Twitter’s transformation into a TV network is edging ever closer with the company’s announcement that it is teaming up with Bloomberg to create a 24/7 news streaming service directly on the social network.
The move comes as little surprise given Twitter’s recent escapades in the video-streaming realm. The company announced last week that 800 hours of live premium video were watched by 45 million viewers in Q1 2017, up 31 percent on the previous quarter, with myriad video partnerships over the past 12 months helping drive new users to the platform. Last year, Twitter won the rights to stream Thursday night NFL games, and it also partnered with BuzzFeed for a U.S. presidential election livestream and nabbed some PGA golf coverage. More recently, it has signed video deals across sports, esports, and politics, and it’s also preparing to begin producing original content.
Ahead of its Q1 earnings announcement last week, Twitter revealed that it eventually plans to stream video 24/7, and it now seems the first of those deals is already in place. The as-yet-unnamed new service is expected to begin operating this fall, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal, and will extend beyond Bloomberg’s existing TV news coverage by mixing broadcasts from its global news outlets with a “curated and verified mix of video” from Twitter’s users.
“It is going to be focused on the most important news for an intelligent audience around the globe, and it’s going to be broader in focus than our existing network,” said Bloomberg Media’s CEO, Justin Smith.
Video offers Twitter more opportunities to serve ads, which is why it is so keen to move into 24/7 broadcasting, but the company also hopes video will increase its stickiness and drive user engagement. Indeed, Twitter’s monthly active user (MAU) growth was one of the few highlights from its earnings report last week, rising by 9 million people (6 percent) from the previous quarter. Moving forward, video will be at the center of Twitter’s strategy to build on this recent upward trajectory.