In what would be an inevitable push for the company building toward a TV-centric future, Twitter is reportedly in talks to add live video to its platform through deals with Viacom and NBC, Bloomberg reported Tuesday.
Such a move would make perfect sense considering Twitter’s current trajectory, as the company has worked to build up support for visual media and partnerships with companies in the television industry. Twitter has clearly realized that television and live broadcast events give the company a unique opportunity to harness online conversations happening at a particular moment and then serve up advertising based around those events. So while it’s unclear exactly what a Twitter/TV parternship would look like, it’s easy to see why Twitter would be interested.
Twitter has talked with Viacom (which owns MTV and Nickelodeon) about hosting video clips on the site along with advertising, as well ast NBC, the reports stated. But this wouldn’t be the first time Twitter has worked with television networks to host content to engage viewers — and more importantly for the company, advertise around that content.
A good example of what a Twitter/TV partnership might look like is the relationship it formed with Turner Broadcasting and a startup called SnappyTV back in March for the NCAA basketball tournament. Turner provided short highlight clips from the tournament, which were then edited through SnappyTV’s service and displayed on Twitter, which were presented along with ads paid for by AT&T and Coke Zero. The clips didn’t substitute for actually watching any of the games, but were fun to view and re-tweet for people using Twitter as a “second screen” device. And if you weren’t watching the games at all, perhaps a re-tweet of an exciting clip from a friend would encourage you to tune in.
Twitter officially declined to comment on the reports, but every indicator points to Twitter building up partnerships and advertising around TV. The company paired up with Nielsen in December to create a new rating to measure the social activity around particular television shows. In February Twitter also acquired Bluefin Labs, a company that works to understand how people are responding to television through social media, and updated its Cards technology to allow for tweets to display different kinds of visual media.