Twitter Inc. (TWTR), the embattled social network operator that is aiming to boost its live streaming content as a way to get users to stay and lure in more advertising dollars, announced earlier Tuesday it has inked 12 new content deals.
During the company’s first-ever Digital Content NewFronts presentation, the digital content conference put on by the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), Twitter announced a slew of new content deals that will bring hundreds of hours of new exclusive original programming, live games and events and live syndications to a new always online streaming platform.
Among the more notable content deals Twitter inked includes the Women’s National Basketball Association, BuzzFeed, Bloomberg News, The Verge and Live Nation among others. Twitter announced the deal with Bloomberg on Monday. With that partnership Bloomberg will debut a 24/7 breaking-news network that will be global, live and exclusive to Twitter. The network will launch in the fall.
In the case of the WNBA, Twitter said in a press release that starting later this month Twitter will stream a weekly regular season game amounting to 20 games per season. The deal lasts through the 2019 season. Tech website The Verge is creating a gadget show for Twitter that will air weekly starting this fall. The show is focused on reviewing and experimenting with the latest and greatest in the world of gadgets. BuzzFeed is creating "MorningFeed," a morning news and current events show, exclusive for Twitter.
"We could not be prouder of the success we have achieved so quickly since launching live streaming premium content. Last quarter, we streamed over 800 hours of live premium content from leading brands across sports, esports, news, and entertainment," said Anthony Noto, chief operating officer at Twitter, in the release. "Adding these 12 new live deals tonight is a testament to the success of our only-on-Twitter experience, combining high quality streaming video with our only-on-Twitter conversation." (See also: Twitter Signs Deals to Boost Live-Video Strategy.)
Video and Viability
Twitter’s full court press into live video comes at a time when all of the social media networks are embracing what is expected to be the next area of growth. As video becomes more prominent in the lives of millions of people around the globe, social media network operators including Twitter and Facebook Inc. (FB) want to make sure their platform is where users go to consume all that content.
Facebook has been successful with its Facebook Live video stream, although it has been facing some backlash due to the violence that is being broadcast on the medium, but it is also resulting in increased usage, which means more advertising revenue. Up until recently, Twitter hasn’t set in stone its strategy for live content. It did have a deal with the NFL to live steam big games and events last season and also live streamed the 2016 presidential debates, but some industry watchers argue it appears to be lost when it comes to live video. Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN) won the rights to stream NFL games for next season. (See also: Twitter Posts Strong User Growth, Shares Soar.)