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Reddit wants broadcasters to use its content, hopes live TV will drive brand awareness


By John McCarthy, Opinion Editor

February 6, 2020 | 5 min read

Reddit is becoming more TV-friendly. A new tool has made it easier for broadcasters to share and credit content from its communities.


Reddit's making it easier for broadcasters to spotlight its communities

The blogging community has partnered with interactive storytelling firm Tagboard to integrate Reddit content with live TV. It hopes to loosen Twitter’s grip on news cycles. It is positioning its subreddits to inspire segments and discussions on TV.

With the partnership, broadcasters now have the tools to easily select and drop Reddit content into their live TV packages.

Alexandra Riccomini, Reddit’s senior director of business development and media partnerships, told The Drum that the Tagboard partnership makes Reddit content more shareable. It could attract new users with free media broadcasters will give to its communities.

“We’re excited to see how content will be shared with a larger TV audience and drive awareness of Reddit.”

NFL Network and TEGNA (a local news syndicate in the US) will both make use of the tools on the launch.

Riccomini said: “Reddit is a melting pot of cultures, communities, opinions, memes and so much more, which makes it such a great source of newsworthy content for local broadcasters and TV networks.”

She said that Reddit boasts 100,000 communities, many of which boast “incredible depth and nuance” – across everything between K-Pop trend to baby Yoda. The Tagboard partnership makes it easier for Reddit content to be credited and distributed by TV networks. “We anticipate this partnership will empower broadcasters to share Reddit content regularly while also showcasing Reddit’s power of community and belonging.”

With 430 million monthly active users there is a strong base of people generating newsworthy items. TEGNA’s 49 newsrooms will be using the tool to “stay attuned to the hyperlocal issues being discussed in their communities” said Adam Ostrow, chief digital officer of TEGNA. This could be a cost-effective way of broaching local issues without having to send reporters out of the newsroom. Or the tool could inspire greater engagements with communities if local subreddits prove to be productive. Additionally, communities could use them as a springboard to get their views shared on their local news channel.

This marks the first step in Reddit’s TV journey. Currently, the site is used to take a temperature of public sentiment on select issues. AMAs with interesting figures have been known to inspire news cycles and the NFL understands the value of the community there.

Below are videos of how the Tagboard tool works.

Last year Reddit upped its ad product. The NFL was among the primary partners. It secured a series of ‘Ask Me Anything’ discussions as part of a wider digital content and advertising deal with Reddit. Reddit claimed it draws 8.8m visitors to its football-related pages each month while the NFL’s online forum counts 1.4m members.

These latest products are positioned to help broadcasters and brands like the NFL to unlock more value from the site. But down the road, Riccomini envisions "TV shows being based around Reddit's community-generated content and commentary".

Furthermore, Reddit says it boasts a young and engaged audience with a demographic that's 79% 18 to 34-year-olds. It could be a good tool to gauge the opinion of young people. However, like any online communities, Reddit faces the danger of toxic behavior.

It’s a battle Reddit's long seen as both a platform for open speech, and community, and as a product advertisers much look desirably upon.

Recently, it has been talking up its brand safety protections. It handpicks the subreddits brands will be appearing in, which should keep any immediately concerning placements to a minimum - assuming the content within subreddits deemed safe and relevant remains so.

While Reddit, along with the rest of the social media companies, looks to smooth out these issues, it is fundraising to ensure its future security. Chinese tech giant Tencent is said to be leading these efforts.

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