Livestreaming: Twitter’s Surest Bet in 2017

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After a bit of uncertainty around whether to identify as ‘social’ or not, platforms like Facebook, Snapchat, and Twitter have redefined their offerings and reaffirmed their places in the industry. Snap Inc. is now a camera company, and Twitter is a real-time news platform. Twitter’s recent and continued focus on livestreaming solidifies its place as a source for complete coverage, uniting live video and conversations in one place.

Twitter’s livestream strategy began with a $10 million deal with the NFL for the rights to stream Thursday Night Football games this past fall. The partnership kicked off in September with over 2 million viewers tuning in to the Jets versus Bills game. Season viewership peaked at 3.1 million, up 28% from September. Although those numbers cannot compete with the approximately 17.4 million who watched the games on live TV, the season is still a ‘W’ for Twitter with viewership increasing each week and feedback from fans overwhelmingly positive.

Video coverage appears alongside real-time Twitter dialogue about the sporting contests, and brands have found success promoting content within the live feed. Adaptly client JBL, a Harman brand, reached 3 million people by promoting its Deflategate parody video during Twitter’s livestream of a Patriots game. By targeting users interested in football, sports, music, comedy, and NFL emojis, JBL was able to drive 1.1 million video views amongst people who were engaged in conversations while streaming the game.

In addition to the NFL, Twitter has deals with other sports leagues, like the NBA, MLB, and the PGA. One game per week from each the NBA and the MLB will stream on the platform in 2017, in addition to early round coverage of PGA tour tournaments. The PGA livestreams will give golf fans pre-tournament analysis, interviews, and original content.

“Twitter, the go-to platform for live events, has the ability to bring user content together with live video to give viewers comprehensive coverage without forcing them to split time between screens,” says Matt Burgoon, Adaptly’s SVP of Media Operations. “Keeping an eye on social conversations about a favorite team can distract users from watching the game itself, but by placing related tweets and trending content alongside the action, Twitter is able to put all relevant gametime content in one place.”

The entertainment industry is also getting in on the livestream trend. The red carpet pre-show for the Golden Globes was livestreamed on Twitter and attracted 2.7 million viewers, delivering ten times more impressions for advertisers than initially promised. Following that success, further Awards Season coverage will include Red Carpet pre-show livestreams at the Country Music Awards, Billboard Music Awards, and American Music Awards.

And don’t forget about politics. A record-breaking 6.8 million unique viewers tuned in to PBS and Twitter’s live Inauguration Day coverage as Donald Trump was sworn in as the 45th President of the United States.

“Twitter is where news and politics are discussed in real time every day, and we’re excited to collaborate with PBS NewsHour around this historic event to bring public broadcasting’s live coverage to Twitter,” said Anthony Noto, COO at Twitter.

Twitter provides a one-stop shop for live video content and commentary, and solves for both cord-cutters and second-screeners. And best of all, it attracts millions of viewers. A continued focus on livestreaming in 2017 will bolster Twitter’s positioning as a real-time news source and provide exciting advertising opportunities moving forward.