We heard on April 30 that Twitter was boosting its live-streaming offerings after inking a deal with news giant Bloomberg.
Turns out that was just the tip of the iceberg after the social media company on May 1 announced a major expansion of its live video efforts across not only news but also sports and entertainment.
Twitter has partnered with 12 media outlets in its biggest push into live video yet, among them Bloomberg, BuzzFeed News, the PGA Tour, MLB, The Players’ Tribune, and Live Nation. A number of the new live-stream shows mark an expansion of existing deals with several of the outlets.
The original content will offer users of the social media site “hundreds of hours” of exclusive, live, and original programming as the platform seeks to become “the first place to see what’s happening.”
Twitter has been struggling to grow its user base — currently at 328 million — as well as monetize its service, so it’s hoping that doubling down on its live video efforts will help to boost its business on both fronts.
The company has watched in dismay as Facebook continues to cash in on its live video offerings thanks to big payouts from advertisers keen to reach the social networking giant’s global base of 1.86 billion monthly active users.
Live video offerings
Twitter’s latest live-streaming efforts include a deal with Bloomberg that gives the platform its first around-the-clock live video feed. Alongside weekly MLB games already live-streaming on Twitter, users will also be able to access an exclusive weekly three-hour show featuring MLB game look-ins and highlights.
Also, Live Nation will offer Twitter users real-time coverage of select concerts and original content, kicking off on May 13 with a live-stream of the Grammy-winning, multi-platinum Zac Brown Band. And golf fans already enjoying Twitter’s 70 hours of live competition coverage across 31 PGA tournaments can try out 360 video during The Players Championship between May 11 and 14.
At an event in New York City on May 1, Twitter chief operating officer Anthony Noto said that in the last quarter the social media service streamed “over 800 hours of live premium content” from around 200 partners across sports, esports, news, and entertainment, adding that the newly announced live deals are “a testament to the success of our only-on-Twitter experience, combining high-quality streaming video with our only-on-Twitter conversation.”
The partnerships represent a major move by Twitter as it seeks to attract both users and advertisers to make its business more competitive. Part of the challenge will be to persuade more users familiar with viewing short clips embedded in tweets to seek out long-form video content on its platform, though with 45 million unique viewers recorded in the first three months of 2017, it seems it’s enjoying some success in this quest.
What do you think? A smart step or too little too late? Sound off in the comments below.