Twitter’s evolution into a platform for exclusive live video content is taking another notable step this week with the news that the social network is partnering with Disney to broadcast “never-before-seen” content from the upcoming Star Wars flick, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.
Opening in U.S. theaters on December 16, Rogue One is a product of Lucasfilm and is the first standalone Star Wars movie that doesn’t constitute part of the ongoing anthology. While official trailers have already been introduced ahead of the film’s debut next month, on December 2, Twitter is serving as the official broadcast platform for a special event hosted by Time’s People magazine. The event will include not only new footage but also a Q&A with cast members and the director.
“People come to Twitter to see what’s happening in the entertainment world, and the conversation about movies, especially Star Wars, is constant on Twitter,” said Twitter COO Anthony Noto, in a press release. “Our collaboration with Disney and People will give fans fresh and exciting live Star Wars content that they can view and Tweet about all on the same platform.”
This represents the latest in a line of livestreaming initiatives from Twitter, as it looks to encourage new sign-ups. Back in April, news emerged that Twitter was effectively becoming a global TV network after it won the online rights to stream Thursday night NFL games in full. The first game drew in more than two million viewers on Twitter, a number that rose by more than a third the following week. Twitter even launched its own dedicated live video app on Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, and Xbox One, then partnered with BuzzFeed for a U.S. presidential election livestream.
Twitter is really starting to ramp up its live video output, and with big-name brands like Disney and Star Wars on board, Twitter is in good company. Live coverage will kick off at 10 a.m. Pacific, and the livestream will be broadcast globally from “a surprise location.” Notably, it will be available to logged-out Twitter users too, the idea being that the company wants as many people to join the livestream as possible, with the potential to get them to sign up at a later point. It’s all about increasing mindshare.