the weathercast beyond the green wall, literally. Realistic 3D maps and text can appear beside or in front of the broadcast meteorologist while he or she explains the changing weather conditions.

The process of going “From Concept to Content” isn’t quick and easy, as I demonstrated during my presentation. But there’s no better way to make the weather story come alive for viewers.

And it’s something an app can’t do.