Twitter Will Showcase New Original Content and Streaming Video Soon
In its ongoing search for a plentiful revenue stream, Twitter has been consistently doubling down its streaming video strategy.
The social network will be unveiling more options for content makers and advertisers soon as it will participate at the Digital Content NewFronts for the first time this May.
Mimicking the format (and a play on the name) of upfronts—meetings in the television industry between network executives and advertisers—the NewFronts serve a similar role between digital advertisers and media companies. The series of events was founded in 2012 by some familiar and big names in search and digital advertising, including Google (GOOGL), Microsoft (MSFT), Yahoo (YHOO), Hulu, and AOL, among others.
Thus, Twitter’s move to appear and present at the conference further solidifies the company’s ambitions to be digital media provider and platform rather than just a microblogging site or social network—notably one that consistenly has a user growth problem.
If it can’t grow the base as fast as Wall Street wants, Twitter’s financial future looks increasingly to be based upon live-streaming popular events—whether it be NFL games or movie premiere red carpets— in high-definition with advertising built around it (not to mention users who enjoy “live tweeting” these events).
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Twitter (TWTR) said that it streamed more than 600 hours of live video from approximately 400 events during the fourth quarter of 2016, at an average of 50 hours of live programming per week. All in all, Twitter’s video efforts in Q4 drew 31 million unique viewers—roughly a third of which were based outside the United States.
Overall, Twitter’s user base totaled 319 million average monthly active users by the end of Q4. But analysts had been looking for at least 319.6 million.
Half of them, according to Twitter, were under the age of 25. Younger viewers are the elusive but desired audience for TV networks and advertisers at the moment as more of them cut the cord. And if anything can be gleaned from the recent Snap Inc. IPO, it’s that Wall Street is very keen on understanding and wooing these consumers, too.
Twitter hasn’t revealed yet what exactly it will be presenting this May, except to say that it will bring “new original content offerings and live programming to brands and agencies.”