BuzzFeed, the media company whose listicles and quizzes captivate its millions of daily visitors, is teaming up with Twitter for a digital morning news show. Called “AM to DM,” it will be hosted by BuzzFeed Books editor Isaac Fitzgerald and BuzzFeed News’ Executive Editor of Culture Saeed Jones.
It’s a play that makes sense for BuzzFeed; Twitter is one of its most successful social channels, which means the show should have a built-in audience. And while Twitter’s exploration of digital TV has been mixed, the combination of two popular Twitter personalities, bite-sized news segments and real-time engagement could yield positive results.
The format of the show is custom-made for how BuzzFeed’s target audiences interact online, and at least three brands are looking to get in on that engagement. Wendy’s, Toyota and Bank of America have all signed on as initial sponsors of “AM to DM.” There’s plenty of upside for these brands: not only can they present content in a way that’s both easily shareable and consumable, a company like Bank of America has an opportunity to build cred with an audience that might not view it in the most positive light. And as more brands become sponsors, they’ll also have the chance to connect themselves to BuzzFeed’s ever-churning advertorial machine and its audiences.
Of course, there are potential pitfalls: Twitter isn’t in the best shape financially, and growth of its user base appears stalled. Partnering with a media company that uses Twitter as a distribution channel could also give BuzzFeed the upper hand when it comes to choosing sponsors, making Twitter a background character on its own platform. And it’s not like other companies aren’t already using Twitter as a live video distribution channel: “post-cable network” Cheddar is going all-in on the social platform, but it might be too early to call it a success.
No matter how “AM to DM” performs, it’s an opportunity for brands of all sizes to leverage a popular social media platform to find, identify and engage the right Twitter users for its target audiences. And it’s a chance for BuzzFeed to branch into a relatively new kind of programming. For now, the project looks like a win-win.
Featured image: BuzzFeed