The partners say the renewal of “AM to DM,” through the end of 2019, is an indication of its success in delivering a new take on the morning TV show format. In the hour-long weekday show, hosts Saeed Jones (above left) and Isaac Fitzgerald (right) highlight trending tweets, banter about the biggest news stories of the day, and interview guests and experts.
First launched in September 2017, BuzzFeed and Twitter say “AM to DM” averages around 400,000 live views daily, which they say makes it the most popular news show on the platform. In 2018, the show had 101 million Twitter impressions with an average of 3 million tweet impressions each week, according to the companies.
But it’s not clear how long people are watching: The companies declined to provide metrics on viewing time or total ad impressions served in “AM to DM.” All that BuzzFeed would say is that the show generates “millions” of views each week.
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Shani Hilton, BuzzFeed News VP of news and programming, said “AM to DM” is “making money – it’s successful” and that the show is operating profitably at this point.
The show has a relatively small core fanbase — the @AM2DM handle has fewer than 25,000 followers — and BuzzFeed and Twitter are continuing to try to build viewership. “Overall, the people we’re trying to reach are the people who read and share our stories and want an in-depth information,” Hilton said. “My goal is to continue help increase awareness of the show.”
Advertisers for “AM to DM” have included Wendy’s — which was a presenting sponsor for five consecutive quarters — Bank of America, Toyota, Google, T-Mobile, MGM, 20th Century Fox, Mondelez, Exxon and SAP. BuzzFeed also produces sponsored editorial segments, such as road trip with Wendy’s featuring the show’s hosts.
For Twitter, reupping the BuzzFeed News show continues its strategy to bring live-streaming video to its user base. Separately Monday, the PGA Tour announced a renewed and expanded agreement with Twitter to distribute (for free) nearly 140 hours of live competition from PGA Tour Live across 28 tournaments during the 2018-19 season. Under the multiyear agreement, PGA Tour on Twitter will stream the first 60-90 minutes from the morning hours of all four rounds of PGA Tour Live’s over-the-top subscription window worldwide.
In 2018, BuzzFeed News aired over 200 episodes of “AM to DM” and had more than 500 guests on the show, including Chrissy Teigen, Lin-Manuel Miranda and Madeleine Albright. According to BuzzFeed, the show’s most-engaged moments from last year were Miranda’s drop of “First Burn” (from “Hamilton”) and Noah Centineo of Netflix’s “Sierra Burgess Is a Loser” giving a shout-out to Shannon Purser, the film’s star.
The format for “AM to DM” has largely stayed the same, according to Hilton, aside from the show moving two hours later from its initial 8 a.m. ET start time. BuzzFeed also has been able to extend the show throughout the day, with replays of the full show and shorter clips and segments available on-demand on Twitter. “There’s better production and better guests than we did a year ago,” Hilton said. “But it hasn’t massively changed.”
In 2019. the show’s producers plan a series specials tied to “major cultural events” including: awards-show nominations, Black History Month, and back-to-school season. Upcoming “AM to DM” episodes will include “Highly Recommended” segments, featuring in-depth conversations with actors, writers and directors behind BuzzFeed staffers’ favorite TV shows and movies. In addition, this year BuzzFeed expects to incorporate more of the company’s own franchises and original productions in the “AM to DM” lineup, including segments from the Tasty food brand.
“The creative, direct and welcoming tone that comes so naturally to Saeed and Isaac has struck a cord with their audience on Twitter,” said Nick Sallon, Head of U.S. news partnerships at Twitter. “We’re thrilled that ‘AM to DM’ will continue to grow in 2019 as both a trusted news source for Twitter users and a reliable and compelling way for advertisers to connect with what’s happening.”
BuzzFeed News’ Patrick McMenamin is the executive producer of “AM to DM.” The show is overseen by both Hilton and head of programming Cindy Vanegas-Gesuale.