Twitter is looking to stream live video content around the clock, adding to the 800+ hours of content it aired during the first three months of this year. Twitter’s COO and CFO Anthony Noto told BuzzFeed News that the company is looking to broadcast video content in various categories such as entertainment, sports, news and so on.
How 24/7 streaming will help Twitter
Noto has not revealed many details about their plans for live broadcasting, but the timing is worth taking note of, as it comes in the same month in which Twitter lost the rights to stream Thursday Night NFL games to Amazon. The new deal is reportedly worth $50 million, compared to $10 million for the last season’s streaming rights.
Despite losing the NFL deal, the micro-blogging firm sees live video as a pillar of its growth and revenue strategy. According to Noto, live video is pushing more engagement on the platform and is also enabling the company to add 15- and 30-second unskippable video ads. Such ads usually command premium pricing.
Along with airing auto-play videos from its desktop site, the company is also airing them from its Explore tab. This has helped the platform gain sizable viewership numbers. For instance, the NFL package got about 3.5 million unique viewers to the platform, Oscars pre and post shows garnered 6.4 million viewers in total, and the live inauguration day coverage from PBS brought 8.6 million unique viewers, notes CNBC.
The always-on video will also help the company effectively utilize its platform and tech infrastructure, which we have already seen can support a large streaming audience. Thus, the company is also considering adding more sports content like highlights shows (like The Rally) and UFC coverage.
What content will Twitter come up with?
Noto did not mention when Twitter will come up with the new feature, but he said that it would take some time. However, he did acknowledge that they are currently working on a string of programs to launch always-on Twitter TV. Dropping another hint, Noto says that the end result could be programming like viewers get on the 24/7 news networks and sports channels.
“Focus in on it when you hear something that’s of interest, but then maybe not be 100 percent focused on it when it’s not of interest,” the executive said.
Similar broadcasts are already on the platform, including sports highlights and news talk shows, notes The Verge.
One could expect the company to showcase some of its features during the next week’s NewFronts, notes The Verge. It will be Twitter’s first appearance at the event. The micro-blogging firm is also expected to launch some of the new shows at the event. As of now, Twitter’s 24/7 plans only focus on U.S.-based content. It will be interesting to see if, going forward, the company will add more countries and local content.
Separately, the micro-blogging site, which has constantly been working on its beta app, only recently was seen testing a live counter for retweets, likes and replies on every tweet, notes AndroidPolice.