NBC’s latest digital venture is an attempt to snap up more viewers on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. The broadcast network has officially launched Left Field, a division that will create newsworthy videos intended for social media platforms.
Left Field, which NBC teased last week, is looking to engage millennial and Gen Z consumers with the same sort of off-the-beaten-path reporting that has made Great Big Story, a social news venture funded by CNN, into a popular hub on platforms like Facebook and YouTube. Left Field’s first story takes viewers to Amsterdam, where amidst colorful shots of buildings and canals, we learn about refugees who are squatting in the Dutch capital’s abandoned residences.
As The Hollywood Reporter notes, the 12-person Left Field team is currently operating out of a Manhattan office that is separate from the NBC headquarters at 30 Rock. As part of that arrangement, the social video unit is receiving a large amount of autonomy, with former BBC News employee Matt Danzico serving as its head.
Thanks to the explosion of video content on platforms like Facebook, now is the time for a company like NBC to increase its social presence. Through Left Field’s work, The Peacock will be able to better understand what its own strategy should be going forward. “We will be taking our learnings back to 30 Rock,” Danzico told The Hollywood Reporter.