Will video save Twitter?
Report Available: September 14, 2016
Blueshift’s initial research shows TWTR making a big bet that live-streaming video will jumpstart its stagnating user growth and boost revenue through premium video advertising. The company has inked deals with the NFL and other major sports leagues to stream live events and is reportedly trying to get its app on Apple TV to make it easier for its users to watch such content on big screens. More than a year of anemic user growth and decelerating revenue growth has forced TWTR to try something bold to remake its platform. Other social media platforms, including FB and Snapchat, are also working on live-streaming entertainment and are competing for video ad dollars.
- TWTR is reportedly in talks with AAPL to get its app on the Apple TV box, which would provide a simple way for users to watch TWTR’s live-streamed video on their big screen TVs.
- The AAPL discussions follow a bevy of deals that TWTR has announced that give it the rights to live-stream premium content, including NFL games. TWTR agreed in April to pay the NFL $10 million to stream 10 games starting this fall. In addition, TWTR has content deals with Wimbledon, Major League Baseball and other sports leagues. The platform also allows its users to live-stream their own videos through Periscope, which TWTR acquired in 2015.
- TWTR has been struggling badly with user and revenue growth. In July, the company reported its worst quarterly revenue growth since it went public in 2013 and said its user base grew only 3% to 313 million users. It has been stuck around the 300 million mark for more than a year.
- Competition for eyeballs and ad revenue will be fierce as advertisers shift spending from TV to digital video. FB and Snapchat are among those trying to develop live-streaming entertainment.
- Blueshift Research has been detailing TWTR’s struggles since an October 2014 FB report, when 13 sources reported little use of and subpar results on TWTR as compared to FB. In Blueshift’s October 2015 TWTR report, sources said TWTR’s share of ad budgets could shrink in 2016 as the site’s targeting, reach and conversion rates were leaving advertisers wanting. Blueshift’s most recent FB report on Jan. 21 found little momentum for TWTR among advertisers and agencies.
Will live sports and other entertainment bring new users to the TWTR platform? Will content deals with the NFL and other sports properties establish TWTR as the go-to site for live events? How will live programming help TWTR in the fight for premium video ad revenue? What else does TWTR have to do to successfully improve its ad products? To answer these and other questions, Blueshift will issue a market research report by gathering data from Large advertisers and agencies, Small and medium advertisers and agencies, and Industry specialists such as sports media consultants.
Companies: Facebook (FB), Twitter (TWTR), Yahoo! (YHOO)
Research Begins: August 29, 2016