Twitter Inc. has announced its new partnership with Bloomberg in order to break into the TV broadcasting industry. Twitter aims to provide 24/7 user-focused, live streaming content for its users. It also hopes to form additional partnerships to increase and expand the content it can provide.
Twitter is embarking on a difficult journey with so many video-streaming agencies competing currently for consumer attention. This is where the niche approach will be the secret to their success in this venture.
Here’s why the focused approach will be Twitter’s ace in the hole, winning them attention in the video streaming game and winning them your attention.
A Case for A Focused Approach
Twitter took its first steps into live streaming, video content world in 2016 with their announcement to stream to the NFL’s Thursday Night Football. This deal brought 2.6 million viewers to the new Twitter platform; a number that isn’t shocking considering it’s the NFL and that TV viewings are 8x that. This was a mere drop in the pond of viewership, making most deem the launch of this live streaming method a failure as it did not immediately boost Twitter as a platform.
This ‘failure’ continued when Amazon bought the rights to Thursday Night Football out from under Twitter for 5x the amount ($50 million) they had originally paid. If live streaming Thursday Night Football were such a ‘failure’ then why would Amazon offer 5x the amount for an unchanged contract? Clearly, Twitter was onto something.
Despite the loss of this initial contract, the presence of the NFL on Twitter has shown the benefits of Twitter as a platform for streaming. Hosting the NFL may not have brought in the millions of users that Twitter had anticipated; however, it did prove that Twitter could function as a successful medium for live streaming content to users.
Twitter’s streaming of the Presidential race reinforced their success as a live streaming medium. Live streaming audiences of the debates showed a steady increase and the debates were heavily tweeted. Twitter was never in direct competition with TV audience viewing of the debates, but it provided a solid alternative and supplementary option for viewing and engaging with the content.
Twitter has proven its ability to function as a live streaming platform and an option that is increasing in popularity. With the push of some media intense events, Twitter is working to improve its new live streaming focus.
Wide Audience, Focused Content
After the loss of the NFL contract, Twitter focused on adding live streaming content directed at additional niche groups.
Twitter announced in March that they would now be live streaming the National Lacrosse League (NLL), a choice that was met with some controversy. The NLL had a small following and gave Twitter a less competitive image in the live streaming pool. However, the large audience is not the endgame for Twitter’s marketing plan. The goal is to create a dedicated niche following and provide them with a space to watch their content online. It offers consistency, an opportunity for content specific advertising, and the chance to build an online community and following.
Additionally, Twitter streamed the Halo World Championship, which is yet another focused market. This choice did not bring millions of viewers to Twitter as a platform but again offered a passionate audience a chance to view and engage with something they enjoy.
Twitter signed deals with a variety of other niche areas of interest to provide live streaming of their events on Twitter. Some of these deals included Campus Insiders, university sports, Pac-12, and ESL, among many others. All of these were procured with the idea of providing content to a specific, small viewership in order to build a dedicated community online that uses Twitter as a platform to view its content.
It would seem Twitter learned a lesson with their NFL contract. If they only went after big fish, such as the NFL, there would always be someone more established waiting in the wings to outbid them. By directing their focus on niche markets that were neglected and ignored by the larger streaming agencies, Twitter is creating a name for itself as the place to go to view unique, non-mainstream content.
Twitter has established itself in a way that advertisements can be explicitly directed towards consumers and, therefore, be more effective. It can build new platforms for each niche market, which will help brands focus on connecting to particular consumer groups and build focused marketing campaigns.
Enter the deal with Bloomberg.
The Twitter and Bloomberg contract is beneficial to both companies. Although Bloomberg offers 24/7 streaming to its providers already, its partnership with Twitter will allow it to produce niche content and broadcast it at a lower cost to an audience that is already present on Twitter.
The TV schedule for Bloomberg, although covering a range of market focuses, is mainly directed towards mainstream, market news. With this partnership, Bloomberg is capable of broadcasting more niche programs on a variety of topics such as politics, currencies, commodities, or technologies, to name a few examples. Bloomberg has the opportunity, by live streaming through Twitter, to broaden its market and create new channels with dedicated, niche audiences.
These audiences will not be massive, but that is not the end goal. This will make Bloomberg the primary source of information and knowledge for the industry, and provide the main channel for directed advertising. Companies are frequently trying a new practice: buying retweets as a new form of organic Twitter marketing.
On TV, such a process would be impractical because it would involve running separate channels, but with live streaming the ability to have multiple channels reaching niche audiences is endless. Twitter has the groundwork already designed to accommodate Bloomberg’s needs making the partnership ideal. If Bloomberg can market correctly, the ad revenue will offset the costs associated with running the multiple channels.
If Bloomberg can create the content, then Twitter can stream it. Although it would be ideal for Twitter to stream every large event possible, the niche markets are better suited for day-to-day consumption and appeal to a broader, overall market.
Twitter is becoming the place for focused, online streamed content and it would seem that market specific content might be the way of the future.