Netflix has announced that it will release a new documentary series that will follow BuzzFeed reporters while they develop their stories. The show is called “Follow This” and Netflix has revealed that it will premiere on July 9 on the streaming platform. Although the show has largely been produced by BuzzFeed, a number of Netflix executives have been involved in the process.
Each episode of the new show will last only 15 minutes, and it will focus on one journalist only. The documentary will show how BuzzFeed reporters create their stories in their settings and even on location. All issues will be covered including controversial social issues and cultural stories that are published by BuzzFeed. 15-minute episodes are not very common. Netflix original shows usually run for longer. Even though there’s a category called “mid-form” for these short releases, this is the very first time that Netflix is doing it.
BuzzFeed has also been stepping up in terms of show production. The online publisher is already working on a new TV show for Oxygen. The show follows the investigative work of Buzzfeed’s national reporter Katie J.M. Baker. But Buzzfeed is not the only online media publisher that’s trying to make a mark in TV and premium online video distribution services.
This has been quite a trend ever since Facebook decided to de-prioritize publisher content on its platform. It looks like many publishers are trying to find new avenues to share their content, and premium streaming services are a great option. We saw a few months back a deal between the online content publisher Vice and HBO. Ever since, many other new media companies have struck deals with TV and streaming services.
For instance, Vox has TV deals with PBS, Netflix and FYI while ATTN has a deal with Showtime. We have also seen details about a deal between The Dodo and The Animal Planet.
The first episode of the show “Follow This” will follow Scaachi Koul. The reporter will be on assignment reporting on what BuzzFeed is calling the “enthusiastic proponents” of the so-called “head orgasm” or what’s most formally known as ASMR (Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response).
BuzzFeed News editor-in-chief Ben Smith says that the news outlet is very happy to bring the experience of its reporters to an “unmatched Netflix audience.” Smith also noted that BuzzFeed is thrilled to see that Netflix has an interest in the drama that comes with its journalism.
It will be interesting to see the kind of response that the new 20-episode documentary series will receive once it premieres. Netflix has produced many high-quality and popular shows for its audience so it’s indeed safe to say that the bar right now is set very high. But there’s confidence among producers that the show will be a success.