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New Deals Turn Twitter's Content Stream Into a River

By David Jones
May 2, 2017 2:28 PM PT
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Twitter on Monday announced a partnership with Bloomberg Media to launch a 24-hour streaming news service -- one of a dozen new content deals Twitter has entered to drive user engagement.

CEO Jack Dorsey and a group of top executives announced the slate of programming agreements -- which include concerts from Live Nation, sports from Major League Baseball and the WNBA, and a morning news show from BuzzFeed -- at Twitter's first-ever Digital Content NewFronts presentation.

"We could not be prouder of the success we have achieved so quickly since launching live streaming content, Twitter COO Anthony Noto said, noting that the company has streamed more than 800 hours of live premium content.

"Adding 12 new live deals tonight is a testament to the success of our own on Twitter experience, combining high-quality streaming video with our only-on-Twitter conversation," he added.

The Bloomberg agreement builds on the firms' existing relationship -- they partnered on the 2016 presidential debates and other programming.

"In an era when most viewers are choosing immediacy over quality in breaking news, traditional media hasn't kept up," said Justin Smith, CEO of Bloomberg Media. "With this new network, we are setting out to reinvent the digital news experience."

Starting this fall, Bloomberg will offer a live, streaming 24-hour, exclusive news feed that will utilize all of the global Bloomberg news resources and include user-generated news content.

Traditional publishers need to expand their content to social media Grow your business with social media management services from Deluxe! platforms to reach some of their own subscribers, as social media has become the first choice for news consumption by an increasing number of consumers, said Trevor Tomson, vice president for public affairs research at The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.

"It's critical for everyone -- publishers and new media sources -- to engage audiences through social media," he told the E-Commerce Times.

Sports and Entertainment

In addition to the Bloomberg news service, Twitter's agreements include the following:

  • The WNBA will broadcast live weekly games, starting later this month, for a total of 20 per season, until the year 2019. The feed will include fan conversations, as well as the live broadcasts.
  • Live Nation will launch a series of live streaming concerts, starting May 13 with the Zac Brown Band performing at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheater at Encore Park in Atlanta. Other scheduled concerts include Train, Portugal, The Man, August Alsina and Marian Hill, with more to be announced.
  • Twitter will offer a 24-hour-a-day college sports feed called "Stadium," which will include live games, classic games, highlights and in-studio analysis.
  • The Players Tribune, a sports website backed by Yankee great Derek Jeter, will offer a live forum between players and fans called "#Verified." It will feature major league stars including the Minnesota Timberwolves' Karl Anthony Towns, the Seattle Seahawks' Richard Sherman and the Cincinnati Bengals' A.J. Green.
  • Building upon an existing partnership with the PGA, which already has 70 hours of PGA Tour feed, there will be a live 360 stream of the 17 hole at the Players Championship from May 11-14 on Twitter and Periscope.
  • The Verge will launch a weekly gadget show called "Circuit Breaker: The Verge's Gadget Show," hosted by Nilay Patel.
  • BuzzFeed will provide a new morning news show called "MorningFeed," which will feature staff reporters and special guests on set.
  • Cheddar, which airs a streaming show called "Closing Bell" on Twitter at 3 p.m., has launched a show called "Opening Bell" at 9 a.m., live from the New York Stock Exchange. It started Monday.
  • IMG Fashion will offer live content from major runway shows in New York, London, Paris, Milan and other locations during Fashion Week in September.
  • Propagate will launch a live pop culture show called "What'sHappening." A launch date was not announced.

Joining Dorsey on the stage were Twitter CMO Leslie Berland and Matthew Derella, global vice president of client solutions; NBA Commissioner Adam Silver; NBA star Karl Anthony Towns; ESPN analyst Jay Williams; television producer Ben Silverman; Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green; and Broadway star Audra McDonald.

Twitter's Last Chance

Twitter has gone through a litany of problems trying to define itself and its responsibility in terms of managing the content coming over its feed, noted Michael Jude, a program manager at Stratecast/Frost & Sullivan.

"Is Twitter a news feed, and does it have a responsibility to police what is carried on its platform?" he asked. "Or is it a common carriage communications operation where anything goes?"

The Bloomberg association allows Twitter to better control the overall content that it allows to reach viewers, Jude told the E-Commerce Times, while giving it a leg up in terms of content legitimacy and standards, when compared to rival platforms.


David Jones is a freelance writer based in Essex County, New Jersey. He has written for Reuters, Bloomberg, Crain's New York Business and The New York Times.


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