BuzzFeed, the web publisher with 2.2 billion monthly video views, reached a deal with Twitter to host a live weekday morning show that will debut in September, The Drum reported. Wendy's, Bank of America and Toyota are lined up as the show's first sponsors.
The show, titled "AM to DM," will feature BuzzFeed's news reporters, editors and special guests discussing the day's top stories. Coverage will be tied to real-time reactions from Twitter users. Twitter has an audience of 68 million users in the U.S.
BuzzFeed Books Editor Isaac Fitzgerald and BuzzFeed News Executive Editor of Culture Saeed Jones will host the show. Cindy Vanegas-Gesuale, who previously worked at CNN, Fox and the Huffington Post, will produce the program.
Twitter is among the social media companies that are ramping up their video programming as a way to keep users engaged with its mobile app — and to bring in lucrative sponsorships from major brand advertisers. The micro-blogging service wants to maintain its role of providing breaking news from professional media organizations, social influencers and users who post interesting events. Tying user comments into the live streams allows BuzzFeed to play into viewers' habits of "second screening" — texting and tweeting while they watch video or TV — and directly engage its audience.
This wouldn't be Twitter's first go at becoming a "people's news network." In April, it partnered with Bloomberg to create a 24-hour news service that is set to debut in the fall. Its programming will be made up of live news reporting from Bloomberg's bureaus around the world. The 24-hour channel is a big step up for Twitter, which broadcast 800 hours of programming in Q1 2017, compared with 600 hours in the prior quarter, The Wall Street Journal reported.
Twitter and BuzzFeed's show follows Snapchat's debut of a daily program produced with NBC News. "Stay Tuned," the twice-daily program anchored by the news outlet's Gadi Schwartz and MSNBC reporter Savannah Sellers, covers national and international news, politics and pop culture among other topics, according to NBC.
Twitter is battling declining U.S. audience numbers and sales. The company last month said ad revenue fell 8% to $489 million in Q2 2017 from a year earlier. Average monthly active users in the U.S. decreased to 68 million in Q2 from 70 million in the previous quarter. The overall average monthly active user number was flat at 328 million.