BuzzFeed, Twitter Team Up to Stream Election Night Coverage

By Steve Safran Comment

BuzzFeed News

BuzzFeed News is going to offer its take on election night coverage, streaming it via Twitter, the company announced this morning. Calling it “an alternative approach to coverage for a next-generation, highly engaged audience,” BuzzFeed News’s show will originate from its offices in New York City.

At least one aspect of its coverage will be conventional: There will be ads. The live stream will have “TV style mid-roll ad spots.”

Who’s going to provide the data? BuzzFeed News is going to work with DecisionDeskHQ, a political information site that calls itself “the only independent and comprehensive election night results service outside of the Associated Press.”

Twitter has proven itself as an alternative to TV during this election. Although it has received a fraction of the TV viewing audience for the debates, that fraction is still significant: 3.2 million unique viewers watched the second debate on Twitter this past Sunday, a big jump from the 2.5 million who watched the first presidential debate. (By way of comparison, 84 million people watched the first debate on TV and 66.5 million watched the second one.)

In terms of engagement, the second debate was big on Twitter. It was the most tweeted debate thus far, with 17 million tweets going out. Watching an event on Twitter is a different experience than watching on TV and it’s not for everyone. Just as with the Thursday Night Football livestreams, there are people who like having the show and a Twitter livestream on the same screen – and those who don’t. BuzzFeed is looking to that engaged, social audience that wants the interactive experience and an alternative take on the election.

The election is on Tuesday, Nov. 8. BuzzFeed News’s Twitter coverage begins at 6 p.m. ET/3 p.m. PT.

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